Quarter 2 health targets – still a challenge for health to stay on top in a post-quake environment

Tuesday February 24, 2015

​​​The Canterbury District Health Board continues improving on the National Health Targets particularly in prevention and early detection of disease despite ongoing post-quake challenges.

The National Health Targets report for quarter 2 was released today and results show more Cantabrians are receiving advice and support for smoking cessation and heart and diabetes checks.

In this quarter, 86.7 percent of smokers attending primary care received advice to quit – which is a 6 percent increase on the previous quarter and is almost double the previous year's quarter 2 result of 49 percent.

Canterbury also has had the largest increase of all health boards in the More Heart and Diabetes Checks target – with 76.7 percent of eligible patients receiving a check – a 5.6 percent increase on quarter 1 and up more than 30 percent on the year before.

David Meates, Canterbury DHB Chief Executive, says efforts to ensure our community is kept well and in their own homes through prevention and early detection of disease are nothing short of dedicated.

"It's remarkable how our results have gone from strength to strength in the past year and this reflects the commitment, collaboration and integration across the Canterbury Health System.

"I continue to be impressed by, and thankful for, the efforts and achievements of staff in the context of a still challenging environment of hospital redevelopment and post-quake recovery."

Mr Meates says the Canterbury is faced with significant challenges four years on from the earthquakes.

"Many of the associated health impacts post a major disaster are panning out in the community – particularly in mental health. While it's amazing to see things coming together with the rebuild – there's also a whole set of new challenges emerging for the Canterbury Health System."

Mr Meates says one major challenge is the continued growth in presentations to Christchurch Hospital's Emergency Department.

"Since the quakes and the influx of about 30,000 workers to Christchurch, use of our Emergency Department has spiked 50 percent for the 25-29 age group and almost 30 percent for the 20-24 year old age group."

"Remarkably staff met the target in quarter 2 for Shorter Stays in ED with 95 percent of patients admitted, discharged or transferred from ED within six hours – but if numbers continue to climb it only increases waiting times, contributing to crowding and placing ED staff under greater pressure."

Meanwhile Mr Meates says overall the DHB's performance in all targets was strong.

"It's about having the initiatives and integration in place to enable us to do that.

"For example, in the last year Canterbury provided care to 30,000 people in the community who in any other parts of the country would otherwise have been admitted to hospital."

"Keeping everything we do patient centric keeps us focused on our six key priorities to ensure our system is running as efficiently as it can be."

The five priorities and key spotlight area :

  • Frail Older Person's Pathway – better support for frail older people both in an out of hospital
  • Theatre Utilisation – capacity remains a major constraint until the new hospital is built.  Clinicians are focused on improving the performance and productivity of operating theatres, reducing cancellations, improving patient flow and achieving shorter waiting times for patients before their treatment and ensure no time is wasted in the system
  • Enhanced Recovery after Surgery (ERAS) – supports early recovery and discharge from hospital and reduced waiting times
  • Faster Cancer Treatment – timely access and better links across the health system to improve care;
  • Outpatient and Surgical Flow (100 days) – aiming to provide a patient's first appointment with a specialist or surgical treatment within 100 days (to a maximum of four months)
  • Mental Health – services are coming under increased pressure and the DHB has prioritised ensuring we can meet the needs of the community.

Targets at a glance:

  • Increased immunisation – this target rose from 90 percent at June 30 2014, to 95 percent by December 31. Canterbury achieved immunisation rates of 93.49 percent of eligible children, while five percent of parents or caregivers of the eligible population declined or opted out of the free immunisation programme
  • Faster cancer treatment - a new target was introduced this quarter. The target is 85 percent of patients receiving their first cancer treatment within 62 days of being referred with a high suspicion of cancer. Canterbury achieved 68 percent against a national average of 65.8 percent. Canterbury continues to meet the previous target of 100 percent of cancer patients who are ready for treatment, getting it within a month
  • Improved access to Elective Surgery -  Canterbury delivered 97.4 percent of its elective surgery target this quarter, and expected to increase numbers over the next few quarters
  • Better help for smokers to quit – hospitalised - Canterbury met the target of 95 per cent of eligible hospitalised smokers getting cessation advice and support.
Page last reviewed: 25 February 2015
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