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West Coast health system makes spectacular gains in key health targets

News Item

posted by WM Admin on 26 May 2015


West Coast

West Coast DHB media release, 26 May 2015

The West Coast health system has improved its performance in most of the Government’s health target categories thanks to efforts of teams across the Coast health system.

West Coast District Health Board Chief Executive David Meates says the performance improvements across the various targets have resulted from the health system working together on the areas that needed more focus.  A greater awareness of programmes designed to help people take responsibility for their own health has also played a part.

In the emergency department target which requires 95% of patients to be admitted, discharged or transferred from an emergency department within six hours, the West Coast DHB has scored an impressive 99.4%.

The West Coast’s elective surgery target is to deliver 1592 surgeries during the year ending June 30.  The DHB is tracking at 111.3% with 1288 elective surgeries delivered to date.

“With our smoking cessation advice and services, we have met both hospital and primary care targets this quarter.  West Coast DHB staff provided 97.8% of hospitalised smokers with smoking cessation advice and support – exceeding the 95% target with our best result yet,” Mr Meates says.

West Coast Primary Health Organisation Executive Officer Helen Reriti says general practices have reported giving 4,575 smokers advice about stopping, in the 12 months ending March 2015, representing 94% of smokers expected to attend general practice during the period.

“It’s particularly pleasing to have exceeded the 90% target for the first time.  Our clinicians have made huge efforts to tackle this issue, alongside the introduction of new technology to support their initiatives,” Ms Reriti says.

“Likewise, with 90.3% we have met for the first time the 90% target of ensuring the eligible enrolled West Coast population have had a cardiovascular risk assessment in the last five years.  That represents a 7.6% increase on our figures for the last quarter,” she says.

The range of approaches used to increase performance included identifying cardiovascular risk assessment champions within general practices; nurse-led clinics in practices; evening clinics and protected appointment time allocations for checks; Poutini Waiora nurses collaborating with general practices; conducting checks at local events; and using technology to remind patients.

High opt-off and declines continue to be challenging in meeting the immunisation target (95% nationally).  On the West Coast 89% are being immunised, however, we are reaching 100% of “high deprivation children” and 93% of all Maori children. 

This is the second time DHBs have been assessed against the new cancer treatment target and 62.5% of West Coast DHB patients received their first cancer treatment (or other management) within 62 days of being referred with a high suspicion of cancer.

Mr Meates says the Coast’s small population poses a challenge in this area. 

“We are missing this target by just one patient. But work is ongoing to improve the capture and quality of the Faster Cancer Treatment data which will improve our performance over the next few quarters.” 

Full information on the West Coast DHB’s Health Target performance can be found here, and information on the Ministry of Health’s Health Targets site here.