2014/2015 was a year of significant growth and achievement for Waitemata District Health Board. At the heart of this growth and development are our organisational promise to provide the ‘Best Care for Everyone’ and our board priorities to ‘enhance patient experience’ and ‘achieve better outcomes’.
‘Best Care for Everyone’ is the quality standard for how we work together. Our quality aims are to provide care that is safe, effective and focused on the individual needs of every patient and their whānau and to achieve health outcomes and patient experience that are among the best in the world and the leader in New Zealand.
We have made excellent progress towards achieving our aims. Our work to ensure we provide safe, effective care is reflected in our low hospital mortality rates with Waitemata DHB recording the lowest Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio (HSMR) for all 20 DHBs in 2013, and in our strong performance for all the Health Quality and Safety Commission (HQSC) Quality and Safety Markers identified in the national patient safety campaign: Open for better care [view more about HQSC markers]. We achieved the top national result with 100 percent of older patients given an assessment for risk of falling and also performed strongly with 97 percent of patients at risk of falling receiving an individualised care plan. We reached 98 percent compliance with the use of the surgical safety checklist, a considerable improvement from the 80 percent achieved in 2013. And compliance with good hand hygiene practice has increased from 72 percent (Sep 2013) to 80 percent (Jun 2015) with the associated outcome measure, the rate of Staphylococcus aureus blood stream infections, more than 50 percent lower than the average national rate.
To ensure that primary care is safe and that patients don’t fall through the gaps as they move across different parts of our healthcare system, we have continued to support patient safety in primary care [view more about our Safety in Practice initiative]. General practice teams have improved patient safety by developing reliable systems for handling written communication and reconciling medicines, and developing best care bundles for prescribing of high risk drugs.
Improving the experience of our patients and whānau has continued to be a top priority for us during the 2014/2015 year. In 2014/2015 we heard from over 8,000 patients and whānau through our electronic survey, the ‘Friends and Family Test’, and the feedback is largely positive [view more about Patient and Whānau feedback]. In response to patient and whānau feedback, the DHB has completed the roll-out of WiFi across North Shore and Waitakere hospitals, along with some community sites, giving patients and whānau access to free high-speed internet [view more about WiFi implementation].
Listening to patients’ perspectives can help us better understand how the care we deliver can be improved. We have developed a library of patient video stories [view more about Patient Story development or view our Patient Story library], and in February 2015 we produced the first suite of values-based patient experience reports for each of our wards, drawing on content from our Friends and Family Test patient experience survey . These reports take the qualitative (free text) feedback from patients and whānau and map this against our values and behavioural standards. In response to what our patients were telling us, we implemented a ‘welcoming’ campaign that included bringing together a group of around 100 experience leads to guide this work within their services and teams. We completed the second round of values reports in June 2015, which showed an improvement across almost all standards, including being welcoming and friendly. Our work to use patient and whānau feedback to measure performance against the organisation’s values was recognised by a national public sector excellence award in July 2015 [view more about Values-based Reporting].
There is still much to do in realising our organisation’s core purpose of delivering the best care for every person that uses our services. We are continuing to develop our Patient and Whānau Centred Care Standards programme, to monitor, measure and evaluate key ‘fundamental’ components of patient care in our hospitals [view more about our Care Standards programme]. We are planning to expand this programme to become a ward accreditation programme, setting an aspirational path to excellence for our hospitals’ wards.
We are also continuing to focus on our dedicated clinical leadership programme, Enhanced Care Management and Clinical Leadership, to support clinically led teams to design and implement models of care and best practice care processes that improve health outcomes and our patients’ and whānau experience [view more about our Enhanced Care Management and Clinical Leadership programme]. To ensure our clinical leaders and teams receive sufficient support, we are establishing an Institute for Innovation and Improvement that will provide them with dedicated resources and expertise and will build capability across the DHB to ensure that current and future health challenges can be met.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our community-based healthcare partners and organisations and most significantly our nearly 7,000 staff who work determinedly to provide high-quality health services and better the lives of patients and the community. It is their contribution which has allowed us to make 2014/2015 a milestone year for our DHB and the people it serves.
Waitemata DHB values and promise statement