The Waitemata experience

The Waitemata Experience



Our organisation has two key priorities:

  • Improving health outcomes, and
  • Enhancing patient experience

We know that a positive experience has real benefits to patients, such as reducing anxiety and pain, reducing their time spent in hospital, and encouraging them to attend appointments and take medications. We also know that to provide a positive experience for patients and their families/whānau we need to make sure that our staff are satisfied in their roles and engaged in what they do. Research clearly shows that increasing staff engagement improves patient experience and that improvement in patient experience increases staff engagement[1]. This cycle drives high quality care.

High quality care cycle
High quality care cycle

Focusing on the experience of patients and staff is not new – we have been working on this for years. The Waitemata Experience programme has been developed to bring all of this work together under one banner and provide more strategic direction to improve the experience of everyone interacting with our services. This means that we can be more focused and make better use of our resources by taking a more coordinated approach.

  1. "Employee engagement and NHS performance." West, M.A. and Dawson J.F. (2012), The King’s Fund.

What did we find?

We had multiple programmes of work that all interrelated and naturally had a lot of cross-over. These included our:

  • values programme (including the development and implementation of our standards and behaviours) [download a leaflet with full list of behaviours]
  • patient experience work
  • learning and development activity
  • community engagement strategy

These different areas of work are currently managed by our Quality team, Human Resources Department (including the Workforce Development, and Learning and Development teams), and our Planning and Funding team.

What did we do?

We looked at all the activity happening across different teams to see how we could align the work and make sure that we are working collectively to achieve our goals.W e developed a new programme of work with eight areas of activity. The name of the programme is an intentional statement of our aim to provide the best possible experience for everyone: 'The Waitemata Experience'.

The Waitemata Experience Programme

The eight areas of experience activity are:

The Waitemata Experience Programme - PracticePractice includes reviewing and improving clinical systems and processes. This area of work was developed in response to feedback from patients and their families.

Priorities include:

  • Implementing a Partners in Care programme
  • Continuing to roll out protected mealtimes
  • Continuing to monitor bedside handover
  • Implementing discharge follow up calls

The Waitemata Experience Programme - Measurement and EvaluationMeasurement and Evaluation sets out our tools for measuring and understanding experience in order to support and inform improvement activities. This area of activity includes evaluating the effectiveness of what we do.

Priorities include:

  • Developing an electronic patient and staff feedback system
  • Hosting two ‘listening weeks’ per year to hear from our community and staff
  • Launching the Waitemata DHB ‘feedback app’ [view more about our 'feedback app'] which allows people to tell us how well we are living up to our values

The Waitemata Experience Programme - People and LeadershipPeople and Leadership supports our leaders and managers to develop their skills and to model the behaviours we want to see evident in our culture.

Priorities include:

  • Developing a values-based recruitment programme
  • Updating our performance appraisal system in line with our values and behaviours
  • Reviewing volunteer opportunities and services
  • Implementing a communication and customer service programme

The Waitemata Experience Programme - EnvironmentEnvironment ensures that our physical environment meets the needs of patients and their whānau, and that they are able to participate in redesign.

Priorities include:

  • Developing a set of design principles to guide our 10-year programme of rebuilding and refurbishment
  • Implementing an entertainment system in our hospitals

The Waitemata Experience Programme - GovernanceGovernance includes structures and mechanisms that provide oversight and drive the overall programme, and ensure that we meet our goals.

Priorities include:

  • Developing a set of design principles to guide our 10-year programme of rebuilding and refurbishment
  • Reviewing the governance of the Waitemata Experience programme including resourcing, lines of accountability and reporting

The Waitemata Experience Programme - Aligning BehaviourAligning Behaviours supports services, teams and individuals to understand and engage with our values, standards and behaviours framework.

Priorities include:

  • Rolling out our standards and behaviours communication programme
  • Bringing together a group of ‘experience leads’ to support the standards and behaviours programme
  • Revising our staff recognition programme

The Waitemata Experience Programme - Patient and Community ParticipationPatient and Community Participation is about making sure that our activities build on the strengths, and meet the needs of our patients, their families and the wider community.

Priorities include:

The Waitemata Experience Programme - Communication and InformationCommunication and Information includes reviewing communications channels (websites etc.) to ensure they meet the needs of the Waitemata community.

Priorities include:

  • Sharing, communicating and publishing work in relation to our values and behaviours [view more about our Values-based reporting]
  • Reviewing Quality Boards
  • Reviewing key channels of patient and visitor information such as our website and intranet

Where to from here?

  • We are developing a strategic plan to set the direction of our Waitemata DHB Experience Programme for the next three years. This includes prioritising all the work currently underway
  • We will continue our work to understand and improve the experience of our patients, their families/whānau and visitors, and our staff. This includes redeveloping our feedback mechanisms so that anyone can tell us what they think about their experience whenever they want, and through a variety of ways
  • We are working with staff to improve the way we give and receive feedback, and appreciate the things that we do well

[View more about our patient and family/whānua experience initiatives]

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