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Health Innovation Awards
Waikato DHB entries have a strong record in the prestigius national Health Innovation Awards which are held annually.
In 2008 the Waikato DHB has again produced three finalists - the Award announcements for category and overall winners were made at the gala dinner and presentation function in Wellington in November.
In 2007 three entries from Waikato District Health Board were selected as finalists in Award categories, one of which won the Process Improvement Award.
About the Health Innovation AwardsThe Health Innovation Awards is a joint annual award programme sponsored by the Ministry of Health and the Accident Compensation Corporation to recognise new and innovative approaches to delivering better health services.
There are seven entry categories. An independent team of respected evaluators from the health industry select three finalists from each category. The categories are:
The judges select a winner of each of the seven categories as well as an overall winner (supreme award).
The finalists vote for the people's choice category.
The criteria for the awards include:
A helping hand may reduce illness in Waikato schoolsSending Waikato children home from school with a special hand-out helped them understand the importance of washing and drying their hands. The Hands up for Health campaign provided children with a large double-sided hand, two stickers and a fridge magnet to help reinforce the hand hygiene message.
Hand hygiene is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of infection. Studies have found that practicing correct hand hygiene techniques can reduce illness and absenteeism by up to 50 percent.
The Hands up team developed hand hygiene resources and an education package, which was delivered by public health nurses to primary and intermediate schools, as well as registered early childhood centres within the Waikato DHB region. The campaign also indirectly targeted the wider community through the younger children who were enthusiastic messengers to family and whānau.
Interactive ‘glo germ’ experiments were used to help children understand that invisible germs are on their hands and that good hand hygiene can remove these germs.
The programme was funded by the Ministry of Health and ran from July to November 2006. It is estimated that 50,000 households received the hand out. The Hands up for Health campaign is currently in a maintenance phase, targeting pre-schoolers’ and new entrant students.
New tool leads to a swifter recovery at Waikato HospitalPeople suffering from stroke, head injury and other neurological and medical conditions are being helped to get back on their feet faster through the use of a new tool.
The Northwick Park Dependency Score (NPDS) measures a patient’s progress on a daily basis by assessing how much of a nurse’s time the patient needs. Tasks such as going to the toilet or getting dressed are graded in terms of how many nurses are needed, the difficulty of each task and how long each task takes.
The tool was originally developed in Northwick Park, London, but has been modified by Waikato Hospital’s Assessment, Treatment and Rehabilitation Ward (AT&R). The ward’s Operations Manager, Matt Watson, says the tool enables rehabilitation staff like physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers and nurses to assess a patient and develop a plan to focus on their particular needs. The effectiveness of the plan can then be measured at weekly meetings.
The NPDS tool helps medical staff to more effectively plan the patient’s discharge. It also leads to easier and clearer communication between nursing staff and a patient’s relatives, so families know what level of care is needed when the patient is discharged.
Commended - Pioneering new procedure at Waikato Hospital reduces need for surgeryA pioneering new procedure at Waikato Hospital is reducing the need for surgery, cutting the waiting time for diagnosis and reducing the length of time a patient spends in hospital.
Double-balloon enteroscopy (DBE) is a procedure which enables doctors to view and take samples of a patient's small bowel. This allows them to diagnose cancers and other causes of intestinal bleeding without performing invasive surgery.
DBE improves the quality of life for patients by reducing the length of time they stay in hospital – often the patient can walk in and out of hospital on the same day as having the procedure. It is safer for the patient as it eliminates the need for surgery, and means no blood transfusions are required.
The relative ease of the DBE procedure means it is much cheaper than performing surgery. Seventy percent of patients receive a diagnosis allowing them to get treatment. For the remaining 30 percent, DBE can show that the patient does not have disease of the small bowel thus avoiding the need for more invasive surgery in order to make a diagnosis.
Waikato Hospital is the first and only hospital in New Zealand to undertake double-balloon enteroscopy and around sixty people have undergone the procedure, including many patients from outside the Waikato region.
Separation of Conjoined TwinsWith Pygopagus Conjoined twins (i.e. joined at the lower back and pelvis) being extremely rare, and no separations reported in Australasia or the UK, the team charged with effecting a successful separation at Waikato faced a complex clinical and logistical challenge.
The reward was two healthy children, a very satisfied family and a proud clinical team.
Waikato New Born Hearing Screening ProgrammeThis initiative aims to ensure the proper development of speech and language skills in children by detecting congenital or early onset of hearing problems before the age of six months.
Where hearing loss problems are identified (as they have been in 11 infants to date) early rehabilitation can result in speech and language skills that are within normal limits.
Launched in 2004, this initiative is the first large scale fully funded New Born Hearing Screening programme in New Zealand. The programme provides full coverage of all babies birthed at Waikato Hospital, Thames and Taumarunui as well as babies birthed in Hamilton’s two private birthing facilities.
Prior to surgery, patients had long waits for doctors in pre-admission clinic and clinics were often cancelled. Nurse-led pre-admission clinics have reduced the average patient time spent in clinic from over four hours to two hours, and only patients that require a visit to the clinic due to their medical conditions are asked to attend. A nurse phones the other patients 7-10 days before their surgery allowing them a chance to ask questions, to receive further information and to have appropriate investigations at the community laboratories close to their homes.
The project has resulted in decreased average length of stay, decreased cancellation of surgery, and no clinic cancellations.
The Nurse Led Preadmission Gynaecology programme won the Process Improvement Award at the 2007 New Zealand Health Innovation Awards. Judges said, “The initiative was specific, very consumer focused and specifically addressed patient satisfaction. It is somewhat unique in that the initiative involved a nurse working with GP liaison and others providing input”.