Health Targets - Quarter 3 resultsback to Health Targets
“We can get there”
|The Minister of Health and therefore the health sector focuses on two things: financial performance and the six health targets. The comparative results for quarter three (the three months ended 31 March 2010) are below. My comments on each target are shaded in blue. The comments of the Ministry’s “health target champions” are also shown.|
Waikato DHB has improved in all areas but overall it ranks about the same, which reinforces the old adage, that if you are not improving you are going backward.
The Minister requires DHBs to meet the targets by 30 June 2010. I thank staff for their efforts to date and ask that you continue in your efforts, particularly on the smoking indicator where it is the actions of individual health professionals that makes all the difference.
We can get there.
- Craig Climo, Chief Executive, Waikato DHB
Shorter stays in Emergency Departments
The target is 95 percent of patients will be admitted, discharged,
or transferred from an Emergency Department (ED) within six hours.
The target is a measure of the efficiency of flow of acute (urgent) patients through public hospitals, and home again.
To achieve this target with good, sustainable improvements is expected to take up to two years for many hospitals.
The third quarter showed only a modest improvement from 79 per cent to 81 per cent, but the last month’s result was 85 per cent. It shows that we continue to make solid progress and at a time when the number of ED attendances is setting record highs. The ED result reflects whole of system performance, not just ED, and an area that is holding back overall performance is other specialties attending patients in ED.
The ED result is drawn from Waikato Hospital and Thames emergency departments.
Media release: Waikato emergency departments reduce wait times
Improved access to elective surgery
The target is an increase in the volume of elective surgery by an average of 4000 discharges
It’s great to be able to say that as expected that we continue to perform well on this indicator. The objective is to achieve 100 per cent of our planned elective volumes and we are ahead of that.
Increasing elective surgery continues to be a major success story for Waikato DHB.
The national immunisation target is for 85 percent of two-year olds* to be fully immunised by July 2010; 90 percent by July 2011; and 95 percent by July 2012.
* This quarterly progress result includes children who turned two years between January and March 2010 and who were fully immunised at that stage.
The 84 per cent result is very good and a solid improvement on the 80 per cent for the previous quarter. It is even better when viewed against some years of the results being hard to move.
The turn around is due to new hospital based activity (opportunistic screening) and identifying and targeting hard to reach families, and particularly the efforts of primary care.
Media release: Immunisation target exceeded early
Shorter waits for cancer treatment
The target is everyone needing radiation treatment will have this within six weeks of their first specialist assessment by the end of July 2010 and within four weeks by December 2010. Six regional oncology centres provide radiation oncology services. These centres are in Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.
This is another outstanding story. Waikato DHB radiotherapy services provide the best access in New Zealand.
The service is not only meeting the 100 per cent target at six weeks but is achieving 100 per cent at four weeks. The four week national target does not start until December 2010.
Media release: Waikato tops the country in provision of cancer services
Better help for smokers to quit
The target is that 80 percent of hospitalised smokers will be provided with advice and help to quit by July 2010; 90 percent by July 2011; and 95 percent by July 2012. The data covers patients presenting to Emergency Departments, day stay and other hospital based interventions.
Although the result has improved from 40 per cent to 47 per cent between the two quarters, and improved further with last month’s result being almost 50 per cent, this result is the frustrating one.
Whereas the other indicators have various systems complexities that bear on them, the smoking target is simply about hospital health professionals asking if the person smokes and offering help. It is quick and easily recorded.
Patients (and their families) are strongly influenced by health professionals and are at their most amenable to lifestyle change when dealing with health issues. We can play a major part in helping the public with what is the single biggest health related lifestyle decision they will make.
Within that result, some areas are doing very well and I thank them.
Media release: Health target highlights good practice
Better diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD) services:
This graph represents the average progress made by a DHB towards three target indicators: (a) an increased percent of the eligible adult population will have had their cardiovascular disease risk assessed in the last five years; (b) an increased percent of people with diabetes will attend free annual checks; (c) an increased percent of people with diabetes will have satisfactory or better diabetes management.
This indicator is a lot less clear in what it means than the others. It is a composite of three activities. But that should not diminish the importance given to it. This indicator is basically about better management of the very serious issue of chronic conditions. It is largely done in the primary sector.
The result between the two quarters improved from 66 per cent to 68 per cent. It looks modest but is a pleasing result, when at the same time the number of patients identified with these diseases has increased significantly. This is due to the sector doing a better job of identification.