Middlemore Hospital’s Emergency Care leads the way

We all strive to provide the best care for our patients, and it takes a lot of work, patience and motivation to create a culture where continuous quality improvement is expected, talked about and adhered to.

Such a culture can be found in Emergency Care with staff from a range of disciplines working together to ensure patients receive time critical treatments within the 6 hour target.

To achieve this, the team has developed a structured Quality Improvement plan using the acronym DAASHH to highlight its priority quality projects.  Vanessa Thornton, Clinical Director of EC explains what DAASHH stand for.

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Walking in a patient’s shoes

For anyone who has been on the receiving end of hospital care, it can be a very uncertain and vulnerable time.  I’ve been a patient a couple of times in my life, and although my experiences have been largely positive, there is much to learn from being on the other side of care.

For example, I have experienced what it feels like to be in pain, to be nil per mouth and waiting for surgery and to rely on staff to help with basic activities of daily living, such as dressing, getting out of bed and showering.   While I don’t suggest you go through what I did, to understand what our patients are feeling, the experience has given me a taste of what it’s like to walk in a patient’s shoes, even for a short period.

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The facts and nothing but the facts

Most of the time I love my job, but there are moments where I want to bang my head against a brick wall and scream. I’m sure many of you can relate, and because it helps to get things off my chest, I’m sharing my story in my blog.

Some of you may have come across a recent article in the paper that reported CM Health is facing a predicted funding shortfall of $100m. Apart from the fact that this is incorrect, what really annoys me is the effect this has on staff. On the one hand people hear that CM Health is doing really well and then suddenly we are in deficit. These mixed messages can cause people to unduly worry. The purpose of this blog is to set the record straight.  So let me take you back to what happened.

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Most popular blogs

I’ve been blogging for over three years, and it’s a weekly ritual that I look forward to.   Looking back at previous posts I’m in awe of how much we have grown as an organisation, what we have accomplished – big and small and the amazing people who work here.

To date we have published 174 blogs with a total of 112,460 hits – that’s quite an achievement. While the blogs are increasing in popularity, what intrigues me is the interest they are receiving from people around the world. This includes our neighbours from across the Tasman, the United Kingdom, USA, India, Japan, France, Germany and Africa.  Our voice is being heard across the globe!

So what were the most popular blogs from 2014?

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Thoughts and Podcasts for the day

Before going on leave, I put pen to paper and managed to write two blogs to be published while I was away.   In case you missed the blog last week, called ‘Let’s be honest about ourselves’ you can read it here.   The second is as follows …..

Thoughts and Podcasts for the day

Although now a distant memory one of the benefits of having some down time over the summer break was the opportunity to do a bit of reading. One book that struck a chord was by surgeon, writer and public health researcher, Atul Gawande, called Being Mortal – Medicine and What Matters in the End.

If you are looking for an eye-opening and riveting book, I’d recommend this one. In “Being Mortal,” Atul Gawande takes on a question that everyone faces: How can we make our last days more comfortable, meaningful, and affordable?

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Let’s get honest about ourselves ….

What does a good day at work look like for you? What do we need to do to increase those experiences?  What’s a bad day? How do we decrease those experiences?  These are the kinds of questions I’ll be asking you over the coming months as part of our values refresh.  I like to think about this as coming clean and being honest with ourselves about what makes our system a great place to work and when it isn’t as good, why?  It’s also important that we stretch our conversations to include our colleagues who work in primary and community-based organisations – they are part of our patient’s experience of healthcare.   So what do values have to do with patient safety and quality of care?

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Everyday heroes – patients taking back control

Many of you have heard me talk about our growing and ageing population and the pressure this places on an already stretched health system.  As we live longer, our rates of chronic and long-term disease, such as diabetes, lung and heart disease increase.  In fact there are 67,000 people currently living with long term illness in Counties Manukau – with many dealing with preventable risk factors, such as high blood pressure, obesity and mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. The effect this has on a person’s life is immense, with many struggling with everyday tasks, such as walking to the letterbox, going to the shops or mowing the lawn.   For some there are months or years off work, continually feeling tired and unwell, and frequent trips to hospital or outpatient appointments.  From a health professional’s perspective there are greater demands on resources, rising costs and an underlying feeling we are only just scratching the surface.

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