A ‘whole of system’ approach to patient care

The memory of this year’s APAC Forum is still with me, even though it’s two weeks on and I am very much back to the day job. What continues to stand out as a key theme at this year’s Forum, and the ones before, is the need to put patient care and safety at the heart of everything we do. CM Health is doing some excellent work in the patient care domain, however, like our patients we have to navigate a complex and constantly evolving health system. The truth is, I suspect we should never be satisfied we are finished in the pursuit of excellence in patient centred care as every time we get something right, we should lift the bar and aim for something greater again for those we serve. We should also be really open to learn from both our failures and successes. One thing is clear patient care sits at the core of our strategy and values. For this reason, it deserves our full attention.

For the past few months, CM Health has been undergoing a review of the domains of patient care which includes patient safety, experience and professional standards and with it the best way of ensuring we develop not just effective integrated care, but also the professional leadership that will help design and deliver it. We are an incredibly effective and high quality organisation, but we need to be sure we are best placed to be that in the future, given all the challenges and changes we face and the ambition we have for our patients and communities. It is crucial to change when we can, rather than when we have to.

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Great care everywhere: APAC Forum 2016

This time last week, some 1500 health and care change-makers travelled from over 30 countries to ‘explore new frontiers’ and ‘design a blueprint for a healthy future’ at this year’s APAC Forum in Sydney, Australia.

What’s remarkable about this forum is that in the five years it has been running, it’s become a world class event hosted between New Zealand and our neighbours, Australia. In my opinion, the APAC Forum has helped us find our collective voice around innovation and improvement and this comes from the passion, commitment and determination of people coming together to make a difference.

Once again, this year’s APAC Forum attracted world class speakers, presenters, and people at the front line of change and innovation. It was easy to be swept up in the tide of energy and excitement as 1500 people shared conversations and ideas of improvement and change. What was particularly rewarding to see was the appetite to not just talk about change but to put those words into action. This was reflected in over 50 submissions into the Ko Awatea International Excellence in Health Improvement Awards and 246 APAC Forum poster displays. There was a real sense of much-deserved achievement and pride.
So what were some of the key highlights?

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At Risk Individuals (ARI) programme reaches 22,000 patients

Two years ago I wrote a blog about the launch of the At Risk Individuals (ARI) programme. At the time I was excited to announce that we’d be supporting up to 30,000 people with long-term conditions and other risk factors – such as inadequate housing – to keep well and out of the hospital, as much as possible. People in this group are at a greater risk of poor health outcomes, including unplanned hospitalisation, and they use a disproportionate amount of healthcare services. The goal of the ARI programme was to provide earlier intervention and planned, proactive, patient-centred care by helping primary care identify our ‘at risk’ patients and better coordinate their services. So, two years on, how have we fared?

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Giving kids a ‘fair go’

In a previous blog, I spoke about Dr Lance O’Sullivan, who is working in the health equity area.  Helping to support that work is an exciting project called Kootuitui ki Papakura, which is tackling the issue of equity head on by helping the children of Papakura to have the same opportunities as other children in New Zealand.

Developed in conjunction with Kidz First Children’s Hospital, Kootuitui ki Papakura brings together primary schools, an intermediate school, Papakura High School and corporate organisations – most notably Westpac, the community itself, community trusts, teachers, health care staff, and many more.

Addressing three areas – health, homes and education, the programme has seen a massive commitment from many people.

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CM Health first in NZ for exceeding smoking cessation health target

The last couple of weeks have seen our hospital and community services under constant pressure as growing demand continues to put a strain on our current capacity and resources. I just want to say a huge thank you to our staff and primary care colleagues who are working together to help stem the tide, while continuing to provide quality, safe and compassionate care. While it’s been hard to take a breath these last few days we have a lot to celebrate this week with the release of the latest NZ health targets. While we always strive to do our best, this quarter’s results have exceeded expectations. For example, we have met our target for increased immunisation rates and exceeded targets for shorter stays in Emergency Care, improved access to elective surgery, more heart and diabetes checks and better help for smokers to quit. In fact, we are leading the country when it comes to offering cessation advice to people who want to give up smoking for good. Joining me today is Summer Hawke, Portfolio Manager Smokefree, who will share some of the innovative smoking cessation work, which is helping to change peoples lives for the better.

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Remember to look up

Last week I was privileged to attend the graduation of 25 CM Health staff members, who recently completed the Ko Awatea Leadership Academy – Emerging Leaders Programme. Over the last 10 months, these students have juggled work, family and social commitments to gain real leadership skills and knowledge. They have also been on a journey of self-discovery to find out the kind of leader they are and the kind of leader they would like to be.

Brooke Hayward  shares her experience of being on the Emerging Leaders Programme and how in the busyness of our day to day work we should always remember our ‘Why’

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Health equity matters

To me, equity is about fairness – about having the same opportunities to the best start in life, to be educated, and to be healthy. And yet there are currently 200,000 tamariki across Aotearoa growing up in poverty. This growing disparity isn’t new and countries around the world are trying to grapple with the inequities that exist in health. Through our ‘Healthy Together’ strategy CM Health is committed to narrowing the health and poverty gap and in doing so move a step closer in our quest for health equity.

Joining me today is Kaitaia GP and former New Zealander of the year Dr Lance O’Sullivan. Lance is well known for his campaigning for equity in healthcare and health outcomes and recently joined Ko Awatea as a senior clinical fellow. Lance talks about his vision for health equity in Counties Manukau.

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