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.

The review identified our strengths in patient care and a range of other initiatives, but also highlighted the need to align our activities and capabilities across the system. This is so patients can receive consistent, safe and quality care wherever they are in their journey, right across the full experience of care, whether in hospital or at home. By working together and having a ‘big picture’ view of patient care, we can reduce duplication, spread pockets of excellence and better integrate care across the system. This is in line with our strategy and our values. It is critical we ‘knock down’ the silos.

So what do we need to do to make this happen? The first thing we will be doing is to appoint a Director of Patient Care & Chief Nurse and Professions Officer whose primary job will be to lead and coordinate all the patient care domains and establish, what I call a Community of Expertise. This will bring together all of our wonderful leaders in the organisation, with whom we can work with to design the future. Leadership is not about position but influence, knowledge and insight. We will need clinicians of all types, leaders of all types – including the graduates of our leadership programmes, and managers of all types to design and shape how the future of equitable, high quality sustainable healthcare can be delivered. Everyone here has the insight and knowledge of how to build the future and what improvements we can make. We need to pull together all of that collective knowledge and turn them into solutions. How we do this together will be a major theme of my future blogs.

This Community of Expertise will build on the significant contribution that Doctors, Nurses, Allied Health clinicians and Managers bring to patient care. The creation of the Director of Patient Care & Chief Nurse and Professions Officer emphasises that patient care remains a high priority for CM Health and a dedicated leader will strategically drive this hand-in-hand with other clinical and non-clinical leaders.

The establishment of the Community of Expertise will further foster collaboration and strengthen multidisciplinary approaches in the development and delivery of models of care. It also intends to have a flow on effect into the culture of the organisation and perception of staff as to the importance and significance given to consistent and excellent delivery of patient care across the whole system. This won’t be ELT (Executive Leadership Team) alone. We will broaden and mobilise leadership networks to help design the future.
This is an important change for our organisation – one that recognises patient safety and experience as a priority and one that will see us delivering consistent and excellent care across the whole system.

While we have seen a few changes in recent years, we must continue to be agile and responsive to ensure our health care services are meeting our community and patient’s needs now and into the future.

If you have any questions please ask your Manager or get in touch with me directly on email: Geraint.Martin@cmdhb.org.nz




Author: Geraint Martin

Geraint Martin was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Counties Manukau DHB in December 2006. It is one of the largest District Health Boards in New Zealand and services a population of half a million. He has significant experience over 30 years in national policy & in managing both primary and secondary care . Previously, he was Director of Health and Social Care Strategy at the Welsh Government .He authored a radical 10 year strategy of reform, including the successful “Saving 1000 lives” Campaign.Until 2004, he was CEO at Kettering General Hospital & had held senior positions in London & Birmingham.He has worked closely with clinicians in improving clinical standards,patient safety,chronic disease management & managing acute care to reduce hospital demand.In NZ, He has promoted clinical quality and leadership as central to improving patientcare. This has led to a significant increases in productivity and access, whilst maintaining financial balance. CMH has completed in 2014 a $500 m capital redevelopment programme, the largest in New Zealand. A central part of this is the establishment of Ko Awatea,the Centre for Innovation and Research which will underpin CMH as one of the the leading health systems in Australasia.In 2008, he chaired the Ministerial Review of Emergency Care in New Zealand, and in 2013 was an member of the Expert Advisory Panel on Health Sector Performance. Geraint has an MSc in Health Policy from Birmingham University .His post-graduate work has focused on health economics and Corporate Strategy . He is adjunct Professor of Healthcare Management at AUT and Victoria University, Wellington Elected in 2006 as a Companion of the Institute of Healthcare Management, previously he was an Associate Fellow at Birmingham University.He is is Chair of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, a member of the Institute of Directors, on the Board of the NZ Institute of Health Management & previously the Board of The NZ Health Quality and Safety Commission.

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