New approach by DHBs & PHOs delivers more integrated care

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman

Minister of Health

15 December 2016

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says DHBs and PHOs are working closely together to deliver system wide improvements and better health services for New Zealanders.

“All DHBs and PHOs now have improvement plans to help keep patients out of hospital, improve patients’ experience, and utilise prevention and early detection to avoid unnecessary or early deaths,” says Dr Coleman.

“Earlier this year I announced new system wide measures to move primary and secondary care performance measurements to an outcomes approach.

“This will help DHBs and PHOs to focus on further quality improvements and deliver better health services. It will also strengthen primary and secondary care relationships, and deliver more patient-centred integrated healthcare.”

All District Alliances have submitted their improvement plans to support implementation of the new system level measures to the Ministry of Health.

District Alliances have a range of members including consumers, hospital clinicians, GPs, pharmacists, Maori and Pacific representatives, and allied care providers like physiotherapists.

“Many of these plans utilise local data to identify areas where more can be done, and set out how they intent to make those changes,” says Dr Coleman.

“For example, Wairarapa DHB identified respiratory infections, pneumonia and asthma as a key factor for preventable hospital admissions rates of children aged four and under.

“They’ve included the Breathe Easy programme in their plan - an educational prevention programme for families with children with respiratory problems.

“Nelson Marlborough’s Alliance team identified oral health, respiratory conditions and gastroenteritis as contributing to the hospitalisation of Maori children aged four and under.

“They are looking at how to improve child attendance rates at community oral health clinics, and increasing the number of homes insulated through the warmer healthier homes scheme.

“To reduce time spent in hospital, Bay of Plenty’s Alliance team is looking to enhance resources to general practice to better manage patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in the community.

“A parallel initiative will introduce a nurse-led programme to reduce hospital presentations by helping people with chronic respiratory conditions better understand and control their illness.”

The four system level measures for 2016/17, which were developed in consultation with the sector, are:

  • Ambulatory Sensitive Hospitalisation rates per 100,000 for 0 to 4 year olds – keeping children out of hospital;
  • Acute hospital bed days per capita - using health resources effectively;
  • Patient experience of care - person-centred care;
  • Amenable mortality rates - prevention and early detection.

The Ambulatory Sensitive Hospitalisation rates, acute hospital bed days and patient experience of care measures will be financially incentivised in 2016/17, along with the two existing primary care national health targets.

Media contact: Kirsty Taylor-Doig 021 838 372


Last updated: Wednesday, December 21, 2016

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