WDHB celebrates high health target scores

25 February 2014

A staff member reads an X-ray in Whanganui DHB's Emergency Department
Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) chief executive Julie Patterson is delighted with the WDHB’s latest health target results which she says are a tribute to every staff member involved.
The WDHB not only exceeded the targets set for Shorter stays in Emergency Departments (95 percent) with 96 percent; Increased immunisations (90 percent) with 93 percent; and Improved access to elective surgery (100 percent) with 102 percent but it was right on target for Better help for smokers to quit with 95 percent, and Shorter waits for cancer treatment with 100 percent.
While all 20 DHBs failed to meet the 90 percent target for More heart and diabetes checks, Mrs Patterson says an initiative is underway in Whanganui to ensure the 90 percent will be achieved by 1 July 2014. A key part of the initiative involves providing information systems and service delivery support to GP practices.
“I think we also have to put this target result in perspective by acknowledging that our primary health colleagues are working very hard to make sure patients receive cardiovascular risk assessments. The fact they have improved from 59 percent in quarter one in 2012/13 to 73 percent in Quarter 2 in 2013/14, illustrates this well.”
In the meantime, a highlight was achieving 3 percent above the 90 percent immunisation target. “This is a reflection on the parents and whānau who have clearly understand that immunisations do protect their children from preventable diseases,” says WDHB maternal child and youth portfolio manager Jon Buchan.
“The recent outbreak of measles has demonstrated just how easily infections can spread. We will continue to urge all parents to check what immunisations their children have received and remember that immunisations are  free to children and young adults up to the age of 18.”
WDHB Health promotion professional advisor Lauren Tamehana is equally delighted that Wanganui Hospital reached the 95 percent target for Better help for smokers to quit.
“We’ve done well with this target over the last five quarters and primary care providers have to be applauded for their success in dramatically lifting their results towards their 90 percent target. Over the past five quarters they’ve jumped from 35 percent to 82 percent,” Mrs Tamehana says.
“Health professionals across the sector are determined to bring Whanganui District’s smoking rates down.  We know asking people if they smoke and would like help and support to quit is helping us achieve that.”
Mrs Patterson says thanks must go out to all staff involved with every one of the six targets. She says while the WDHB consistently does well in the Shorter Stays in Emergency Departments, Improved Access to Elective Surgery and Shorter Waits for Cancer Treatment it should not be taken for granted.
“All the staff who were involved in meeting or surpassing these three targets deserve high praise. Our ED target goes a long way to reinforcing this. Thanks to those who admit, discharge or transfer patients from ED within the six-hour target we consistently score well and know that our patients have a safe, efficient journey through the entire hospital system.

Click here to view the full WDHB National Health Target results table