WDHB retains high placing on the health target leader board

Following its placing in the top four for five of six health target results in the third quarter, the Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) has been placed in the top four for four of the six quarter four results and well within the top 10 for all targets which chief executive Julie Patterson expects the WDHB to achieve.
Results released this week show Whanganui placed:
  • First equal with all 20 DHBs having achieved 100 percent for Shorter Waits for the Cancer Treatment target that all patients, ready-for-treatment, wait less than four weeks for radiotherapy.
  • Second for Shorter Stays in Emergency Departments with 98 percent – 3 percent more than the 95 percent target for patients to be admitted, discharged or transferred from an emergency department within six hours.
  • Third for More Heart and Diabetes checks with 61 percent – 2 percent up on last quarters’ results and 1 percent above the target that by July 2012, 60 percent of the eligible population will have their cardiovascular risk assessed in the last five years.
  • Third for Better Help for Smokers to Quit with 97 percent – 2 percent more than the 95 percent target for hospitalised smokers to be provided with advice and help to quit.
  • Fifth equal for Increased Immunisation with 91 percent – 2 percent more than last quarter but still 4 percent less than the target of 95 percent of two-year-olds being fully immunised by July 2012.
  • Sixth with 108 percent, for the volume of elective surgery to be increased by an average of 4000 discharges per year. This is 8 percent above the 100 percent target.
WDHB acting chief executive Brian Walden says it’s very pleasing to see Whanganui positioned as one of the country’s top performing DHBs against the targets.
“We take the targets very seriously because the results we achieve contribute to better health for the community as a whole,” Mr Walden says.
“The increased immunisation target result remains a challenge despite the tremendous effort our staff continue to put into encouraging parents to immunise their children. In reality, we have to accept that some parents choose not to immunise their children and some children miss their immunisations due to illness or other events. It’s disappointing, but we will continue to encourage families to complete all vaccinations in a timely manner.”
In the next quarter, the criteria for the increased immunisation health target changes to 85 percent of eight-month olds will have their primary course of immunisation at six weeks, three months and five months on time by July 2013.
Mr Walden says while staff are deservedly celebrating the WDHB’s second place with 98 percent of patients treated within six hours, this result is also a reflection of Wanganui Hospital’s available capacity and how well systems are working across it.
“On a different note, I want to pay tribute to Whanganui primary health staff for the part they have played in our achieving the heart and diabetes and immunisation targets. The WDHB would not have been placed third on the board for More Heart and Diabetes Checks without the contribution that the PHOs have made towards this effort.”
WDHB smokefree coordinator Julie Tolladay-Poulton says she’s delighted with the Better Help for Smokers to Quit result. “To come in above target in all four quarters over the past year is a wonderful achievement for all the staff who deliver our smokefree programme,” Mrs Tolladay-Poulton says.
“It begins with a person’s presentation to the hospital and carries on to discharge when our patients are offered support to continue their efforts to become smokefree.”