WDHB scores two 100 percent health target results

26 November 2013
While the Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) is delighted to have achieved 100 percent for two of its six Ministry of Health target results, there is disappointment at seeing a drop in the district’s immunisation rates for eight-month-olds.
WDHB general manager service & business planning, Tracey Schiebli says unfortunately the 2013/14 quarter one (July-September) results released today show the WDHB’s Increased immunisation result drop from 96 percent in quarter four to 88 percent in quarter one “despite Whanganui’s impressive effort to fully immunise as many children as possible”.
“There are a couple reasons why immunisation results can move like this,” Mrs Schiebli says. “To be recorded for the immunisation target, a child has to have received a full course of vaccinations by eight months old and unfortunately some fall behind. They catch up, but miss the eight-month target.
“Our results are also influenced by a few parents who decline immunisation for their children. Due to the size of our population, even a small number of unimmunised children has a significant impact on our percentage result.”
Mrs Schiebli says primary care practice nurses and GPs will continue to encourage families to have their children immunised, and equally, Emergency Department and Whanganui Accident and Medical (WAM) staff will continue to ask if every child who passes through their door is fully immunised.
Meanwhile, seeing primary health lift its Better help for smokers  target result from 62 percent to 74 percent was a big boost for WDHB and Whanganui Regional Health Network (WRHN) staff who were also pleased to see the WDHB score 94 percent – just one percent below target.
 WDHB chief executive Julie Patterson and WRHN chief executive Judith McDonald say now that helping smokers to quit is almost viewed as a  ‘business as usual’ activity in hospitals and in general practices, they’re confident Whanganui’s results will continue to improve.
Mrs Julie Patterson is also confident that, based on the WDHB’s 96 percent score (one percent above target) for the Shorter Stays in Emergency Departments target, Whanganui residents are receiving timely hospital treatment.
“It’s thanks to our staff who admit, discharge or transfer patients from ED within the six-hour target that we consistently score well and know that our patients have a safe, efficient journey through the hospital system.
“I want to also acknowledge and thank our staff for achieving 100 percent against the 100 percent targets for Improved Access to Elective Surgery and Shorter Waits for Cancer Treatment.
“While we view all six targets very seriously, I know these are the two which probably have the most immediate impact on people in our community. They’re the two targets that really ‘speak to’ patients and their families so it must be comforting for them to know that we’re performing well in both.”    
And finally, Mrs Patterson says she is heartened to see the WDHB lift its For more Heart and Diabetes Checks  target from 72 percent to 77 percent in the last quarter placing it just five percent behind the highest polling DHB.
“When you consider how far we’ve come from 59 percent in quarter one in 2012/13 it shows how hard our primary health colleagues are working to make sure patients receive cardiovascular risk assessments.
“It’s proving to be a challenging target for all DHBs but I’m sure the additional funding announced in the 2013 Budget is helping to support the efforts of primary health organisations and general practices who I know are very committed to achieving the 90 percent target.”

Click here to view the WDHB's Health Target results.