North Shore Times : February 12th 2013
www.northshoretimes.co.nz 15 NORTH SHORE TIMES, FEBRUARY 12, 2013 Health Report Medication innovation rewarded Worthy winners: David Rogers from award sponsor Ascot Radiology with Jaye Fuller and Jenny Crawford. Jenny and Jaye won the Waitemata DHB’s 2012 Health Excellence Awards supreme award for their project Baby Steps: Innovative building blocks for improving medication safety for our children. It’s the sort of scenario you see on a TV medical drama: A young girl is rushed to a hospital emergency department unconscious and having a seizure. Despite the best efforts of staff, she dies. As dramatic as it sounds, it’s not uncommon for young people to arrive in the ED with similar com- plications. This prompted the heal- thcare professionals involved in the real-life case described above, which happened at Waitakere Hospital, to think about what could have been done differently. With a growing number of chil- dren arriving at hospitals in need of emergency treatment, Waitemata District Health Board paediatric pharmacist Jenny Crawford and child health clinical nurse educator Jaye Fuller determined medical staff needed more easily accessible and easy to follow information about giving medication specifically to children. Most guidelines were designed around the needs of adults. Chil- dren are three times more likely to experience an adverse drug event than adults. An adverse drug event might mean too much or too little medi- cation or medication that is delivered the wrong way. In addition, there can be further diffi- culties if children refuse to take their medication or are simply too small to take tablets. So Jenny and Jaye worked with paediatrician Dr Stefan Van Der Walt to design a number of resources, including online ones, aimed at improving medication safety for children. Their guidelines and resources are now in use at Waitakere and North Shore Hospitals. In total, there is a package of 10 resources including a paediatric medication chart and administration guide- lines, information on medication policies, resuscitation calculators and also leaflets for patients. The best innovations – the ones which may make a real difference to our health – frequently come from people working at ‘the coalface’: Nurses, primary healthcare providers, pharmacists, doctors, allied health professionals and oth- ers who see ways to make things better for patients. Each year, the Waitemata Dis- trict Health Board acknowledges through its Health Excellence Awards the efforts of those staff, and primary healthcare providers, who seek ways to improve services and health outcomes for people in its catchment – that’s you! Jenny and Jaye’s efforts won them the Waitemata DHB’s 2012 Health Excellence Awards supreme award for this project entitled Baby Steps: Innovative building blocks for improving medication safety for our children. Associate professor Wayne Miles, director of the Awhina Waitemata Health Campus, says the projects entered into the awards bring fresh approaches to issues and are often valuable because they come from the very people who can identify from personal experiences challen- ges and barriers to delivering services. ‘‘There is good evidence that innovations identified and intro- duced by people who provide the care translates into changing for the better service delivery practices and processes which equals more efficient and improved services.’’ Around 50 projects from right across the DHB are entered each year into two sections: Oral present- ations and a poster competition. The posters are likely to go on to become visually appealing and easy- to-read resources which can be used across the DHB. It is an example of the sort of work going on at Waitemata DHB which has seen a marked turn around in its fortunes. The latest figures available, from July to September 2012, show the DHB exceeded five of the Govern- ment’s six health targets. The DHB’s numbers and the Min- istry of Health’s targets (in brack- ets), were: ❚ Shorter stays in Emergency Departments – 96% (95%) ❚ Improved access to elective sur- gery – 105% ❚ Shorter waits for cancer treatment – 100% ❚ Increased immunisation – 92% (85%) ❚ Better help for smokers to quit – 96% (95%) ❚ More heart and diabetes checks – 58% (90%). Like other DHBs, Waitemata didn’t achieve the recently intro- duced heart and diabetes checks but the trend is moving upwards. Plenty of good news to talk about Sir Peter Leitch By SIR PETER LEITCH When we set up these Health Reports – a fair number of years ago now – the aim was to write about positive develop- ments in the sector and give you information on the types of medical con- ditions which can strike any one of us. This was partly because all too often we hear negatives about the health system: The times when an operation went wrong, waiting lists and long waits in general, cost-cutting and challen- ges about keeping up with new technology. Like most other dis- trict health boards, these were issues which dog- ged the Waitemata Dis- trict Health Board but during recent years, the board has turned things around and there are many exciting develop- ments taking place. Not only that, the board is trying new things to make the sys- tem a better one for its residents. You have to give them 15 out of 10 for that! Some of these include: ❚ A new mental unit at North Shore Hospital ❚ A new emergency department and Assess- ment & Diagnostic Unit at North Shore Hospital ❚ The 25 bed Lakeview Cardiology Centre hous- ing a coronary care unit, step-down unit, a cardi- ology ward and two car- diac catheterisation lab- oratories ❚ An expanded paediatric unit at Waitakere Hos- pital, with 10 additional beds, a new indoor play- room, an outdoor garden area, parent kitchen and negative pressure iso- lation room for children with infectious diseases ❚ A new 1200 space carparking building at North Shore, signifi- cantly increasing park- ing capacity ❚ The North Shore Dialy- sis Centre, providing in- centre renal dialysis for people with kidney fail- ure ❚ Eight new school dental clinics, 12 transportable dental units and five mobile dental vans throughout the Waite- mata district providing state of the art oral health facilities for chil- dren in the district. These things are worth celebrating, so you can read more about them here. But, with all the technology in the world, there is still no substi- tute for early diagnosis and correct treatment. Having just attended the funeral of my good mate, Sir Paul Holmes, I want to say again if you think there’s something wrong, get to a doctor and get it checked out. The Health Report is backed by the Mad Butcher Suburban New- spapers Community Trust which was formed in 1998 to contribute to the community. In that time, we’ve raised money for health and other causes ranging from cancer research to Plunket. For every advertiser in this Health Report, we make a donation to your local health authority to help provide hospital and patient facilities and equipment. Our thanks to all our advertisers for making this possible and our thanks to you for reading this Health Report. We hope you find it informative and if you need to, you act on the information provided.
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