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MDHB does well with national health targets

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MidCentral District Health Board has shown strong performance against the six national health targets for the July to September 2015 quarter.

​In this period, for the first time, we met the goal for more heart and diabetes checks, and we continued to excel in achieving immunisation coverage rates for eight month old infants.  We increased the proportion of people who smoke being offered advice and help to quit in primary health care settings.  Although we did not sustain achievement of the target this quarter for shorter stays in the Emergency Department, we had our best result ever for a winter period.  We did not manage though to achieve the expected increase in the number of patients discharged following elective surgery.  Results for all 20 DHBs were released today.

A summary of our results this quarter (July–September) across all the national health targets is provided below.

Like many DHBs, we experienced an unprecedented high number of people attending the Emergency Department over this winter quarter.  Even so, we managed to ensure that 10,752 (93 percent) of the 11,564 people who attended the Emergency Department (ED) were admitted, discharged or transferred within six hours of presenting – 1123 more people than in the April to June quarter.  Although not achieving the national target this time, it was our best result ever for a July–September quarter, and was just above the national average of 92 percent this quarter.

Over this quarter, 2003 patients were discharged following their elective, or arranged, surgery – just short of our planned target by 45 discharges (98 percent of target).  Just like many other people, a number of our medical and nursing staff suffered from the effects of winter illnesses which meant we were not able to cover our theatre sessions as well as we had planned.  Also, our wards were fully occupied with acute patients so we were not able to accommodate as many patients after their elective surgery as we had anticipated.  Despite this, 404 more people had their elective surgery compared to the previous quarter (April to June).
We continued to make steady improvements in our results for faster cancer treatment. For the six months between April and September, which covers those patients who received their first treatment, 82 percent of the 85 patients for whom there was a high suspicion of cancer and needed to be seen within two weeks had their first treatment within 62 days of being referred.  The national average was 69 percent, against the goal of 85 percent by the end of June 2016.
Our result for eight month old infants being fully immunised on time increased to 96 percent of the 526 eligible infants this quarter.  While this was an excellent result and better than the national target for our total population, we need to continue our effort to improve our rates for Maori infants being fully immunised on time – we were just short of target at 94 percent of the 192 eligible Maori infants this quarter; although this result was ahead of the national average for Maori (91 percent).
Although not quite achieving target, the primary health component of the national target for offering brief advice and support to quit smoking showed a strong improvement this quarter, with a result of 87 percent.  Of the 22,349 enrolled patients who were identified as current smokers, 19,371 have been offered brief advice and support to quit smoking over the past 15 months.  The national average was 83 percent this quarter. As the national target definition changed from July 2015, a comparison to previous results is not made.  
We continue to do well with the other two components of this national target – offering brief advice and support to quit smoking to pregnant women and for smokers who are admitted to hospital; achieving targets in both instances.  Of the 465 pregnant women seen by Lead Maternity Carers over this quarter, 80 identified as current smokers; 95 percent (76) were offered brief advice and support to quit.  The majority of people who are admitted to hospital are offered brief advice and support to quit smoking – 96.5 percent of 1230 people this quarter, consistent with previous periods. (Note: The results for the maternity and hospital components of this target are not published in the chart below, but are reported on the Ministry of Health’s website).
The proportion of our population that have had their risk for cardiovascular disease assessed in the past five years further increased this quarter.  There were another 1646 heart and diabetes checks undertaken between July and September bringing the proportion of the total expected number of people to have had a risk assessment to 90 percent of the 47,788 eligible enrolled adults – achieving the national 90 percent goal. Our rates for Maori and Pacific people are not as good though (83 percent, and 84 percent respectively) and we will be focusing our efforts on improving these results over the next few months.
For more details and FAQs about the Health Targets go to: and the 'MyDHB' website.

Kathryn Cook
Chief Executive
Contact: Communications Unit (06) 350-8945

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