Supreme Award winners accepting their award for the Focus on eyes: Delivering patient treatment on time project. From left: Boyd Cornere, Information Analyst, Decision Support; David Meates, Canterbury DHB CEO; Jody Allen, Charge Nurse Manager, Canterbury Eye Service; Ali Watkins, Eye Service Manager; Jo Kane, Canterbury DHB Board member

Improving patient care

by Mike Isle

The recent Canterbury Health System Quality Improvement and Innovation Awards recognised and showcased how changes have been made to improve the quality of health care, says Canterbury District Health Board chief executive David Meates.

“These annual awards are an important event on our health system calendar and sharing and celebrating the teams’ successes is so important,” he said.

This year, 48 teams from across the Canterbury Health System entered the awards, on topics ranging from valuing patients’ time by reducing appointment and waiting times and changing radiology techniques to make the patients’ experience better, right through to improving mental health and enhancing palliative care. Eleven awards were presented, with the Supreme Award, going to the team behind the Focus on eyes: Delivering patient treatment on time project, which addressed concerns about overdue national Ophthalmology follow-up times for people diagnosed with eye disease.

Eye Service Manager Ali Watkins said the Canterbury Eye Service improved the quality of the Eye Service’s data and the team reduced the waiting list of 3,453 patients down to 719 in one year.”

They also won the Improved Quality, Safety and Experience of Care Award.

“Every discipline within the service came together for this project. In addition, Canterbury DHB’s Decision Support team helped design a data reporting tool that was meaningful for our team — what gets measured gets changed. The project led us to look beyond our waitlist and have greater scrutiny of the whole service.

“Looking to improve one area led to looking to improve other areas too,” Ali Watkins said.