It’s easy, as an individual to get lost in this massive, complex and fast moving system that is Counties Manukau Health. This applies to both patients and health professionals and although I can relate to the comment “what can I do to make things better, I’m just a small cog on a giant wheel”, I believe we must change that world view.
Recently, as a member of the 20,000 Days Healthy Heart collaborative, I was one of a team who grabbed the opportunity to try to improve and “iron out” the system, both in hospital and during the transition to long term follow up in primary care for people with Heart Failure.
I submitted an abstract about our collaborative journey to the Australasian Cardiovascular Nursing College annual scientific meeting being held on the Gold Coast and was selected to present my abstract to the meeting. The talk went well and I focussed on the improvement science we used to identify gaps in the existing service and how we gathered evidence for the need for new models of care and implemented new services.
I shared some of the patient stories, before the system changes, where people felt lost and uncertain of the next step to reports of ‘seamless care’ following the change process. I described some of the changes we developed and implemented such as promoting a team based approach with early access to cultural support and allied health, more cardiologist support, alongside nurse post discharge clinics and access to community based cardiac rehabilitation and exercise programmes for people with heart failure.
My message was simple, when teams work together, with a common goal and the right tools and support, some very cool things can happen, including turning this massive health system on a new course. I was asked a lot about the 20,000 Days Campaign and had a number of people, from across Australasia interested in our Healthy Hearts “how to” guide. This guide is a wonderful way to share our learning’s and will save other organisations reinventing the wheel.