A mix of new and returning GP practices met at Ko Awatea recently to begin year four of Safety in Practice (SiP).
Among the participants were healthcare workers from two general practices who will be focusing on the management of gout. This follows on from the award-winning project, Owning my Gout, in which pharmacists work with GPs and nurses in primary care to manage gout patients.
The programme, which began under the Manaaki Hauora – Supporting Wellness campaign at Counties Manukau Health, was recognised recently as the Professional Service of the Year at the New Zealand Pharmacy Awards.
Under Safety in Practice pilot practices will now be funded to work with local pharmacies and patients to continue working with gout patients, including providing point-of-care testing and medication titration. The practices will also provide patients with self-management support and promote integration between primary and secondary service providers.
This year will also see Dr Vikas Sethi working with practices to develop care bundles that align with system level measures; these bundles will include diabetes, gout, polypharmacy and paediatric prescribing (anti-microbial).
During this first session for year four, practices also heard from acting chief medical officer and head of the emergency department at Counties Manukau Health, Vanessa Thornton. Vanessa shared her experiences of the improvement work adopted in 2008 in the emergency department.
The emergency department team began by looking at their track record for the treatment of heart attacks and found it was far from consistent. “When we started to look at it we realised we weren’t actually doing that well,” she told the audience of primary care staff.
Dr Thornton said accurate data information gathering and focusing on something relevant to the team and important to patients is key to successful quality improvement. Over time her staff has gained a lot of job satisfaction from their involvement in quality improvement, she said.
Practice visits are now underway with clinical lead, improvement advisor and PHO facilitators. These visits are to build relationships, answer any queries practices have on their chosen audit bundle, and to help with any issues in relation to carrying their first monthly audit.
The next SiP Learning Session will be held on 2 November.