[Sitting date: 10 May 2012. Volume:679;Page:2168. Text is incorporated into the Bound Volume.]
Dr PAUL HUTCHISON (National—Hunua) to the
Minister of Health: What improvements have been made to the way that district health boards provide elective services for their patients, and what have been the results of these?
Hon TONY RYALL (Minister of Health)
: Doctors and nurses are taking a much greater role in running the public health service, and they are delivering an extra 27,000 elective surgeries a year. The Government is announcing today that we are backing their leadership with an extra $7 million investment into clinician-led productivity improvements. This will support 21 projects in 11 district health boards to improve the amount and timeliness of elective surgery. For example, by using lean thinking, clinicians have found that they can use small changes to make a big difference. They have found, for example, that keeping equipment in set places in operating theatres means less surgery time is wasted trying to find it.
Dr Paul Hutchison: How have elective productivity programmes improved services at the Bay of Plenty District Health Board?
Hon TONY RYALL: Good local members. Tauranga Hospital has reduced the number of same-day cancellations of surgery by 70 percent. Instead of a receptionist ringing patients to remind them of their surgery, a senior nurse is now calling patients to do a pre-assessment. If a person is too unwell for surgery, such as having the flu, they are rebooked and another patient is scheduled at short notice. This means operating theatres are not left standing empty because patients cannot turn up. This sort of lean thinking and positive action by our clinicians is making better use of doctors’ and nurses’ time and is delivering better services for patients.