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Improvement in early management of high needs patients

Primary care
02 March 2018

Gonville Health Ltd is an integrated family health centre in Whanganui with very low cost access, which was established to meet the health needs of a community with a range of social and health challenges. The centre has a commitment to its community and strives to improve access and reduce health inequalities for patients. One of the ways this can be achieved is by having open access to enrolments. This approach creates challenges such as a high rate of patient 'churn' and patient transiency which stretches the practice’s resources.

New patients to the practice often come with a history of reactive rather than planned care and often have not been involved in a self-management-based approach to health care.

Gonville Health recognises that the national enrolment requirements can be off-putting for patients and that being new to any practice can be daunting. The ultimate aim is that patients are well supported by the practice team through their early stages of enrolment, and that the patient understands the importance of a good relationship between the patient and their health care team. General practice should be about partnering with the patient to support maximum wellness rather than just being a place to go to fix a problem.

In collaboration with their patients, Gonville Health want to streamline their enrolment processes so it works for patients and the practice, and achieves the critical mix between what is important to the patient and what is clinically required to achieve best practice and care. They want to create a more customer-focused, culturally appropriate service and improve patient health literacy and self-management.