Positive steps taken for quality improvement initiatives in primary care

14 Dec 2017 | Primary Care

This year the Commission’s commitment to increasing quality improvement capability in primary care took a positive step forward through the Whakakotahi primary care quality improvement challenge.

As set out in its project charter, Whakakotahi (“to be as one”) began in the context of international and national agreement that successful primary care is the key to the future health of the population, reducing health inequities and the escalating costs and demand in secondary services and the wider health system.

The Commission has recognised that while there is a high motivation within the primary care sector to take up quality improvement activities, there are limitations in both capacity and capability (knowledge and skills) – limitations that Whakakotahi is beginning to address.

2017 began with the announcement of the first of the Whakakotahi partnerships.

In its first phase Whakakotahi has partnered with three primary care teams. Each team is working on small-scale improvement projects of their choice, to address an area of patient care they wish to improve.

The Commission is now poised to announce a further six projects in early 2018.

This year’s inaugural three projects have all shown positive progress with news items published on this site during the year as follows:

Interest in the projects is growing and the gout management improvement project introduced at the Papakura Marae Health Clinic, Oranga Rongoā, was recently publicised in NZ Doctor with journalist Aaron van Delden reporting that the initiative is combatting inequity in gout therapy for Māori and Pasifika people.

Sue Wells,clinical advisor for Whakakotahi, says the progress made in 2017 bodes well for 2018.

“Receiving 22 applications for Whakakotahi 2018 during the year was a fantastic response. This was a great indication of the potential range of activity that can be undertaken and the nationwide learnings that can be shared in the future”.

Last updated 14/12/2017