Midlands Health Network has worked with primary health care professionals (including GPs, nurses, practice managers, pharmacy and NGO staff) and specialist clinical leaders, district health board managers, and expert advisors to design the new Integrated family health centre model of care. It is designed to create a better patient experience and proactively place patients and their needs at the centre of the service. The result will be a more comprehensive and cohesive heath system that makes the best use of available funding and time. Health care will be more proactive, responsive and effective, with members of the general practice teams being given the time and information they need to provide the best possible care. Patient engagement and trust in their general practice team will increase. Clinical outcomes for the population as a whole will improve. Acute demand for specialist (hospital) services will reduce, as peopleâs health needs are dealt with more effectively at the primary health care level.
The Patient Access Centre (PAC) is one of the key strategies underpinning the integrated family health centre model of care. It provides first-line triage to ensure patients who need a face-to-face consultation are scheduled for one; first call resolution for telephone calls made to integrated family health centres; follow-up of people who do not attend appointments; and escalation of issues and concerns. The role of the PAC will grow to further streamline the patient experience and help manage unplanned demand for services. Midlands Health Network plans to take the PAC region-wide to optimise not only access to services for all Midlands Health Network patients, but also to make more efficient use of health sector resources.
Clinically-led, dedicated Service Level Alliance Teams (SLATs) were established to identify gaps in provision of care in key areas of priority. Over 100 health care professionals have been involved in this work. The areas under review are cardiovascular disease, child and youth health, diabetes, mental health, primary care nursing, regional access criteria for primary referred radiology, smoking cessation and older people. Each dedicated team is developing new ways to redesign current services so patients have access to proactive screening, timely assessment and treatment based on best practice guidelines, which also will help to achieve national health target.
Midlands Health Network has started a process of locality planning, which will future proof primary care and ensure it has the capacity to meet the future needs of our communities. The process fits with the Governmentâs âBetter, Sooner, More Convenientâ primary care strategy and is supported by the Midlands District Health Boards. Locality planning will look at the dynamics that impact on health care provision in our communities, for example population size, changing health needs in an area, current service configuration and an ageing workforce. Locality planning is already underway in South Taranaki and Hamilton. Over time, every part of Midlands Health Network will be supported.
Midlands Health Network is working with the University of Waikatoâs Faculty of Education to research the literacy needs of patients and health professionals in primary care. The Health Literacy Project aims to develop guidelines and best practice measures that ensure patients understand their health care needs and can self-manage their health journey, and to support health professionals to interact more effectively with patients. Researchers are exploring the patient journey within primary care, which will focus on capturing the âpatient voiceâ across Midlands Health Network.
Midlands Health Network QualityOne builds on the quality improvements achieved in previous years by Pinnacle Incorporated and Taranaki Primary Health Provider Incorporated, two general practitioner networks in Midlands that support and develop professional and quality aspects of primary health care through general practice. Midlands Health Network QualityOne has nine goals that focus on clinical performance for child immunisations, influenza vaccination, cervical screening, disease coding, diabetes annual review, cardiovascular risk assessment and management, smoking cessation, maintaining practice accreditation standards and harm reduction. All goals ensure that equity of health outcomes remains important in the quality of health care, and emphasis is placed on addressing our high needs populations.