Percentages tell only part of the story when it comes to assessing MidCentral District Health Board’s performance on the Government’s targets.
MidCentral either exceeded the target or improved its performance in most of six target areas in figures released yesterday.
The data covered the first quarter of the new financial year, the three months to September 31, and included some changes to target criteria used in the previous year.
‘‘I’m generally happy with the results, in that they are being achieved or there is improvement on what there was in the past,’’ MidCentral chief executive Murray Georgel said.
The one area where the DHB dipped was in shorter stays in emergency departments. For the three months to September, 87.6 per cent of patients at Palmerston North Hospital’s emergency department were admitted, discharged or transferred within six hours.
In the previous quarter the figure was 90.2 per cent, while the national target is 95 per cent.
Mr Georgel said while the percentage had dropped, there was an increase in the actual number of patients who presented at the emergency department and were dealt with within six hours.
August was the second-busiest month in the emergency department’s history, with 3651 patients seen. In all, 10,668 patients were seen during the quarter.
While the percentage fell, 1001 more patients were admitted, transferred or discharged within six hours than during the same quarter last year.
‘‘In real numbers, there was a huge increase in the number that had a shorter stay,’’ Mr Georgel said.
The DHB continued to exceed the targets for access to elective surgery and cancer treatment waiting times.
It also bettered the new target for full immunisation of 8-month-olds with 88.7 per cent of infants immunised by this age.
The target is 85 per cent.
The DHB was still not meeting the 95 per cent target for providing quit-smoking advice to hospital patients, with its result for the quarter at 91.6 per cent.
And only 45.9 per cent of adults enrolled with a Primary Health Organisation had had their cardiovascular risk assessed. The target is 75 per cent.
Mr Georgel said reaching and exceeding all six targets was a priority for the DHB and its staff.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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