Lakes DHB Shows the Way in Surgical Services

Press Release – Lakes DHB

Lakes District Health Board has posted a 25% lift in surgery productivity in just three years following a comprehensive review of surgical services. Since 2007, Lakes has consistently been one of the top three DHBs in New Zealand for elective surgery …Lakes DHB Shows the Way in Surgical Services

Lakes District Health Board has posted a 25% lift in surgery productivity in just three years following a comprehensive review of surgical services. Since 2007, Lakes has consistently been one of the top three DHBs in New Zealand for elective surgery performance.

‘When Lakes DHB started the review and improvement process, elective surgery only accounted for around 25% of all surgery’, says CE Cathy Cooney. ‘Last year it was 44%, and we exceeded our annual target for elective surgery by 10%.’

Working with specialist health consultants from Francis Group, Lakes DHB used a structured approach, and involved all theatre users to find the best ways to improve the service. Some changes were relatively easy to achieve, and others were more complex. Together they resulted in much improved efficiency, better use of theatres, much better service to patients, and a significant increase in productivity. Francis Group provided training, analysis and an improvement approach that was led by a new theatre management committee comprising clinicians and managers.

The project’s sponsor and General Manager for Clinical Services, Dale Oliff says that the results of the process are a great example of what the Government wants hospitals to do – supporting clinical leaders championing the better use of existing resources. ‘Lakes DHB is able to treat more patients, which means fewer delays and cancellations,’ she says. ‘It’s not just about saving money, it’s also about delivering a better service to the community by doing our job better.’

Involving everyone in the design of better processes is the secret to success, according to Dale Oliff. ‘As we did the work we locked in the change immediately so that it became sustainable and normalised for the teams. It also gave us results from day one and reinforced the speed and pace of the change. It was a different approach for implementation than other projects that I have seen in the past and hence our uplift in performance relatively quickly. Francis Group’s team mentored the Lakes team over two years to make sure the benefits were consolidated, resulting in an improvement that is sustainable, not just a one-off.’

ENDS

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