In just two years, the Health Care Home (HCH) model of primary healthcare has spread across Greater Wellington to benefit tens of thousands of people.
Released today, the second annual HCH ‘achievements & reflections’ report provides a broad overview of the HCH’s second year in the Wellington region.
“HCH puts patients and families’ needs at the heart of local healthcare delivery. It’s an investment in helping to ensure people can access services closer to home and stay well in the community,” said Capital & Coast DHB interim chief executive Julie Patterson
“It has represented a significant change in the delivery of primary care, and was achieved through successful collaboration between the DHB and local PHOs – Ora Toa, Cosine and Tū Ora Compass Health.
“This initiative has been, and remains, a priority investment and we are excited that it will reach 80 percent of the DHB population this year.”
An independent tracking of 42,000 patients over two years shows HCH patients are less likely to need Emergency Department or hospital-level care. They also use technology more than non-HCH patients to manage their primary health care needs – with some practices reporting more than half their patients using patient portals for appointments, repeat prescriptions and test results.
HCH practices are also seeing benefits from GP triage or telephone assessment and treatment. In some practices, 35 percent of patients are being successfully managed over the phone, freeing up time to see people with more urgent needs.
“I'm pleased that more and more practices are joining the Health Care Home quality improvement programme,” said Tū Ora Compass Health chief executive Martin Hefford.
“Their early achievements in providing more patient-centred care are encouraging, and we are delighted to be rolling out the HCH model into the Wairarapa, based on the success of our practices in CCDHB.”
Image: Raumati Road Surgery team members receive their Health Care Home certification with Martin Hefford CE, Melissa Simpson HCH Programme Lead and Lynne Alo Practice Relationship Manager - Tū Ora Compass Health.
For more information read the Health Care Home Second Year: Achievements and Reflections.
For latest news visit www.compasshealth.org.nz. Or www.ccdhb.org.nz,
CCDHB: Chas Te Runa – 027 230 9571
Tū Ora Compass Health: Susan Fullerton-Smith – Susan.firstname.lastname@example.org
Health Care Homes early evidence in Wellington
Early evidence suggests that a team-based primary health care practice model can reduce emergency department admissions to hospitals.
New research conducted by Auckland University of Technology (AUT), for the Productivity Commission, looks at the implementation in Wellington of a multi-disciplinary team-based model known as “Health Care Homes”. That research, entitled Health Care Homes: Early Evidence in Wellington was published today by the Productivity Commission.
Described as a “whole of practice transformation”, the Health Care Home model involves health professionals working together in new ways and using tools such as an online patient portal and GP telephone triage to tailor services to patients’ needs.
“The main finding of the research is a statistically significant drop in Emergency Department (ED) admissions for patients at practices that implemented the Health Care Homes model” says Dr Gail Pacheco, Professor of Economics at AUT and Director of the New Zealand Work Research Institute at AUT.
“A drop in ED admissions is a positive signal for health outcomes of the affected population, as well as beneficial for managing public healthcare costs.”
Professor Pacheco says “future research would need to focus on the longer-term impacts of the Health Care Homes model, and also include a wider range of practice level data, such as waiting times, staff to patient ratios, use of online services, staff turnover and patient experience data.”
The research was undertaken as part of the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into Measuring and Improving State Sector Productivity, which was completed in August this year.
It uses administrative data on 235,485 enrolled patients from 55 Compass Health Primary Health Organisation general practices, linked with National Minimum Data Set records from Capital and Coast District Health Board. Of the 55 general practices, 11 implemented the Health Care Homes change process between July 2016 and October 2017. This means they operated the new model for three to 15 months during the period of the study (which used data from 2014 – 2017).
Productivity Commission Inquiry Director, Judy Kavanagh, says “the health sector is facing unprecedented cost and demand pressures – including from new health treatments and an ageing population. Primary health care is an important lever to address these pressures, because of its role in prevention and early intervention and in better coordination of other health services.”
She added that “it has always been thought of as too difficult to measure the impact and productivity of primary health care services. This research shows that innovation in general practice services can reduce patients’ use of hospital services, and that it is possible to measure these impacts using linked data”.
Report: Health Care Homes: Early Evidence in Wellington
 The National Minimum Data Set – This is the Ministry of Health’s national collection of public and private hospital discharge information, including coded clinical data for inpatients and day patients.