Quarter four Clinical Performance Metrics released
Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand has published its Quarter Four Clinical Performance Metrics for the period 1 April to 30 June 2023.
In these metrics, the final for the 2022/23 financial year, we provide more information about the data, a description of the metrics we are reporting, and a comparison of the quarter’s performance compared to the same period in 2021/22.
Interim Chief Clinical Officer Dr Richard Sullivan says Te Whatu Ora is striving to get our performance reporting right and understands this is key to building public trust and confidence in the health system.
“These clinical performance metrics provide a snapshot of the current challenges in our health system,” Dr Sullivan says.
“Our workforce and the capacity of our primary care and hospital system are still feeling the ripple effects of COVID-19. The pandemic had a significant impact on our waitlists and our workforce, as it did globally.”
During the pandemic, operation and procedure numbers were lower than usual and waitlists grew. People weren’t often seen as quickly as they had been pre-COVID due to isolation measures to protect our most vulnerable and more sickness in our workforce. Workaround logistics to keep people safe meant the system had to adapt to an unprecedented situation, at pace.
Since then, we have seen significant increases in demand for a range of services.
“There has been increased emergency department presentations and patient complexity, a surge in the number of young people needing mental health support, and the volume of treatments and outpatient appointments for cancer services has increased an average of 1.7% a year.”
While demand has increased, Te Whatu Ora is delivering more healthcare services. There has been an increase in planned care, particularly for those people who have been waiting more than 365 days to receive the care they need.
Our immediate focus is on acute patients and those who have been waiting the longest for treatment, and we know this is making a difference.
“In the year to June 2023, we delivered 316,286 planned care interventions compared to 297,265 in the year to June 2022. This equates to 19,021 more planned care treatments, a 6.4% increase on the previous year.”
At the same time, we are focused on building a cohesive national health system that provides consistent, high-quality health services for all people. Modernisation of service delivery models, workforce practice and investment in facility and digital infrastructure, as well as optimising the capacity of existing services and facilities, are essential to support an affordable public health system and a considerable amount of work is underway to advance these goals.
“We are continuing to deepen our understanding of what these performance metrics mean, and the challenges we face as a system and what we need to do to improve.”
We are currently not reporting on clinical metric 12 – Emergency Department Admissions – due to ongoing challenges with validating the data used to produce this metric. We are working to gain consensus on a meaningful definition for this metric, so we can ensure it is applied consistently throughout the motū.
Prior to the establishment of Te Whatu Ora, health system performance was reported by Manatū Hauora and individual District Health Boards.