Proud and honoured were just some of the feelings of Enliven Care team members when they won the supreme Hawke's Bay health award last week.
Enliven won the Royston Hospital Supreme Award for "Improving Medication Safety with Key Support Workers", as well as the Commitment to Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Award, sponsored by BAND.
The supreme award is the highest possible accolade in the annual event and Enliven older people services manager Debbie Bakkerus said it was a testament to team work and a dedication to clients.
Her team wanted to improve the way they supported and managed complex older patients in their homes, so they trialled a new patient management system focusing on medication safety and reducing medication-related incidents.
"The more complex the client, the greater likelihood of medication incidents occurring, so we needed to find new ways to not only better manage complex patients, but provide better support systems for our key support workers - a large workforce in our community who are delegated medication tasks from registered nurses."
Enliven created the medication safety-based solution and then senior key support workers established an "area-based medication run", with the focus solely on medication only for the client, significantly reducing distractions in the process.
Under the direction of Enliven clinical manager Kath Johnson, the medication run trial reduced the number of incidents in all medication categories such as oversight, lock box management, client and medication pharmacy.
The trial then became standard practice in October 2017. Feedback from staff, clients and whānau has been positive.
The positive flow-on effect continued as the Enliven call centre received a reduction in call centre demands.
Health and Disability Auditing New Zealand (HDNZ) also commended the process as an innovative quality improvement initiative to enhance patient safety that should be showcased in national quality forms.
"Everyone was involved in the change and this is because the safety and wellbeing of our clients is important to all of us."
Presbyterian Support East Coast chief executive Sanja Majstorovic also expressed her pride for the Enliven team.
"Our support workers are committed to high standards and improvement in service delivery. The award encourages us to continue to listen to clients and whānau, try new ideas and measure the positive difference."
Hawke's Bay District Health Board's commissioning lead for health of older people Stewart Eadie said Enliven was an innovative provider of aged-care services.
"They are always looking for ways to improve on what they do, so older people are able to manage their lives and live independently in their own homes for longer. This award shows that, more often than not, what may seem like relatively small changes can make a significant difference to the quality of care.
It was great to see the standing ovation the team received when they were announced as supreme award winner at the Hawke's Bay Health Awards. It was recognition from their colleagues for their hard work and commitment to improving care for older people. It was well deserved," he said.