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Immunisation initiative wins Best of Health innovation award

A Population Health immunisation initiative looking at immunising children opportunistically in hospital and health settings, has won a top prize in the Waikato District Health Board Best of Health Awards tonight.

The project, titled, ‘Opportunities taken: The need for, and effectiveness of secondary care opportunistic immunisation’, took out the innovation category, up against nine other entries.

The Best of Health Awards were first introduced in 2003 to recognise and reward the excellent health initiatives that had taken place across the Waikato.

They were held again in 2004, 2006 and 2008. The aim of the awards is to share valuable health information and showcase best practice.

This year, the awards received 36 entries from throughout the Waikato health sector, including entries from primary care, Waikato District Health Board and non-Government organisations (NGOs).

Some 180 guests gathered at the Wintec House Atrium from 6pm today to attend the awards ceremony, MC’d by TV personality Kay Gregory.

The four category prizes up for grabs were:

  • Innovation – won by Population Health for their project: ‘Opportunities Taken: The need for, and effectiveness of secondary care opportunistic immunisation
  • Patient outcome – won by Sport Waikato for their entry: Project Energize
  • Process improvement – won by Waikato Hospital for their project: The Waikato Hospital delivery and capacity planning project; and
  • Collaboration – won by Midlands Health Network for their project: eReferral best practice generic template roll out to Waikato DHB general practices

The purpose of the innovation category is to recognise and reward those who develop new or greatly improved models of care or service delivery for the greater benefit of patients and / or providers.

A selection of DHB and primary care staff judged each of these, which came with prize money of $1500 each.

The overall prize was worth $3000 and claimed by overall winner Project Energize.

A brief description of the project

International research has shown that opportunistic immunisation in a hospital setting has potential, but there is little evidence that this potential is achievable and has never been implemented in either a New Zealand or Australian hospital setting.

Children attending hospital include a significant proportion that is under-immunised. Opportunistic immunisation has potential to improve immunisation coverage, but has not been shown to do so.

With this project, the team showed that children presenting to hospital are more likely to be under immunised than the general population, and that these children are more likely to be the socially and economically disadvantaged.

Immunisation coverage has increased dramatically across the Waikato region during the period of this project, and the Hospital Opportunistic Immunisation Service has been a big part of this.

Rates of children presenting to hospital with less than full immunisation status has been dramatically reduced as a result.

Judges comments

The judges commented that this project was clearly innovative and shows clear, strong clinical leadership. They said the project lead was able to enthuse others and that a great team effort was very apparent.

They said it was a huge amount of work to undertake and that the team showed strong motivation.

“It is a well implemented initiative and therefore sustainable.”

Other projects that received honourable mentions at the awards were:

  • Community pharmacy anticoagulation management service from Pharmacy 547
  • The Waihi Project (family violence) from Population Health, Waikato DHB
  • Waikato virtual lesion clinic from Waikato DHB’s Dermatology Department; and
  • from Waikato Immunisation Stakeholders Group

ENDS

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