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More time released back to patient care through Releasing Time to Care-Productive Ward programme

Many patients at Waikato DHB are experiencing a near 30 per cent increase in direct care-time thanks to the Releasing Time to Care -The Productive Ward programme

Project manager Vin Kaur said Releasing Time to Care -The Productive Ward focuses on improving ward processes and environments to help nurses and therapists spend more time on patient care.

“Releasing Time to Care -The Productive Ward programmeempowers staff to look at how processes such as medicine administration and management, ward rounds and handover process; strip out what is stopping those processes from being better; and release staff from activities that prevent them from direct patient care.

Since the programme’s implementation bedside care has increased, on average, from 30 per cent to 47 per cent for each eight hour shift, and in some cases up to 60 per cent.

Waikato DHB has also implemented The Productive Mental Health Ward programme, which is similar to The Productive Ward programme but modified to suit the mental health environment. Only three other DHBs in NZ are currently implementing Productive Mental Health Ward programme.

A number of wards have been recognised by the DHB throughout the year for their commitment to the programme.

“NICU has been one of the most proactive participants of the Releasing Time to Care -The Productive Ward programme, having undertaken more than 10 projects since February this year,’ Vin said.

“Ward 34 is implementing The Productive Mental Health Ward programme. It has successfully used its ‘Releasing Time to Care’ focus board to inform staff and service users about the programme and progress made. Everything on Releasing Time to Care is displayed on the board.

“Many of our other wards have championed Releasing Time to Care -The Productive Ward programme; showcasing in various ways that the programme does work. It empowers staff to make changes to processes and frees up time for patient care; thereby improving safety and efficiency,” she said.

The programme, developed by the British National Health System, has been in progress at Waikato DHB since 2008 and is now being implemented in all inpatient areas and some outpatient departments at Waikato Hospital, Te Kuiti Hospital and Thames Hospital.

ENDS

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