Enliven Intensive Home Support, a service of Presbyterian Support East Coast, is proud and honoured to have received not one but two awards at the Hawke’s Bay Health Awards on Friday, amongst other significant Hawke’s Bay health professionals.
Enliven won the Commitment to Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Award, sponsored by BAND, as well as the Royston Hospital Supreme Award for “Improving Medication Safety with Key Support Workers”.
The awards showcase outstanding work within the Hawke’s Bay’s health system with some of this year’s entries leading the country for innovation and clinical practice.
The Supreme Award is the highest possible accolade of the prestigious annual event and Enliven Older People Services Manager, Debbie Bakkerus, says it is a testament to team work and a dedication to clients.
Debbie’s team wanted to improve the way they support and manage 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,” Debbie says.
A literature review provided no creative ideas for tackling medication safety management for older people at home, so the Enliven team’s creative solution was to establish an area-based ‘medication run’ to be delivered by its most experienced Senior Key Support Workers (SKSW). The idea was to allow Key Support Workers to focus solely on medication only for the client which significantly reduced distractions in the process.
Under the direction of the Enliven Clinical Manager, Kath Johnson, the medication run trial reduced the number of incidents in all medication categories (medication administration, medication oversight, lock box management, medication – client and medication-pharmacy) and became standard Enliven practice in October 2017. Feedback from staff, as well as clients and their whanau, was extremely positive. Other positive flow-on effects included a reduction in Enliven call centre demands.
Health and Disability Auditing New Zealand (HDNZ) also commended the process as an innovative quality improvement initiative to improve patient safety that should be showcased in national quality forums.
“Everyone was involved in the change and this is because the safety and wellbeing of our clients is important to all of us,” Debbie says.
“An award of this calibre is an absolute honour. The award will be shared at our Support Worker celebration lunch on Wednesday so that everyone can share in the recognition.”
Presbyterian Support East Coast Chief Executive, Sanja Majstorovic says she is very proud of the Enliven team, who will continue to look at innovative ways to support staff in order to ensure the older community can live the lives they choose to at home.
“Our support workers are committed to high standards and improvement in service delivery. The award encourages us to continue to listen to clients and whanau, try new ideas and measure the positive difference.”
Presbyterian Support East Coast Social Services General Manager, Mary Wills, adds “Our growing ageing population requires us to use our workforce in different ways. Our support workers are looking forward to working in new ways with our clients and whanau, GPs, nurses and allied heath staff to support older people to remain in their own home.”