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Knowing when we get there: An investigation into measuring success in new health service interventions for older people in Te Whatu Ora – Waikato region

Background: Health services are dynamic and undergo significant and ongoing changes. The delivery of services to older people are no different and in many ways the changes are more dramatic as a consequence of the ageing population. Monitoring whether health services meet the needs of the individuals that they serve is important as without such knowledge, it is not possible to determine the success of the interventions. This research explores what does success look like from an older person’s perspective, the health professionals delivering that care, through to operational and executive managers. Objective: To explore the concept of success within health services for older people at Te Whatu Ora – Waikato. Participants: One-to-one interviews were held with stakeholders, from executive and operational management and operational health professionals (n=7); focus groups with needs assessor service coordinators (n=10) and home care support services (n=6); and patient surveys with older participants (n=67). Methods: Mixed methods research involving interviews and focus groups with stakeholders and surveys with older people receiving services. Interviews and focus groups were transcribed verbatim and later analysed using a general inductive method of enquiry to generate key themes. Surveys were analysed with descriptive statistics. Results: The strategic direction of the health services and anticipated outcomes were well communicated and widely consulted and consequently there appeared to be alignment of views from those health professionals involved. All believed that they were making a difference and felt personally rewarded by the role that they do and the contributions they make to the community, population in their care and individual patients. Measures of success focussed on the assessment of quality of life and wellbeing for the older person. This contrasted with the consumer perspective, who generally reported dissatisfaction with the services they received and on the whole their current quality of life. Conclusions: The research showed that health services tended to focus on an acute response and hospital services dominated conversations. There was little awareness of the need to assess the broader aspects of service delivery.
Type of thesis
The University of Waikato
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