The five South Island DHBs have implemented a management database as part of a quality improvement project for children with Type 1 diabetes. Supported by the South Island Alliance Child Heath Service Level Alliance, the Diabetes Patient Management System (DPMS) collects patient data and provides benchmarking for Australasian quality improvement reporting.
Dr Martin de Bock, Paediatric Endocrinologist for Canterbury DHB and West Coast DHB, says the system also helps with collecting data for workforce planning. “This is really important as we think about our diabetes services and what we’re likely to see in the future, so that we can plan for it appropriately. Without the data, you can’t measure that. So, this is an easy, designed-for-purpose model that allows us to carry out that forecasting.”
With a five-year national roll-out plan, the long-term goal is to ensure equitable care for all New Zealanders with type 1 diabetes, he says. “Wherever you live in the country, we want to make sure you can access timely, equitable care and still get the outcomes and support you deserve, no matter which DHB you belong to.”
Ben Wheeler, Chair of the paediatric type 1 diabetes working group, says benchmarking allows both staff and patients at each DHB to advocate for areas where there may be needed. “After asthma, type 1 diabetes is the most common chronic illness in childhood, so it’s an important illness to focus on, as most units haven’t had a diabetes database that has allowed the opportunity for benchmarking before. This will allow us to see how we’re doing, celebrate any successes, and begin standardising activities across DHBs, so that we’re all working towards the same goal – we’re really pleased with the progress we’ve made so far.”
Stephanie Read, Child Health Regional Programme Facilitator, South Island Alliance, says it took a dedicated working group, support from each of the South Island DHB IT teams and engagement from all the clinicians involved to get the database up and running in each DHB. “Ultimately, this will support the provision of consistent services to children with type 1 diabetes and their families across the South Island.”