Passport to better care.
Subject: Communication in medicine (Management)
Hospitals (Central service department)
Hospitals (Management)
Patients (Care and treatment)
Patients (Management)
Pub Date: 02/01/2012
Publication: Name: Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand Publisher: New Zealand Nurses' Organisation Audience: Trade Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health; Health care industry Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2012 New Zealand Nurses' Organisation ISSN: 1173-2032
Issue: Date: Feb, 2012 Source Volume: 18 Source Issue: 1
Topic: Event Code: 200 Management dynamics Computer Subject: Company business management
Geographic: Geographic Scope: New Zealand Geographic Code: 8NEWZ New Zealand
Accession Number: 282425932
Full Text: A pilot of the Health and Disability Commissioner's (HDC) Health Passport initiative has been completed at Capital and Coast and Hutt Valley District Health Boards (DHBs). The passport is now being introduced at Waitemata DHB, with two other DHBs in the planning stages.

According to HDC education manager Elizabeth Finn, a health passport is a booklet consumers can carry with them when attending hospitals or other health and disability service providers. It contains information consumers want people to know about how to communicate with and to support them.

"The health passport idea developed after the death of a severely disabled woman at Hutt Hospital in 2008. Her death was largely due to the staff not understanding her disability support needs. The patient's mother showed us a health passport being used by services in the United Kingdom and which is particularly designed for patients with intellectual and/or physical disabilities. The HDC decided to pick up the idea but to contextualise it to New Zealand."

The passport is filled in by the consumer or his/her family before a hospital admission. It contains a variety of information headings, including communication needs, physical requirements, next of kin relationships and personal likes/dislikes. It is designed as a patient-owned and patient-held document, for patients to use as they choose. Feedback from piloting the concept in Wellington and the Hutt Valley has shown the document to be valuable.

Finn believes nurses are key to the document's use. "We have had requests from all around the country from people wanting to use it. However, hospitals need to be empowered first, before the passport can be used effectively. We need to build awareness of the document, so hospitals and staff take ownership of it and work out how best they can use it in their particular setting. Introducing something new is always a bit of a challenge."

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Gale Copyright: Copyright 2012 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.