Ministry of Health Library Health Improvement and Innovation Digest

on 26 October

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Ministry of Health Library

Health Improvement and Innovation Digest

Issue 177 - 25 October 2018

Welcome to the fortnightly Health Improvement and Innovation Digest (formerly the HIIRC digest). The Digest has links to key evidence of interest, with access to new content arranged by topic.

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Have you heard about Grey Matter?

We'd like to introduce you to another newsletter that the Ministry of Health Library prepares.  The Grey Matter newsletter provides monthly access to a selection of recent NGO, Think Tank, and International Government reports related to health. Information is arranged by topic, allowing readers to quickly find their areas of interest.  If you'd like to subscribe to Grey Matter, email

Article access

For articles that aren't open access, contact your DHB library, or organisational or local library for assistance in accessing the full text. If your organisation has a subscription, you may be able to use the icon under full text links in PubMed to access the full article.


Quality Improvement (New Zealand)

Evaluation of the surgical site infection improvement programme: final report
Sapere Research Group was engaged by the Health Quality & Safety Commission to undertake an evaluation of the Surgical Site Infection Improvement Programme; their summative findings are presented in this report.

Maternity early warning system clinical communication tools
It is helpful that a standardised clinical communication tool is used in maternity services when communicating information in relation to a deteriorating or critically ill woman. This brief paper provided by the Health & Quality Safety Commission gives the example of a clinical communication tool used for maternity early warning systems.

Key features of palliative care service delivery to Indigenous peoples in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States: a comprehensive review   
The aim of this review, published in BMC Palliative Care, was to examine and learn from published studies on provision of culturally safe palliative care service delivery to Indigenous people in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States of America; and to compare Indigenous peoples' preferences, needs, opportunities and barriers to palliative care.


Quality Improvement (International)

In pursuit of quality and safety: an 8-year study of clinical peer review best practices in US hospitals
The objectives of this study, published in the International Journal for Quality in Health Care, were to gather normative data on the goals of clinical peer review, refine a best-practice model and related self-assessment inventory, and identify the interval progress towards best-practice adoption.


Hospital Productivity (New Zealand)

Is Lean sustainable in today's NHS hospitals? A systematic literature review using the meta-narrative and integrative methods  
Methodological variance and quality, heterogeneity of value and divergent approaches are reasons for the varied results of Lean interventions in healthcare despite ongoing global popularity. The aim of this review, published in the International Journal for Quality in Health Care, is to use an integrative approach to consider Lean's sustainability and the quality of available evidence in today's National Health Service (NHS).


Hospital Productivity (International)

Early availability of laboratory results increases same day ward discharge rates
Delayed discharge reduces hospital efficiency and inconveniences patients. Most hospitals discharge in the afternoon, whereas the most common admission time is mid-morning. Consequently, new patients wait for the beds of patients who are fit to be discharged. Earlier discharge may, therefore, improve patient flow. This study, published in Clinical Chemistry & Laboratory Medicine, investigated the impact of early phlebotomy with early availability of laboratory results on patient discharge rates and discharge time.


Primary Health Care (New Zealand)

Doctors and pharmacists provision and opinions of medicines information leaflets in New Zealand  
Providing verbal medicines information to patients may be insufficient. Providing medicine information leaflets could support verbal information, however New Zealand health professionals' opinions or use of leaflets is unknown. The objective of this study, published in the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy, was to examine self-reported provision and health professionals' views about medicine information leaflets and to determine their support for tailoring patient leaflets.


Primary Mental Health (New Zealand)

Improving the physical health of people living with mental illness in Australia and New Zealand
People diagnosed with mental illness have relatively poor physical health and die earlier than their counterparts in the general population. This article, published in the Australian Journal of Rural Health, reviews recent international, Australian and New Zealand research, identifies the increased risk of early death of people living with mental health issues in rural settings and looks at the need for policy and practice responses. The 'Equally Well' national initiatives in Australia and New Zealand are described.


Primary Mental Health (International)

Australia's innovation in youth mental health care: the headspace centre model
Headspace is Australia's innovation in youth mental healthcare and comprises the largest national network of enhanced primary care, youth mental health centres world-wide. Headspace centres aim to intervene early in the development of mental ill-health for young people aged 12 to 25 years by breaking down the barriers to service access experienced by adolescents and emerging adults and providing holistic healthcare. This paper, published in Early Intervention in Psychiatry, provides a detailed overview of the 16 core components of the headspace centre model.


Increased Immunisation (International)

Midwives' attitudes, beliefs and concerns about childhood vaccination: a review of the global literature
Vaccine hesitancy in industrialised countries is an area of concern. Health professionals play a significant role in parental vaccination decisions, however, to date the role of midwives has not been widely explored. This review, published in Vaccine, sought to describe the attitudes and communication practices of midwives in developed countries towards childhood vaccines.


Better Help for Smokers to Quit (New Zealand)

Impact of increasing tobacco taxes on working-age adults: short-term health gain, health equity and cost savings
The health gains and cost savings from tobacco tax increase peak many decades into the future. Policy-makers may take a shorter-term perspective and be particularly interested in the health of working-age adults (given their role in economic productivity). This study, published in Tobacco Control, estimated the impact of tobacco taxes in this population within a 10-year horizon.


Better Help for Smokers to Quit (International)

Interventions for smoking cessation in patients admitted with Acute Coronary Syndrome: a review
Tobacco smoking contributes to about six million deaths per year and is predicted to increase in the future. The objective of this report, published in the Postgraduate Medical Journal, is to review the results of studies on interventions used for smoking cessation after an ACS.

Cost-effectiveness of tobacco control policies and programmes targeting adolescents: a systematic review
Consistent evidence shows the importance of preventing smoking at young ages, when health behaviours are formed, with long-term consequences on health and survival. This study, published in the European Journal of Public Health, performed a systematic review on the cost-effectiveness of policies and programmes preventing tobacco consumption targeting adolescents.


Childhood Obesity (New Zealand)

Early maternal feeding practices: associations with overweight later in childhood
Current understanding of the impact of maternal feeding practices on weight outcomes in young children remains unclear given equivocal longitudinal study outcomes. The objectives of this study, published in Appetite, were to determine whether feeding practices used by mothers when their child was less than 2 years of age were related to overweight status at ages 3.5 and 5 years in a large cross-country sample; and investigate whether these associations were moderated by weight status in early life.


Childhood Obesity (International)

Tackling the consumption of high sugar products among children and adolescents in the Pacific Islands: implications for future research
The Pacific Islands are experiencing an obesity epidemic with a rate of overweight and obesity as high as 80% among adults in some Pacific Island nations. Traditional diets in the Pacific Islands are being supplemented with processed, high-sugar foods and beverages. This review, published in Healthcare, aims to evaluate interventions targeting the consumption of high-sugar products among children and adolescents in the Pacific Islands.

Interventions for treating children and adolescents with overweight and obesity: an overview of Cochrane reviews
Children and adolescents with overweight and obesity are a global health concern. This study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, is an integrative overview of six Cochrane systematic reviews, providing an up-to-date synthesis of the evidence examining interventions for the treatment of children and adolescents with overweight or obesity.

Risk factors and implications of childhood obesity
This review, published in Current Obesity Reports, summarizes our current understanding of factors associated with childhood obesity, including latest prevalence rates, effectiveness of intervention strategies, and risk for concomitant disease later in life.


Oral Health (International)

Can a brief psychological intervention improve oral health behaviour? A randomised controlled trial
Dental caries is a major public health issue affecting a large proportion of the general population. The disease is associated with behavioural factors and is thus preventable to a high degree. The aim of this study, published in BMC Oral Health, was to evaluate the effect of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a form of cognitive behavioural therapy, on oral health behaviour in young adults with poor oral health.


Key Ministry of Health Publications

Annual Report for the year ended 30 June 2018
New Zealand has one of the best public health systems in the world. Like any effective system, ongoing improvement is needed to ensure it continues to be strong, responsive and sustainable, and can meet the needs of all New Zealanders in the future. The Ministry plays a fundamental role in achieving this.


The information available on or through this newsletter does not represent Ministry of Health policy. It is intended to provide general information to the health sector and the public, and is not intended to address specific circumstances of any particular individual or entity.


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