Tāmaki Innovation Campus


IMPROVING COLLABORATION ACROSS THE HEALTH SECTOR


Dr Tim Tenbensel Dr Tim Tenbensel

Dr Tim Tenbensel has received a two-year grant from the Faculty Development Research Fund to delve into policy implementation of Ministry of Health initiatives aimed at improving health outcomes through greater collaboration between District Health Boards (DHBs) and Primary Health Organisations (PHOs).

The question, he says, is how well are they currently working together, and how could that be improved.  The policy, introduced in 2016, requires DHBs, and PHOs in their district, to collaboratively develop and implement plans to improve specified health outcomes, including avoidable hospitalisation for young children. These are outcomes that can be influenced by what our health services do.

As Head of the Health Systems Section in the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, and with a distinguished career in health policy research, Dr Tenbensel’s interests are being developed through the University of Auckland’s grants that aim to support staff research careers.

His project is “Implementing the System Level Measures policy framework for improving health system outcomes: Identifying early indicators of success and failure”.

He says the government’s new approach to measuring and managing performance of the publicly-funded health sector framework requires District Alliances (DAs) of District Health Boards and Primary Health Organisations to collaboratively develop and implement plans to improve specified health.

“This research aims to identify early indicators of implementation success and failure by comparing the collaborative governance and knowledge management capacity of New Zealand’s twenty DAs.”

Dr Tenbensel says research into early stage implementation is crucial to future understandings of the success and limitations of this novel approach to achieving improved health system performance.

“One key objective of this research is to develop more sophisticated ‘early warning systems’ of positive and negative implementation consequences, rather than having to wait three to five years.”