1 January 2009

Best quit smoking prompts

* Offering smokers help with stopping their habit every time they visit their primary health care team is a successful strategy recommended in a recent research report. The report by the Health Services Assessment Collaboration for the Ministry of Health looked at the evidence around the use of quit smoking programmes by GPs and nurses in primary care settings. “Modest” effects were identified from on-site training supported by efficient office systems or audit and feedback. A slightly better or “moderate” impact was identified for reminders – either simple or electronic – on a patient’s record noting that they are a smoker and should be offered advice on smoking cessation. Performance targets coupled with financial incentives were also found to increase cessation treatments. The summary of the research review and guidance on improving smoking cessation delivery by primary health care professionals and organisations is available on the Ministry of Health website.

Most cited research honoured

* New Zealand researchers were amongst the authors of one of the top 10 most cited papers published in the International Journal of Nursing Studies in recent years. Frances Hughes, adjunct AUT professor, and Nicola North, an associate professor at the University of Auckland, were two of the authors of the 2006 article ‘Nurse Turnover: A literature review’ which made the top 10 most cited articles for 2006-2008. The publishers awarded each of the nine authors a Top Cited certificate to mark the achievement.

Nurses – National Health Board

* Two current nurse leaders and a health leader who began his career as a nurse are among the 10 recently appointed members of the National Health Board. The board, to be chaired by former Treasury secretary Murray Horn, has been set up by the government as “part of a drive to improve frontline health services and better supervise the $10 billion of public health funding”. Health minister Tony Ryall said seven of the 10 new members were doctors and nurses as greater clinical leadership was required in the public health service as well as a “sharper national focus” on district health boards and the Ministry of Health working together. The nurse members are former NZNO president Marion Guy, Canterbury DHB executive director of nursing Mary Gordon and Hayden Wano – a chief executive of the Hauora Taranaki Primary Health Organisation. Guy is an experienced practice and emergency nurse who is also a director of the International Council of Nurses and elected member of the Bay of Plenty DHB. Gordon has been in her Canterbury role since 2002 and prior to that was director of nursing at South Auckland Health. Wano was a registered nurse and has been in health management for some time including being chair from 2000-2007 of the Taranaki District Health Board. The New Zealand Nurses’ Organisation has welcomed the strong nursing representation on the board which it saw as a positive step forward in building a nationally integrated health care service.