Te auahatanga

Forté wins prestigious health industry award for diabetes initiative

21st March 2023

Forté has again taken out one of the top titles at the ‘Leaders in Quality’ Awards for its shared-care initiative for patients with diabetes.

The Awards, run by the New Zealand Private Surgical Hospitals Association, were announced at a gala dinner on Thursday 16 March. Forté won the clinical category of the Awards for its development and implementation of a shared-care, patient-centred approach to diabetes management. It’s the second time Forté has won the ‘Leaders in Quality’ Award, first receiving it in 2021 for its paediatric initiatives.

Forté Health CEO Rachel Hillyer says to take home this prestigious Award for the second time is an honour.

“We are constantly striving to provide the very best patient care and experience and we couldn’t do it without our incredible team. This diabetes project is industry leading and now it’s Award-winning. We couldn’t be prouder,” says Rachel.

The diabetes initiative was led by Forté’s Post Anaesthetic Care Unit Manager Dorothy Gelens, who identified an opportunity to improve the care of patients with diabetes and had the commitment and dedication to pursue change.

“What Dorothy and her team achieved is a New Zealand first and is a testament to their commitment to our values of innovation and patient-centred care. We are delighted Dorothy’s vision, determination and hard-work has been recognised through this Award,” says Rachel.

Forté’s new diabetes pathway starts before a patient even steps through its doors, with a pre-admissions nurse working with the patient to gain a thorough understanding of how they manage their diabetes and developing a shared-plan for how to continue that routine while in hospital. That plan is then shared with all those involved in the patient’s care including medical specialists and the post anaesthetic care and ward teams.

This new approach has been supported with staff education and the development of staff and patient resources on subjects such as new diabetes medications and technologies.

Dorothy Gelens says the result is that patients are supported to maintain control of their own diabetes management while in hospital, rather than handing that role to hospital staff.

“It’s exciting to be leading the way in the care of patients with diabetes, with Forté the first hospital in New Zealand to adopt this innovative, new approach. While we are delighted our work has been recognised through this ‘Leader in Quality’ Award, the best recognition we get is from our patients.

“We had one patient tell us that when hearing they needed surgery they were more worried about their diabetes than the surgery itself, but that they didn’t need to worry as they felt so well supported at Forté. Hearing feedback like that from patients is better than any Award, and makes me incredibly proud to be part of an innovative team dedicated to providing the very best hospital experience for our patients,” says Dorothy.

Forté Health would like to thank ACC, which supports innovative and quality healthcare through their sponsorship of the ‘Leaders in Quality’ Awards.

Photo above, from left to right: Forté Clinical Risk Safety Quality Manager Robyn Cumings, Forté PACU Manager Dorothy Gelens, ACC Deputy Chief Executive Prevention and Partnerships Tane Cassidy, Forté HR Manager Kate Kennedy, Forté Chief Executive Rachel Hillyer.