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Student: Monique Scott
Supervisors: Ms. Suzanne Pitama, Ms. Kay Poulsen
Sponsor: The Canterbury Medical Research Foundation

In the past the New Zealand Publicly Funded Secondary Sector relied on waiting lists to manage the supply and demand of elective services for patients requiring non-urgent procedures. In May 2003, the Canterbury District Health Board implemented the new Ministry of Health booking system. These changes endeavoured to improve the existing elective services by providing healthcare to patients based primarily on their level of need. This meant that for 7146 patients, whose priority for surgery or treatment remained high, but for whom certainty within six months was not possible, were placed in a status of Active Review. This study aimed to review the experiences of 120 of these patients using telephone and postal surveys. Preliminary analysis was undertaken firstly using the Active Review database, and later using data from completed surveys. It was found that some patients were dissatisfied with the Active Review system due to confusion surrounding the changes that occurred. A number of recommendations were made to ensure that future communications with patients would be two-way and accurate, unambiguous information is provided to all those patients waiting in Active Review.

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