Pinnacle group’s vision is to deliver primary care that supports all people to thrive by realising their health and wellbeing potential.
As part of the group, Ventures exists to help create a better health deal – looking to the future to design and deliver primary health services in a better way. Under chief executive Christine Hall’s leadership, Ventures is now focused on two key areas: not for profit ownership of a network of practices via Primary Health Care Ltd, and maximising the potential of technology to enable better health outcomes. “We’ve consolidated our business to strengthen service delivery in the areas that deliver the most value,” says Christine.
Christine believes there is huge opportunity to improve the way primary care is delivered, particularly in the current environment of health system reform. “If we truly want health equity for all, we need to get serious about being more patient centred. Changing traditional thinking isn’t easy but it’s what we need to do to address unmet need and achieve better outcomes.”
“We’re not alone in our vision for a future where everyone has access to affordable primary care services, delivered in the community of their choice and targeted to their unique needs. We believe in making it easier for people to access a range of practitioners, alone or with whānau, and to feel safe knowing their care will be culturally appropriate. Fit-for-purpose technology should enable tūroro (patients) and practitioners to seamlessly share information to support a multi-disciplinary or wrap around approach to wellbeing.”
“There are challenges to achieving that vision, but it’s not such a lofty goal. We know some practices in the network are already there. For Primary Health Care Ltd (PHCL), collective ownership of our practices has ensured continuity of primary health services in a range of communities and given us scope to improve and standardise service delivery towards achieving our goals.”
“It’s about kaitiakitanga,” says Christine. “We’re applying everything we know to nurture our practices and ensure a sustainable general practice network. There’s a lot to balance – the drive for continual innovation, funding pressures, recruitment and a rapidly ageing GP workforce, to name a few.”
Over the past year Dianne Mulhern, PHCL general manager, has worked to consolidate systems, policies and processes across the practices. “We needed everyone to focus on doing the right things, and standardising the nuts and bolts of business as usual has created efficiencies that allow us to do that,” says Dianne, whose fixed-term contract ends on 30 June. PHCL is a not-for-profit business and any surpluses generated are reinvested into improving patient care and providing a succession pathway for practice owners looking to exit their practice.
Ventures has also entered a joint partnership with K’aute Pasifika Trust to deliver holistic wellbeing services as part of New Zealand’s first Pan Pacific hub, based in Hamilton. “Working together is going to achieve better health and social outcomes for Pasifika and Māori,” explains Christine. Primary care services will be delivered by PHCL, integrating with and complementing K’aute Pasifika’s existing suite of wrap around services, delivered from the purpose-built facility, home visits and community outreach. “It’s going to turn the traditional model of care on its head, and we can’t wait to see its impact,” says Christine.
Having the right infrastructure in place is key, and Ventures leadership in technology positions practice staff to have more time to care and connect with people. “We’re continuing to support practices to use indici practice management system effectively, and we’ve seen the value in removing phone calls and admin tasks from the front desk by our Patient Access Centre,” says Christine.
Ventures is 100 per cent owned by Pinnacle Incorporated and has its strategic direction set by the Pinnacle Ventures board, whose members also sit on the combined Pinnacle Incorporated and Midlands Health Network board. The boards represent and promote the interests of Pinnacle members, ensuring business activity is aligned and adds long-term value to the network.