Celebrating Health Excellence - Chest Pain Research Wins Awards

The Quality Improvement and Innovation Awards were introduced in 2003 to recognise, reward and publicly acknowledge the excellent quality improvements and innovations taking place within the Canterbury Health System. The awards are open to all Canterbury DHB staff and providers whose services are funded by Canterbury DHB.​


Together with the CDHB, the Emergency Care Foundation has contributed funding (mainly for staff time) for a series of research projects incorporated into the overall study "Improving Care Processes for Patients with Possible Acute Coronary Syndrome".


Ultimately, the project has resulted in safe and earlier discharge back to primary care for many more patients, reduced patient anxiety, mitigated ED overcrowding, and reduced unnecessary admissions and healthcare spending. The success of the Christchurch experience led to a Ministry of Health (MoH) initiative to implement an ADP for suspected ischemic heart disease into the Regional Service Frameworks. The ICARE-ACS team have been involved supporting and monitoring ADP implementation throughout the country and are currently planning the next iteration of the ADP within Christchurch and for regional hospitals.


The ADP developed by the ICARE-ACS team has proven safe and effective at expediting the investigation of patients with possible heart attacks. The process has become well embedded locally with further implementation across New Zealand and internationally.



Canterbury Health System 2016 Quality Improvement and Innovation Awards won:


Best Value for Public Health System Resources


Supreme Award 

from CDHB Media Release: 

The Canterbury Health System has celebrated an outstanding calibre of entries to the Quality Improvement and Innovation Awards this week. 

The annual awards were held on Monday (October 31, 2016) to acknowledge excellence in the sector.

David Meates, Canterbury DHB Chief Executive, says it's one of his favourite times of year – where the remarkable work of health system staff is recognised. 

"I'm incredibly proud of the amazing efforts of everyone involved. I congratulate the entrants of this year's awards and want to publicly acknowledge them for their continuous commitment and dedication to making our health system better. 

"The courage to be innovative is rarely easy in health. Canterbury is fortunate to have broken down many of the barriers through better integration and encouraging people to do the right thing.

"Doing the right thing inspires innovation and drives improvement. That, and our focus on patients, is what makes our health system great."

Winners of this year's Supreme Award at the 2016 Canterbury Health System Quality Improvement and Innovation Awards, the team behind Improving Care Processes for Patients with Possible Acute Coronary Syndrome, has done an amazing job to improve patient care across the system. This entry also took out the Award in the Best Value for Public Health System Resources category.

"The team developed a much more efficient way of ruling out heart attacks in patients presenting with chest pain to ED. It has been such a successful innovation it's been picked up and implemented in other EDs around the country and internationally – something Canterbury can be really proud of." 

Accelerated Chest Pain Pathway implementation


Following randomised controlled trials funded through New Zealand Health Research Council grants in 2007 and 2012, the EDACS (Emergency Department Assessment of Chest Pain Score) accelerated diagnostic pathway has been implemented in 23 of 25 District Health Boards around New Zealand. The pathway has demonstrated more patients can be safely discharged within a shorter time - good news for anxious patients and for busy emergency departments.




The emergency care foundation provides funding support and staffing to help the Rhise group in its research efforts.


The ECF has also provided funds and staff time to help with the development and submission of grant applications to the New Zealand Health Research Council and the Heart Foundation of New Zealand. The careful use of small amounts of funding of staff time has led to almost 2 ½ million dollars’ worth of grant funding towards research into heart attacks.