Cervical screening included in new PHO quality and performance measures

Image of three women
Having the target will help ensure DHBs, PHOs and GPs continue their strong focus on cervical screening.
Cervical screening is one of five measures of the new Integrated Performance and Incentive Framework (IPIF) for Primary Health Organisations (PHOs) that begins on 1 July. The coverage target for cervical screening is 80 percent for women aged 20 to 70.

The Ministry of Health and district health boards contract with a variety of cervical screening service providers across the country, from health promotion to treatment. National Cervical Screening Programme (NCSP) Clinical Leader, Dr Hazel Lewis, says the three-year NCSP coverage rate for women aged 25 to 69 years was 77 percent in December 2013, just short of the 80 percent target set for December 2014.

‘Having this 80 percent target confirmed in the new performance measures for PHOs will help ensure DHBs, PHOs and GPs continue their strong focus on cervical screening.’

The IPIF is a quality improvement and performance improvement programme that replaces the current PHO Performance Programme (PPP). It will support the health system to address equity, safety, quality, access and cost of services. It will ultimately measure how the whole system is performing and how each part of the system contributes.

Breast screening coverage has been removed as a performance indicator. This change is no reflection on the importance of breast screening, rather a decision to refine the number of IPIF targets. The National Screening Unit (NSU) will be writing to PHOs with information about the changes.

Phase one is essentially a transition year from PPP to a more focused PHO performance programme while the IPIF is further developed. From 1 July, the following measures will be implemented:

  • cervical screening coverage (target 80 percent)
  • more heart and diabetes checks (target 90 percent) 
  • better help for smokers to quit (target 90 percent) 
  • increased immunisation rates at eight months old (target 95 percent) 
  • increased immunisation rates at two years old (target 95 percent).

All PHOs will be expected to meet and/or maintain performance at the national target by 30 June 2015. The $23 million budget for the PPP will remain, but realignment of rewards for performance will see changes in payments to PHOs/general practices, with cervical screening comprising 25 percent of the quarterly target payment.

The IPIF is being co-developed by clinicians, health sector leaders and the Ministry of Health. Phased implementation over several years will see increasing detail developed and there is a commitment for the framework to extend to cover a wider range of integrated health services.

More information can be found here.

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Page last updated: 27 June 2014