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Comment by Adam May on April 5, 2018 at 15:37

Medicines are important for managing many health conditions, but sometimes problems can occur. We discuss the different types of problems that can happen and provide useful tips to help you use medications safely.

Read more about Common medicine problems you can avoid

Comment by Adam May on April 5, 2018 at 15:35

Medicine safety tips you need to know

Medicines are great for keeping us well and maintaining our health; however, errors with or reactions to medications can have serious, even fatal, consequences. Learn how to use medicines wisely and keep everyone safe.

Discover more about medicine safety tips with Health Navigator

Comment by Adam May on April 5, 2018 at 15:29

Be medicine smart 

Your guide to using medicines safely

Who wants to take pills and potions every day? No one! But many of us have to take medicines to stay well, and some people, even to stay alive. This month there’s a national spotlight on safety and medicines.

A key part of medicine safety is knowing your medicines. Knowledge is power – the more you know, the less likely you are to make a mistake. Talking to your doctor is a great place to start building your knowledge. A few good questions to ask are:

  • What is my medicine called?
  • What is it for?
  • When and how do I take it?

To help you grow your knowledge, Health Navigator has developed a comprehensive section on medicine safety with loads of information about how to be medicine-smart. It includes advice on when and how to take medicines, side effects and other problems to watch out for, information on complementary and alternative medicine, and tips for taking medications at different life stages and situations and more. 

Read more on Health Navigators medicine use and safety guide and be medicine-smart.

Comment by Health Navigator NZ on April 17, 2013 at 12:27

Smoking Rates in NZ Teenagers

Smoking rates in NZ teens are continuing to decrease, according to recent results from the Year 10 Youth Snapshot Survey. This is the largest survey of youth smoking in New Zealand and samples around half of all Year 10 students each year.

   Key results:

  • 4.1% of all Year 10 students were daily smokers, a drop from 5.5% in 2010
  • This is the biggest year on year decline in youth daily smoking since 2003 to 2004
  • 8.2% of students were regular smokers (daily, weekly or monthly) in 2011, a drop from 10.0% in 2010.

To read more, view the report from the ASH website

Comment by Health Navigator NZ on May 16, 2012 at 21:04

Making Shared Decision Making a Reality - "No decision about me without me"

Kings Fund, July 2011      

This earlier report aims to clarify what is meant by the term shared decision-making, what skills and resources are required to implement it, and what action is needed to make this vision a reality.

The principle of shared decision-making in the context of a clinical consultation is that it should:

  • support patients to articulate their understanding of their condition and of what they hope treatment (or self-management support) will achieve
  • inform patients about their condition, about the treatment or support options available, and about the benefits and risks of each
  • ensure that patients and clinicians arrive at a decision based on mutual understanding of this information
  • record and implement the decision reached.

The report outlines the importance of communication skills and sets out how clinicians might approach consultations to arrive at shared decisions. It also suggests that tools that help patients in making decisions are just as important as guidelines for clinicians.

Read more by visiting the Kings Fund webpage.

Comment by Health Navigator NZ on May 16, 2012 at 21:00

Leading the Way to Shared Decision-Making

Health Foundation, February 2012

Two useful reports on shared decision-making are worth reading. The most recent one is a Summit Report - Leading the Way to Shared Decision-Making and was published in February by the Health Foundation. This report identifies four critical steps for the NHS Commissioning Board to make ‘no decision about me, without me’ a reality.

These are:
  1. The Board must engage in the development of a strong narrative for shared decision making
  2. The Board must inspire others to play their part
  3. The Board must invest in the development of robust and meaningful measures of patients’  involvement in their own care
  4. The Board must pro-actively encourage the changes in service provision necessary to meet different expectations.

Link to website and report

Comment by Health Navigator NZ on May 16, 2012 at 20:56

Evidence: Overcoming challenges to improving quality
Health Foundation, UK; April 2012

Published by the Health Foundation, UK, this report outlines lessons from their improvement programme evaluations over the last 10 years and sets this in the context of the broader academic literature.

The report highlights three themes and 10 challenges that typically affect improvement.

  • Theme 1: Design and planning
  • Theme 2: Organisational and institutional contexts, professions and leadership
  • Theme 3: Sustainability, spread and unintended consequences
  • Challenges: Convincing people there is a problem relevant to them; convincing them that the solution chosen is the right one; getting data collection and monitoring systems right; excess ambitions and ‘projectness’; organisational cultures, capacities and contexts; tribalism and lack of staff engagement; leadership; incentivising participation and ‘hard edges’; securing sustainability; and considering the side effects of change.

To read the report and suggested solutions

Comment by George Harding on September 18, 2010 at 23:14
Feldenkrais by Stephen Shafarman. I used Feldenkrais exercises to help me manage the pain from L4/L5/S1 spondililisthesis when all other treatment modalities failed. I have now been totally pain free for 5 years
Comment by Health Navigator NZ on May 30, 2010 at 22:58
Alleviating the Burden of Chronic Conditions in New Zealand - Executive Summary NZ Experts Perspectives, Generic Stocktake Analysis & Disease Specific Stocktake Analysis - OCt 2009. "Chronic illness is the leading cause of illness and death in New Zealand. Maori and Pacific peoples experience higher levels of chronic disease and at an earlier stage in life. Internationally there is recognition of the importance of a systems approach to health care to ensure improved outcomes."
This executive summary outlines key findings from three parts of the study: 1) semi structured interviews with experts around the country; 2) a generic stocktake questionnaire sent to the 21 District Health Boards, and 3) disease specific survey. To download and view ABCC NZ Study documents, visit
DHB Research Fund
Comment by Health Navigator NZ on May 30, 2010 at 22:43
Alleviating the Burden of Chronic Conditions NZ (ABCC NZ) Study have developed this workbook to highlight 10 key components for improving chronic care. Worth reviewing and considering how to apply to your organisation or region. For links to the other study resources, visit the
DHB Research Fund website
Comment by Health Navigator NZ on July 29, 2009 at 22:22
MasterClasses in Self Management
Link to the recent MasterClass presentations organised by the Minstry of Health and held throughout the country in June 09. Some interesting presentations to view.
Comment by Health Navigator NZ on July 27, 2009 at 9:34
Navigating Self Management is an excellent resource for organisations looking to implement self management programmes and approaches

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