Towards quality Pacific services: the development of a service self-evaluation tool for Pacific addiction services in New Zealand

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ObjectivesTo describe the development and use of a quality improvement service self-evaluation tool within Pacific addiction services in New Zealand.MethodsThe study involved two phases: (i) a development phase; and (ii) a testing phase. In Phase I, a preliminary tool was developed and piloted with two Pacific addiction drugs services. It was modified to reduce the number of statements, aligning the statements with the National Sector Standards and incorporating Pacific concepts, themes and motifs that underlie the practices of Pacific providers. In Phase II the resulting tool, named Potalanoa, was then tested in four Pacific addiction treatment services. All services provided feedback on the user acceptability and feasibility of the tool, usefulness and adaptability of the tool to specific service settings.ResultsThe participating services generally found the evaluation tool to be understandable, acceptable and useful. Each service provider demonstrated varied use or implementation strategies for Potalanoa with a general consensus that incorporating the evaluation process within existing team meetings would be ideal. The involvement of all staff within a group setting was also found to be an essential part of the process and a trained facilitator helped with the flow of discussion.ConclusionsThe study found that there is a need for an evaluation tool for the provision of quality services. For Pacific services it was important that the tool recognize and capture the Pacific approaches utilized in their service delivery. Overall the tool was found to be acceptable and feasible to use, assisted services to identify areas of achievement and to prioritize areas requiring improvement and was adaptable to ‘real world’ Pacific addiction treatment settings in New Zealand.

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