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Volume 11, Issue 5 – October 2017

Clinician Connect

CHR School Graduation Ceremony

Guest Editorial

Dealing with PETER

Patient centric care, person centred care, we’ve all heard the many and varied terms and acronyms concerned with this topic.  As the CEO of Diabetes NSW & ACT, I spend a lot of my time speaking with a wide range of health professionals, the 440,000 people in NSW diagnosed with diabetes and numerous people who interact with the health system on a regular basis.

I have yet to meet a health professional who strives to deliver poor “customer” service” and yet I have multiple accounts from customers of very poor service.  The different perspectives are interesting and informative.  At the highest level there is often a disconnect in knowledge and a disconnect in expectations.

Whilst we all believe we provide excellent customer service, sometimes it is useful to get back to basics with PETER.

Plain English

Most industries have their own language and health is no different. There are a myriad of terms and acronyms that are second nature to the health professional that mean absolutely nothing to the lay person.  Think of some of the terms commonly used when discussing diabetes – HBa1C, Ketosis, Neuropathy, Glycaemic excursions, Polydipsia, Post prandial, Retinopathy – these generally mean nothing or little to a patient and are not helpful unless explained clearly and simply in everyday language.

Patients don’t want to seem stupid so they will nod and agree even though, they may have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.  Use our level and type of language.  We are not health professionals.

Event

To the health professional, each patient is often just one small part of their very busy day.  But to us, this is THE event of our day and perhaps of the year or indeed our life - particularly if we’re in hospital and facing an operation.

While to you it’s a normal everyday part of your job, it’s a big deal to us and we are often sick, scared and vulnerable. What we need from you is support and someone to hold our hand, so to speak, while we go through the process.

Trust

All strong relationships are built on trust and respect and it’s no different when it comes to health professionals and their patients.

We come to you because we need help. You have the white coat, you are the expert with the knowledge and capability to help us get well and we trust you will do your best to make this happen.  That’s why, when we are with you, we need your full attention.  We should never feel like a number or be made to feel inferior by your words or actions.  We have no understanding of your budget, staffing issues, protocols, rules but wherever possible we would like to feel that our situation is as important to you, as it is to us.

Often we have nowhere else to go, we trust you, please don’t let us down.

End to End

Successful businesses know that a great customer experience is not just about the sale or transaction, rather it’s about every related interaction before, during and after the event that has an influence on their decision.

People (external to the system) generally think the health system is highly organised and co-ordinated.  That patient care is looked at holistically and departments and specialities are co-ordinated and share information to support the best treatment outcome.  For the man on the street departmental demarcations, funding and role boundaries are invisible.  For us it is not just the consult or the procedure it’s about getting there, the waiting rooms, directions, discharge delays, knowing what comes next.  It is not just the medical intervention, it is the entire end to end experience.

Respect

Some of us are more equal than others, some of us have not had the benefit of a good education and some of us are not part of the “lucky country”.  For many of us health is complex and can be difficult to discuss.  Age, ethnicity, education, illness and life experience all influence our level of comfort in different situations.  Remember, we come to you for your help; we don’t want to feel judged. Too often, I hear that the type 2 diabetes patient is made to feel like – it’s their fault. That they bought it on themselves – thisoftenis not actually the case and it is never helpful for anyone.

Respect our time and that includes the time we spend finding a park or sitting in the waiting room.  Respect our need to stay informed regarding next steps.  So often, we are left to wait without explanation. What is happening around you is a normal part of your day but to us it is completely foreign.

In many cases the health system is not subject to service related competitive forces, but it is bounded by budgetary envelopes that continually ask for more from less. Customers, in many cases are unable to access alternative providers even if they want to.  Even when the service is poor, we keep turning up.  Regardless of the various issues, the customer experience could be improved if PETER was consulted from time to time.

Chief Executive Comment

Jean-Frederic Levesque

Dr Jean-Frédéric Levesque

[(Ideas + Insights + Implementation) / Added Value = Healthcare innovation]

What is innovation?

Innovation is often defined as the combination of ideas and insights that generate increased social value. In healthcare, this definition could be transposed to mean that innovation is the combination of clinical ideas with organisational insights that increase value for patients and more broadly for the system.

For patients, innovation can mean applying new clinical ideas to the insights coming from current assessments of their experience of care to improve their journey and ultimately the outcomes they get out of the care they receive.

For the system, innovation can mean applying new ideas about how to organise care to the insights provided by assessing the efficiency of clinical delivery of care to improve the amount and variety of services provided for the amount of resources invested, often generating better coverage and access to healthcare for all.

An organisation for innovation

It is with these definitions in mind that I embark on a journey with the various teams of the Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) and all of our partners across NSW Health. The ACI’s strength is its multiple years of engagement with clinicians and consumers to identify best practice and new ways to provide healthcare. We have also seen a strong refinement in the ACI’s services aimed at supporting the redesign of healthcare and in assessing the potential impact and benefits of implementing pilots, spreading innovations, and the scaling up of established models.

However the work to accomplish remains considerable, given the ongoing changes to health and healthcare in the state. As we see population growth and ageing in many areas, constant therapeutic developments and improvements in the science of healthcare delivery, as well as various challenges related to the availability of human and financial resources, the need for clinical innovation remains more significant than ever.

In a context where NSW Health invests a significant amount of resources in its knowledge organisations, the Pillars, we have an increasing responsibility of continuous improvement to bring insights to our processes and the developments of innovations. Sometimes, the ACI will need to document health needs and healthcare gaps to assess the potential of currently emerging innovations. At other times, it will have to stimulate innovations to address well-documented issues. It is as crucial to be able to identify solutions to problems as it is to be able to justify the investments in new ways to work. Not all technological advancements may need system investments. Not all problems will spontaneously see a solution emerge.

This is why ACI has a crucial role in being the link between the clinical space and the policy space to ensure that we can collectively address issues that are affecting our capacity to deliver world-class health care, or our efficiency in how we use available public funds and that we proactively seek new ideas to ongoing issues. But it is also crucial that we rigorously assess and evaluate new models and emerging ideas so that only those that demonstrate benefits get to the next stages of implementation and funding.

A context of personalisation of healthcare

This will be especially crucial in a context where healthcare is about to change. Significant developments to the science of genomics will force us to revise what is best practice and what is the role of guidelines and pathways in an environment where we will increasingly be able to tailor our care for each patient, according to what will be the appropriate treatment for this person. How this will be embedded in the delivery of care, given the pressures already faced by frontline staff and services will require our careful assessment.

The personalisation of healthcare will also not be limited to the impact of technology. Expectations are changing and the increase in capacity to treat conditions that were previously beyond the reach of healthcare means that patients and their care givers will need to be involved increasingly in their care. This will be both in terms of making decisions about what constitutes the right treatment for them, the right setting and the right level of involvement in their own care, but also in assessing the successes of treatments so that patient-reported and care-giver reported measures will complement medical assessments and tests.

To a great extent, the era of timeliness and technical proficiency of care, where indicators focused on wait times and safety of services, is increasingly replaced by the era of choice and appropriateness, where measures of involvement and decisions about what is clinically indicated for patients become prominent. For clinical providers, this could reveal clashes between guidelines and patients decisions. For systems, it may mean ensuring more options and revised processes to ensure person-centred care; the right care, the right way, the right amount.

A context of automation and "artificialisation" of intelligence

Finally, important changes are to be expected in the next few years as artificial intelligence tools are implemented in healthcare sectors, providing both disruptions in terms of how we plan, manage and evaluate health care, and in terms of how machines are involved in the delivery of actual services. Virtual consultations and care-givers, clinical and management analytics, wearables, and implementable devices are all examples of technologies that will challenge healthcare, as they do not only redefine what care is and what it can treat, but also future needs for workforce.

This is also a significant transition for clinicians and health systems. Technology is not expected to remain an information support for clinical decisions, but will increasingly proceed to clinical decisions. Technology is not expected to provide the required information for managers' planning and allocative decisions, but will increasingly be embedded in those decisions through algorithms. How we manage the introduction of these innovations in real delivery systems in the next decade will determine how we are able to harness their potential and manage their risk.

Innovating about innovations 

It is with great enthusiasm, but also with humility, that I have accepted the challenge to lead the Agency for Clinical Innovation through the next few years in this period of change. This context will force us all to innovate in how we support the system to identify, develop, assess, and implement innovations. It is a great honour to be tasked with the responsibility to work with everyone to make this happen, and I look forward to continuing to develop the capabilities of the ACI and building on the strong collaborative relationships we have across the system.

ACI Update

Leading Better Value Care (LBVC)

The ACI and the Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC) are supporting Local Health Districts (LHDs) with the implementation of Leading Better Value Care (LBVC) across NSW.

A set of Frequently Asked Questions regarding LBVC program has also been developed and is now available on the LBVC website.

Overview: Leading Better Value Care

What is LBVC?
The Leading Better Value Care (LBVC) Program is a program of work led by NSW Health to shift the focus from volume of services provided to the actual value that healthcare provides. As part of this program, value entails the outcomes for patients, the quality of their experience and those of people delivering services, and the efficiency of healthcare delivery. Leading better value care aims to achieve better health for patients, a better experience of receiving and delivering care and a better use of the financial resources invested.

LBVC is focused on what patients, clinicians and the public health system value: improving the health of individuals and communities, doing it safely, doing it efficiently and optimising the use of health system resources.

The program consists of the scaling up and rolling out of interventions and models of care (initiatives) that have been demonstrated to be effective but are not currently adopted everywhere. The LBVC program has identified eight initiatives, as part of the first tranche of work, that can support better value healthcare. These initiatives address conditions such as diabetes, musculoskeletal problems, renal failure, chronic pulmonary diseases, congestive heart failure and falls in hospitals, and are all existing initiatives of the ACI Clinical Networks or the CEC.

The eight initiatives are:

  1. Osteoarthritis Chronic Care Program (OACCP) - ACI
  2. Osteoporotic Refracture Prevention (ORP) – ACI
  3. Chronic Heart Failure (CHF) – ACI
  4. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – ACI
  5. Diabetes Mellitus - ACI
  6. Diabetes High Risk Foot (HRF) – ACI
  7. Renal Supportive Care (RSC) – ACI
  8. Falls in Hospital – CEC

A website and collaboration ‘hub’ space has been created to assist stakeholders to stay abreast of the latest developments in the LBVC program implementation – this can be accessed at www.eih.health.nsw.gov.au/lbvc.

What is the role of the ACI and CEC in LBVC?
The ACI and CEC, in collaboration with the Ministry, are working in partnership with LHDs and offer services to support the implementation of the eight initiatives under the LBVC program.

The ACI and CEC will support LHDs in a flexible and customisable manner to meet their local circumstances, with a range of both centralised and local support services offered.

The ACI will support LHDs with the implementation of seven of the eight interventions through:

  • Provision of tools to assess clinical practice against evidence-base and the readiness of services to adopt change; and support to analyse data and prioritise opportunities for quality improvement.
  • The presence of a team of clinical auditors to partner with LHDs to assess variation in inpatient care
  • Peer mentoring workshops
  • Capability development activities so that local leaders and implementers can be more effective agents of change
  • Redesign methodologies so that necessary changes to workflow and models of care are actioned to ensure that the interventions are implemented
  • Communication activities to support clinician understanding of the new ways to work and new requirements for better outcomes and experience for patients.

The CEC will support LHDs in driving safety and quality improvements in the care of older people in hospital; specifically helping to reduce falls and serious harm from falls.

The ACI will also lead the evaluation of the eight initiatives, assessing impact on patient outcomes and healthcare costs. Evaluation will enable:

  • Early learning from intervention implementation
  • Necessary adjustments to be made along the way
  • A summative assessment of the impact of the LBVC program to guide future policy and funding decisions.

The evaluation work piece is being led through the ACI’s Health Economics and Evaluation Team (HEET).

For more information on the LBVC Program and the eight Clinical Initiatives, visit the LBVC Implementation Website at www.eih.health.nsw.gov.au/lbvc

Aged Health

Aged Health Network

Improving outcomes for confused older people in hospital care

The ACI Aged Health Network’s Care of the Confused Hospitalised Older Persons (CHOPs) program was recently featured in the August/September edition of the Australian Journal of Dementia Care.

The overall aim of the CHOPs program is to improve the experiences and outcomes of confused older people in hospital. The program is a collaboration between the ACI and the NHMRC Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre (CDPC).

The CHOPs program also assists hospitals to implement the key principles developed to improve outcomes for older people admitted with, or at risk of developing, cognitive impairment.

The journal article summarises the implementation in three settings of phase one program sites- rural, regional and metropolitan. The formative evaluation of the program includes outcomes for carer experience, staff identification of cognitive impairment, and confidence managing the person with or at risk of cognitive impairment.

Also included in the article are two case studies; the first is from the CHOPs Broken Hill implementation which explains how the person centred Sunflower Communication Tool is used in far west NSW, while the second is from CHOPs Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital explaining how the program has been implemented in the hospital.

The Key Principles for Improving Healthcare Environments for People With Dementia is also featured promoting well-designed hospital environments.

The CHOPs program was initially funded by the Commonwealth Department of Veterans Affairs and subsequently funded by the NHMRC Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre.

For more information on the CHOPs program, visit the ACI website at www.aci.health.nsw.gov.au/chops.


The Sunflower Communication Tool used by staff at Broken Hill Health Service.
Provided by Eureka Van der Merwe

ACE CNC and patient enjoying a visit in the unit from Angel, the Labradoodle.
Provided by Sharon Strahand

Blood and Marrow Transplant Network

Blood and Marrow Transplant Network Manager

BMT Network Annual Symposium

The ACI Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) Network held its Annual Symposium on Friday, 8 September 2017. This forum provides an opportunity for multi-disciplinary BMT Network members to network, and to share experiences and knowledge.

The forum commenced with updates from the five BMT Network Groups, as well as on topics such as the ACI BMT Quality Management System, BMT events and education, and the Long Term Follow Up (LTFU) Co-Design Project. Key points of note included the Network’s work plans for 2017/2018, a call for abstracts for 2017 education Master Classes, the forthcoming establishment of an online collaborative portal, and the upcoming November LTFU Co-Design Workshop. The Australian Bone Marrow Transplant Recipient Registry (ABMTRR) also provided an update on transplant outcome data for both NSW and Australia, with the presentation highlighting the challenges of collecting such data.

Sli.do feedback surrounding why clinicians attend the Annual BMT Network SymposiumThe morning session focused on BMT patient experience and donor rights. This included patient advocate groups such as the Starlight Children’s Foundation, Camp Quality and the Myeloma Foundation presenting on programs available to support transplant recipients.

The afternoon session shifted to a more clinical focus, looking at the psychological impacts of transplants, as well as targeted clinical and laboratory presentations. The forum concluded with a presentation on nursing initiatives from the BMT Clinical Nurse Consultant at Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Queensland titled ‘Patient Safety and Advances of Nursing Techniques’.

Overall, the feedback from the day was very positive. Thank you to everyone who presented and participated throughout the day!


ACI BMT Long Term Follow Up Co-Design Project team providing an update on what they have learnt so far.

Julie Stone, ACI BMT Quality Officer, providing an update on the 2017 results from the Patient Experience results and feedback.

Centre for Healthcare Redesign School update

CHR School Graduation Ceremony

Congratulations to the 31 graduates of the ACI Centre for Healthcare Redesign (CHR) Graduate Certificate Program 2016 (Cohort 3), who were awarded a Graduate Certificate in Clinical Redesign from the University of Tasmania at a ceremony on Friday, 25 August 2017.

The CHR Redesign Program is delivered as a partnership between the ACI and the University of Tasmania. The program aims to give NSW health staff the opportunity to learn and apply skills in project management, improvement and implementation science in a comprehensive, challenging and well supported environment.

The CHR School supports local healthcare staff to identify, design and implement innovative improvements for patients and carers. Networking, shared learning and working collaboratively with patients, clinicians and management to improve healthcare are a strong focus of the course.

During the program, healthcare staff are supported with comprehensive training from the ACI CHR team, workplace mentoring by local healthcare redesign leaders, and sponsorship from a local senior executive.

To date, the program has seen more than 650 improvement leaders developed across a range of metropolitan, rural and statewide health services from NSW and interstate.

For more information on the program, visit the ACI Centre for Healthcare Graduate Certificate Program webpage.

For information and posters from the initiatives in this graduation, visit the ACI Innovation Exchange.

CHR School Graduation Ceremony

Intellectual Disability Network

Intellectual Disability Network Manager

Launch of The Essentials website

On Thursday, 27 July 2017 the ACI Intellectual Disability Health Network launched the new Building Capability in NSW Health Services for People with Intellectual Disability: The Essentials resource.

The Essentials is a website shaped by and with people with intellectual disability, carers, clinicians and managers from Local Health Districts (LHDs), and other agencies and service providers.

The Essentials was launched at the event by Jean-Frédéric  Levesque, A/CE of the ACI,  who spoke about the importance of engaging health services in these sorts of initiatives and about the co-design process used for the website.

The formal launch included a demonstration of how to use the website and showcased examples of how LHDs have collaboratively developed resources, pathways and capability in this area. Richard Habelrih also provided an insightful consumer keynote on his own experiences as an ID patient in the system.

For most people, the starting point in the interactive website has been to work through the self- assessment tool with their colleagues to see how they are performing on key actions for health services inclusive of people with intellectual disability. Once they have their score and decided where they want to make changes, they can then use the extensive resources and tools gathered together to help implementation. There are even patient experience measures to assist service evaluation.

We encourage you to go and have a look at the new website and to complete a self-assessment to see how you are performing. You can then access links to helpful resources and ideas from other LHDs and partners.

The Network is also seeking opportunities to meet with LHDs to discuss the Essentials and how it might work for their own local services. Please contact the Network Manager for more information.

The Essentials website can be accessed on the ACI website at aci.health.nsw.gov.au/resources/intellectual-disability/id-essentials/home

L-R Jenny Martin, Maria Heaton, Chris Shipway, Tracey Szanto, Richard Habelrih and Les White at the launch.
From Left to Right Jenny Martin, Maria Heaton, Chris Shipway, Tracey Szanto, Richard Habelrih and Les White at the launch.
R Habelrih

Institute of Trauma and Injury Management Update

NSW Trauma App wins National iAward

The innovative NSW Trauma App, which provides live lifesaving information for trauma clinicians during emergencies, recently won the Public & Government division at the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) National iAwards, held in Melbourne on Wednesday, 30 August 2017.

The app provides trauma clinicians with real time clinical guidance and information including flight and drive times to NSW hospitals, hospital blood stores, and specialty capabilities of NSW trauma centres. Evidence suggests modern, interactive decision-support tools, such as the NSW Trauma app, contribute to reduced medical errors and improved patient outcomes.

The award recognises the collaborative effort of numerous NSW Health agencies, including the ACI Institute of Trauma and Injury Management (ITIM) and Statewide Burn Injury Service (SBIS), NSW Ambulance Health Emergency and Aeromedical Services (HEAS), Greater Sydney Area Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (GSA HEMS), NSW Health Pathology, and 20 designated NSW trauma centres.

The app was granted entry into the National iAwards after taking out the Merit Award at the NSW iAwards in July 2017. Following the win in the National iAwards Public & Government division, the NSW Trauma App will now be invited to enter the Asia Pacific ICT Alliance (APICTA) Awards, to be held in Bangladesh on 6-9 December 2017.

The NSW Trauma App is compatible with both Apple and Android devices and can downloaded from the relevant app store.

Contact
Benjamin Hall
Project Officer | Institute of Trauma and Injury Management
Tel (02) 9464 4663 | @Benjamin_ Trauma | benjamin.hall@health.nsw.gov.au


National iAwards Winner – NSW Trauma App, Public Sector and Government Markets. Kathy Coultas, Director of ICT/Tech Sector Development Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, State Government of Victoria, Christine Lassen, Manager ITIM, Benjamin Hall, Project Officer ITIM, Dr Yashvi Wimalasena, Emergency Physician, Aero Medical Retrieval Specialist.
Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA)

NSW Trauma Code Crimson Pathway

The ITIM Clinical Review Committee (including trauma, emergency, pre-hospital, and forensic specialists) has produced the NSW Trauma ‘Code Crimson’ Pathway with an aim to streamline access to urgent treatment for patients with life-threatening bleeding.

‘Code Crimson’ is a term that is commonly used by hospital trauma teams managing patients with life-threatening bleeding, despite resuscitation efforts. The purpose of activating a ‘Code Crimson’ pathway is to streamline a patient’s access to definitive care, typically an operating theatre or interventional radiology suite.

A small number of trauma patients who suffer from blunt or penetrating injuries need urgent treatment to stop life-threatening bleeding. Currently, most trauma centres in NSW have appropriate facilities (such as operating theatres and interventional radiology suites) to manage these patients, however their policies, procedures, and guidelines about how to get patients there urgently, such as ‘Code Crimson’ pathways, differ.  This can be a problem in trauma where both retrieval and hospital teams treat patients.

The ITIM Clinical Review Committee recently identified a number of cases where the differences in these policies, procedures, and guidelines, contributed to delays to life-saving treatment, and affected patient outcomes.

The Committee reviewed current practices and research worldwide relating to treatments in life-threatening bleeding, ‘Code Crimson’ activations and urgent patient transfers in trauma.

The research showed those patients who continue to bleed and are unstable despite resuscitative procedures such as blood transfusions, limb splints, tourniquets, and chest tubes are unlikely to benefit from extra time spent in an emergency department; rather what they need is an urgent operation to stop the bleeding.

In NSW, physician-led retrieval teams are capable of performing many of the same urgent procedures that are traditionally performed in an emergency department for these trauma patients.

Contemporary military systems as well as UK and European retrieval services, with similar capabilities to our own NSW trauma system, bypass the emergency department in favour of an operating theatre or interventional radiology suite, where a person is suffering from life-threatening bleeding following trauma, despite resuscitation efforts.

With the NSW Trauma ‘Code Crimson’ Pathway, the ITIM Clinical Review Committee seeks to enhance the current management of these trauma patients by standardising the way in which retrieval services and receiving hospitals communicate about them, and by standardising the procedures instituted by the trauma centres following trauma ‘Code Crimson’ pathway activation.  The Committee anticipates that this pathway will improve patient outcomes by further reducing the time to definitive intervention in patients with life-threatening bleeding.

The NSW Trauma ‘Code Crimson’ Pathway is available on the ITIM website at: www.aci.health.nsw.gov.au/networks/itim/clinical/trauma-guidelines/Guidelines/trauma-code-crimson-pathway.

Contact
Kelly Dee
Clinical Review Officer | Institute of Trauma and Injury Management
Tel (02) 9464 4734 | kelly.dee@health.nsw.gov.au

NSW Major Trauma Visualisation tool - Converting data to information

Currently, it takes a significant amount of time to prepare simple or complex reports from data collected in the NSW Trauma Registry and the ability to re-use created reports is limited.

The existing reporting tool, Report Writer, a component of Collector, is more than a decade old and can be cumbersome to use. A survey of Report Writer users (Data Officers) in 2015 revealed that it was “difficult, time consuming and cumbersome” and required “expertise to operate and this is costly, both time and money”.

ITIM has recently been working on a project to introduce cutting edge data visualisation application based on QlikSense for all trauma centres. This will allow users to easily visualise the trauma data for their centres.

The application will show visualisation which will allow you to drill down the data which is currently not possible.

With a Qlik based tool, users at each trauma service can:

  • Have a set of standard reports that are developed by ITIM. These reports can also be expanded by each local trauma data manager and shared between the nineteen trauma services.
  • Create customised simple or complex reports locally by clicking and dragging each available data element dimension (e.g. LHD/Facility/Peer Group etc.) and data elements measurements (e.g. Average LOS, Average ICU LOS, Ventilation Hours, time between injury and admission etc.).
  • Build reports within minutes rather than hours.
  • The application also provides sophisticated geo analytics.

The design of the application has been completed and is being tested before the release. This testing is being conducted on the 10 prebuilt sheets that have been standardised for the NSW trauma system and are based on the Annual Trauma Data Reports.

ITIM are currently designing six Geospatial Map Visualisation Sheets and compiling how to/help web site to assist in implementation. The first release of the application is anticipated to be launched before the end of October 2017.

Contact
Hardeep Singh
Data Manager | Institute of Trauma and Injury Management
Tel 02 9464 4667 | hardeep.singh@health.nsw.gov.au

Ophthalmology Network update

Network Manager

Launch of HETI module for Vision Defect in Stroke Screening Tool

To support the release of the ACI Ophthalmology Network’s Vision Defect in Stroke Screening Tool, an eLearning module has been developed and is now available on the HETI My Health Learning website.

The Tool was developed to help medical, nursing, and allied health professionals identify and prioritise patients who require a comprehensive eye examination.  It had previously been identified that many patients were failing to have eye conditions detected and therefore managed during the early stages of their recovery.

On completion of the 30 minute module users will be able to confidently use the tool, accurately interpret the results, and allocate actions and referrals appropriately, without unnecessary referral.

The tool is available through Stream Solutions at streampmunswh@stream.net.au and has been endorsed by the State Forms Committee for inclusion in the patient’s medical record.

Community Eye Care (C-EYE-C) win WSLHD Quality Award

Implementation of the Ophthalmology Network’s Community Eye Care Project in Western Sydney LHD (WSLHD) won the WentWest Partnership Award for collaboration at the WSLHD Quality Awards held on Thursday, 7 September 2017.

There were a record 79 entries to the awards and 21 finalists. Invited dignitaries included The Hon. Brad Hazzard, Minister for Health and Minister for Medical Research, and Susan Pearce, A/Secretary of Health.

The Community Eye Care Project, established by the Ophthalmology Network, aims to prevent avoidable vision loss and blindness through changes to the delivery of services to treat diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. By partnering with local optometrists and ophthalmologists remotely reviewing images it has reduced the need for hospital appointments by 47%. It has been well received by patients who have had their wait times halved and have had the assessment in a community rather than hospital setting.

Congratulations to Andrew White, Belinda Ford and the rest of the WSLHD implementation team on a wonderful collaborative project.

Award winning team: L-R: Sarah Jane Waller (NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation), Belinda Ford, A/Prof Andrew White, Jackie van der Hout, A/Prof Lisa Keay (The George Institute), Joe Nazarian, Shahe Nazarian.
Award winning team: L-R: Sarah Jane Waller (NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation), Belinda Ford, A/Prof Andrew White, Jackie van der Hout, A/Prof Lisa Keay (The George Institute), Joe Nazarian, Shahe Nazarian.
WSLHD Corporate Communications Carlos Furtado

Eye Emergency App 2.0 Release

The Eye Emergency App 2.0 has now been released, providing Emergency Department (ED) clinicians, GPs and other health professionals access to updated information on eye conditions, treatments and when to refer.

Improvements to the app were based on feedback from frontline doctors, nurses, and consumers, as well as an expert working group of ophthalmic and emergency clinicians.

The updated app also acknowledges that the resource is used in primary health care settings such as GP practices and rural nursing outposts, and incudes information relevant to these sectors as well.

New features include:

  • Videos of key procedures.
  • Access to a broader range of eye health conditions including chronic conditions.
  • Paediatric filter.
  • Diagnostic tree to assist clinicians with analysis.
  • Checklists designed by Ophthalmologists of key information that is needed when referring a patient.
  • NSW public ophthalmology outpatient information and referral criteria.
  • Patient education information.

The app is freely available to download from the iTunes and Android stores and from the links below:

Apple iTunes Store icon

Google Play icon

Respiratory Network Update

Respiratory Network Manager

New Network Manager

Welcome to Helen Kulas, who is the new Network of the ACI Respiratory Network. Helen has worked for the past 16 years in both NSW Health and QLD Health in varied clinical, education, management and project roles.

Helen holds both clinical and management Masters qualifications, and is passionate about supporting the Respiratory Network to drive evidence-based best practice care for Respiratory patients.