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Rural Health and Research Congress 2014 ACI Innovation Awards

As part of our aim to promote excellence in rural health and the showcase innovative practices which can be taken up across other health sectors, the ACI offered 4 awards at this year’s Congress. These awards, valued at $1,000 each are awarded to help value-add to the project and contribute to sustainability.

The Rural Health Network Executive Committee was on site in Dubbo to adjudicate the 39 concurrent sessions according to established selection criteria. Criteria was based on projects which demonstrated:

  • Resourcefulness and creativity in design
  • Sustainability through embedding the change
  • Potential to be taken up by other health settings or deemed a system-wide priority in health

Below are the winners of each of the Awards.

Best Small Facility / MPS Award

Photo VESPA: Video Examples of Speech Pathology Activities - Craig Suosaari Speech Pathologist, Hastings Macleay Network, MNC LHD

VESPA: Video Examples of Speech Pathology Activities - Craig Suosaari Speech Pathologist, Hastings Macleay Network, MNCLHD

This project aimed to augment face to face group therapy sessions used in small rural community preschools and increase the maintenance of therapeutic intervention without additional travel. Videos demonstrating 10 aspects of communication are available on line for ready access by parents and preschool staff. Each activity is accompanied by a short explanation, and additional resources for the tasks are also available from the same web site. Suggestions for generalisation, simplification or extension are discussed to allow modification of the activities to suit individual needs. This simple methodology has provided increased access to practical speech pathology resources for small rural communities.

Craig.Suosaari@ncahs.health.nsw.gov.au

Connecting Primary Care / Integrated Care Award

Photo Healthy Kids Bus Stop – Donna Parkes, Manager Rural and Remote Services, Royal Far West

Healthy Kids Bus Stop – Donna Parkes, Manager Rural and Remote Services, Royal Far West

A child health screening program was developed in partnership with WNSWLHD, WNSW Medicare Local and Royal Far West, sharing resources to create a one stop shop outreach screening program with an integrated referral pathway supported by specialist paediatric clinicians (Nurse, Occupational Therapist, Immunisation, Social Worker) linking to the Child’s GP. Already completed in Warren, 65 children were assessed, with 91% requiring follow up. Screenings are now being scheduled for other prioritised rural and remote communities in NSW.

donnap@royalfarwest.org.au

Most Creative / Innovative Award

Photo Aboriginal Identification in hospital Quality Improvement Project - Ro Stirling-Kelly and Judith Beilby, Kempsey, MNC LHD

Aboriginal Identification in hospital Quality Improvement Project - Ro Stirling-Kelly and Judith Beilby, Kempsey, MNCLHD

This project went beyond the process of identification of aboriginal patients and established community engagement strategies in con junction with the redevelopment of cultural sensitivities within the hospital. The development of a toolkit of resources (staff prompts, duress response management and brochures) has significantly reduced the did ‘Not Waits’ BY 40% over 12 months using a whole of community approach.

ro.stirling-kelly@ncahs.health.nsw.gov.au

Most Transferable / System-wide Potential Award

Photo Support my Spine ASAP – Ryan Gallagher, Senior Physiotherapist, Neurosciences, HNE LHD

Support my Spine ASAP – Ryan Gallagher, Senior Physiotherapist, Neurosciences, HNELHD

A telehealth model of care for rural patients with a spinal fracture. The project was piloted between John Hunter Hospital and Tamworth Hospital. The project aims to be rolled out to additional centres in HNELHD and utilises electronic radiology and telehealth links for specialist consultation remotely to determine appropriate medical management and allow for fitting of Thoracic Lumbar Sacral Orthotics closer to home without the need to transfer to Newcastle for this process. This project has saved 3,000 km to date and an estimated $6,000 in patient travel, and has reduced length of stay from 9 to 3 days per patient.

ryan.gallagher@hnehealth.nsw.gov.au

Rural Local Health District Quality Awards / ACI Innovation Award Winners 2014

An ACI Innovation Award was introduced at the rural Local Health District Quality Awards 2014 to recognise and reward innovation, and  capture models of care which have potential for broader implementation across  other health sectors. Selection Criteria includes:

Selection Criteria Description

Improved patient outcome and experience for hard to reach  population groups

Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander populations,  geographically isolated, low socioeconomic, culturally or linguistically diverse

Resourcefulness and creativity utilising existing  resources

Telehealth, small facility / MPS; including workforce or service delivery models

Inclusive partnerships which increase access to services

Links between: Primary Health Care / Acute Facility, rural / metropolitan, public / private, hospital avoidance

Transferability or system-wide potential

Scalability across other health departments / sectors

The 2014 Award winners Summary report.

Full projects have been loaded onto the ACI Innovation Exchange.