Hospitals and Clinics

Continuity of Care under COVID-19

Series 3, Episode 1

Under the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian Healthcare system has handled the public health crisis by monitoring and responding to challenges in supply chains, testing & tracing of new infections and stock piling of essential equipment.

The public has largely responded by practising social distancing, understanding how hand hygiene can spread contagion and recently installing the COVIDSafe mobile application. Public health messaging has been largely effective and literacy improve, to combat the dangers of misinformation.

To open up access to medical advice during the pandemic, in March the Australian government issued MBS item codes for telehealth consultations, for advanced practice nurses as well as GPs and other specialists.

According to AMA President Dr Tony Bartone, as of mid-May 2020, around 10 million Medicare-funded telehealth services have been provided, either over the phone or via video, a significant majority of which have been provided by GPs and other specialists since the Medicare telehealth items were introduced in March.

However in recent months, the health system has mounting concerns on:

  • a reduction in general practice visits for testing, investigation or immunisation
  • lower rates of elective procedures resuming since being halted
  • reduction in laboratory testing
  • reduction in treatments and diagnosis of chronic and acute conditions
  • access to, and continuing to take medications

Those with pre-existing conditions have been urged to keep appointments and routine treatments to maintain their health.

Industry has taken action such as the newly formed Continuity of Care Collaboration (CCC). The 15 health organisations forming CCC are an Australian first national communication collaboration of Peak Bodies, Industry and Healthcare Organisations coming together to stress the importance for people to continue monitoring their health and maintaining their regular care.

This Australian Health Journal episode on the continuity of care was produced with commentary from the following health industry associations and organisations: APNA – Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association, RACGP, Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA), West Cessnock Medical Practice, Consumers Health Forum of Australia, Medicines Australia

Co-design, adoption and interoperability

In October CEBIT AUSTRALIA held it’s yearly technology related conference. Australian Health Journal’s reporter Anne Dao spoke with health technology thought leaders on what needs to be consider in Co-Design, Adoption and Interoperability of technology aided healthcare delivery

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in clinical trials and clinical care

Australian Health Journal today continues a major episode release on Technology Aided Healthcare Delivery, with part 2 on Artificial Intelligence in trials and clinical care. Interviews were captured at AI, Machine Learning & Robotics in Health conference in October organised by Informa Australia.

The 2019 John Deeble Lecture and Panel Discussion

The John Deeble Lecture and Panel Discussion was established by the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association to commemorate the life and achievements as distinguished scholar, health economist and health policy leader, Prof John Deeble AO.

Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) Blueprint Refresh Roundtable

AHHA’s Blueprint Refresh Roundtable brings together AHHA members and other Australian health leaders to evaluate the progress made to date against Healthy people, healthy systems and to tease out key policy issues that need to be addressed in order to implement outcomes-focused, value-based care in Australia.

Launch of Australian Centre for Value-Based Health Care

The movement to value based healthcare across the industry in Australia, gained pace last month, with the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association launch of the Australian Centre for Value-Based Health Care.

Sonia Marshall – South Western Sydney Local Health District

South Western Sydney Local Health District serves nearly 1 million people in a rapidly growing area of Sydney. Currently 250-300 families a week are moving into the region and with a growing population, the health district requires well executed strategy and delivery of healthcare to the population. Executive Director Sonia Marshall spoke with Australian Health Journal reporter Anne Dao at last week’s Australian Healthcare Week in Sydney, on supporting staff and the community. Sonia highlights the mission of delivering Safe Quality Healthcare at all times. In-time patient feedback is important and the SWSLHD has implemented a system called “My Experience Matters” to give near immediate response from patients on their level of care, whilst they are still on site at the hospital. The aim of the initiative is to quickly identify bad experiences that could be rectified.

AHW Exhibitor: Gentec Australia

Gentec Australia, an Australian supplier of tapware and designer of wash basins to the healthcare industry exhibited at last week’s Australian Healthcare Week 2019. Their patented basin design reduces the risk of infection through splashing from water through an offset waste, as well as other infection control features. Know My Group reporter Anne Dao spoke with General Manager for Sales Graeme Bunt and State Manager (VIC) Vanessa Beever.

In an upcoming segment Australian Health Journal will cover the technologies deployed and steps taken by hospitals and clinics in infection control.

AHW Exhibitor: HPA Managing Director Shawn Wigham

Hospital Products Australia (HPA) exhibited at last week’s Australian Healthcare Week. Anne Dao spoke with Managing Director Shawn Wigham on the advanced equipment HPA supply, that combines technology and furnishings within the clinical setting.

Michelle Fenwick – Northern Health

The outskirts of Melbourne is experiencing significant population growth over the next 10 years and Northern Health has taken preemptive steps to ensure the supply of new talented healthcare staff as well as develop the culture of the workplace.

Michelle Fenwick, the Executive Director of Northern Health spoke with our reporter Anne Dao on the challenges of this urban growth over the past 3 years. By 2031 the region is expected to increase in population by 63%. Added to this is hiring and training the right workforce to align with the clinical care needs of people coming into the healthcare centres.

Culture is forming in a growing organisation with approximately 70% of staff having been at Northern Health less than 4 years. However there is opportunity for clinical staff to accelerate their career in such an environment

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