Industry

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

Outstanding Achievement
George Faithfull

George has been in the medical device industry in a variety of roles for over 35 years including Sales, Marketing, Business Development, General Management, R&D, Clinical, Regulatory and Government Affairs. He has worked for Stryker in Australia, USA and across Asia.

“Nurses can do more, should do more and now they will do more”, The Hon Minister Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health.

Advanced Practice Nurses comprise 9% of the total nursing workforce, with 26,000 clinicians Australia wide. However although highly skilled, they are under-utilised and constrained to the full scope of practice. The Australian College of Nursing believes this needs to change. Nurse led models of care in which Advanced Practice Nurses play a significant role in service provision, must feature in the future. ACN President Professor Christine Duffield FACN states, “It’s now widely acknowledged internationally that nurses can provide a clinical and very valuable service that’s better suited to the healthcare needs of some consumer groups.”

Artificial Intelligence (AI) & data skilling clinicians

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The 2019 John Deeble Lecture and Panel Discussion

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Value-Based Health Care : Dental Health Services Victoria Case Study

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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.

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