Which PHNs are collecting gongs for their programs?

6 minute read

Whether it’s research, community engagement or just good healthcare, see which PHNs are being recognised.

It’s awards season and several PHNs are celebrating wins and nominations across the country.

Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN won the “highly commended” award for health at the IAP2 Australasia 2023 Conference for its TALK ABOUT campaign.

The award was given “in recognition of excellence in the field of public participation, demonstrated through the development and implementation of an outstanding project”.

DDWMPHN partnered with Health Consumers Queensland for the project which was an opportunity for the PHN to ask its community members about their experiences with healthcare in the region, kitchen table discussions and yarning circles in the region.

The most recent TALK ABOUT topic was “Young People and Their Health”. From 26 July to 6 September 2023, the PHN reached out to community members and health professionals to provide their feedback on what was working well and what could be done better.

Responses were received from over 160 community members, including 96 young people, 34 parents and carers, and 33 health professionals. Ten percent of respondents identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders, 10% live with a disability, and 10% identified as LGBTIQ+.

Overall young people rated their experience with healthcare in the region as 7 out of 10. Improvements respondents wanted to see included:

  • easier ways to find needed care and make an appointment;
  • more encouragement to focus on preventative healthcare;
  • more services being open-minded and non-judgemental, to reduce stigma;
  • better access near transport;
  • reduced costs and wait times;
  • more assurances about whether appointment and health could be kept private and confidential to you;
  • more services that focus holistically, such as connection to schools.

South Western Sydney PHN

SWSPHN’s digital health and data manager Nick McGhie has been awarded the “Best Paper Submission” at the HIMSS APAC 2023 conference in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta.

The conference was hosted by US-based Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society and aimed to activate digital transformation and advance digital health capability in the Asia Pacific region.

The award-winning paper – Real-time health information exchange – focused on the integrated real-time active data (iRAD) tool, powered by dbMotion, designed to revolutionise the real-time exchange of patient information, especially between hospitals and GPs in the PHN’s catchment.

Mr McGhie said the presentation was more than just a product pitch but aimed to shed light on the lessons learned, ongoing challenges and their mitigation strategies.

“I wanted to frame it as an accessible presentation of iRAD. There’s a lot of talk at the moment in Australia but, of course, internationally around health information exchange and how to achieve that,” he said.

iRAD was launched by SWSPHN in 2016, with a vendor selected in 2017. The project was first delivered at five sites in 2019, with more general and specialist practices joining the iRAD program in 2020. iRAD has now seen a significant expansion in scope and impact, with 25% of primary care locations in SWSPHN using iRAD.

“The scope of it now, it’s obviously increasing not just in the locations that are connected, but also the patients who are consented – over 20,000 now,” Mr McGhie said.

SWSPHN’s iRAD project has transformed and improved the sharing of patient information within primary healthcare, he said.

“Why can’t you see that information?’ We hear it all the time,” Mr McGhie said.

“As patients, we get frustrated when our healthcare providers don’t have our complete health picture, and the frustration is mutual. Our region is diverse, with half the population speaking languages other than English at home, which adds to the challenge.

“Working with Altera, we’ve made a way to ‘share by default.’ Clinicians can now access patients’ information in real-time, even from outside their practice. Patient consent is crucial for this to work.”

Spotlight on PHNs: Murrumbidgee’s mozzie warning

Spotlight on PHNs: Bringing men to the table to talk mental health

Murrumbidgee PHN

Murrumbidgee PHN has announced that its recent mental health campaign “Connect, Your Way” has reached the finals of the Research Society’s Research Awards and has been nominated for a research effectiveness award in the public policy/social impact category.

Connect, Your Way featured stories of five Murrumbidgee residents sharing their personal journeys through mental health challenges and provided resources connecting people with local services.

MPHN CEO Melissa Neal said the award nomination highlighted the dedication and effort invested in the campaign.

“Accessing appropriate mental health support can be particularly challenging in regional areas,” Ms Neal said.

“By conducting thorough research to genuinely understand and address local barriers to finding appropriate support, we were able to create a campaign that successfully connected residents with the right resources and services – effectively guiding people to Connect, Your Way, when seeking assistance to improve their mental health.”

Recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed the number of people aged 15 years and over living with medically diagnosed depression and/or anxiety in the Murrumbidgee region was 15% higher than the NSW average.

To address this issue, MPHN enlisted the expertise of Leapfrog Research to lead a series of co-design research activities. This approach included two stakeholder workshops, four discussion groups, and 18 in-depth interviews, all aimed at determining the most effective messaging, positioning, and creative approach for a localised awareness campaign.

The insights gained from this research were instrumental in the development of Connect, Your Way. A post-campaign evaluation confirmed significant increases in local awareness of the advertised support services and a strong initial awareness of the new MPHN website.

Ms Neal said she was proud of the campaign and the positive impact it continued to have on the Murrumbidgee community.

“We were always aiming to help our community connect to mental health resources in a way that best suited them,” Ms Neal said.

“To be nominated for a research award is an added extra and confirms our approach of ensuring our work is informed by our local communities.”

Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on 28 November in Sydney.

Murray PHN

Murray PHN has congratulated local healthcare providers for their recent awards.

Dr Mark Zagorski from Mount Beauty Medical Centre was recently awarded the ACRRM-RDAA Peter Graham “Cohuna” Award in recognition of his outstanding advocacy and medical service to the Mount Beauty community.

Two general practices in the Murray PHN region are finalists in the 2023 PenCS Awards, which recognise excellence in data-driven quality improvement in general practice and Aboriginal medical services across Australia. The finalists are:

  • Family Medical Centre – Shepparton: Closing the Gap Award.
  • Sunraysia Medical Centre – Red Cliffs: Data-driven Clinical Excellence Award.

Rural Health Pro’s National Rural and Remote Health Awards pay tribute to the exceptional rural and remote health professionals who have contributed to improving healthcare in these regions. Winners will be announced on 13 November. This year, there are two finalists from the Murray PHN region:

  • Madeline Leung – Mildura Base Public Hospital, Mildura: Rising Star;
  • Associate Professor Rex Prabhu – Swan Hill District Health, Swan Hill: Excellence in Rural/Remote Health Administration.

Do you have a story tip for us, or a topic you would like to see us cover? Contact the editor at editor@healthservicesdaily.com.au.

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