10 August 2017

Quality improvement in mental health

The UK charity The King’s Fund has published this report examining how a systematic approach to quality improvement can enhance the quality of care in mental health. The report’s findings show that where providers have introduced a quality improvement approach reduced lengths of stay in inpatient care, improved staff morale and reduced absence, reductions in violent incidents involving staff, and shorter waiting times have been achieved. Guidance is provided for for mental health leaders wanting to embed quality improvement in their organisations, and seek to engage and empower frontline teams, service users and carers to develop solutions collaboratively.

Download the report for free here.    

Animated infographic about diabetic retinopathy

The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet has a new resource on its eye health section. To support the health workforce, a new animated infographic about diabetic retinopathy (DR) has been produced to add to the key fact sheets about this condition. This short animated 4-minute video has been designed by the HealthInfoNet and the Fred Hollows Foundation. It provides visually engaging evidence-based information to assist health care providers in their everyday practice.  Also included on the website is a key factsheet.

Diabetic retinopathy among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people video 

Cannabis use in patients with first-episode psychosis

Cannabis use following the onset of first-episode psychosis has been linked to both increased risk of relapse and non-adherence with antipsychotic medication. Whether poor outcome associated with cannabis use is mediated through an adverse effect of cannabis on medication adherence is unclear.
This study published in Lancet Psychiatry examines medication adherence as a mediator of the association between continued cannabis use following illness onset and relapse, as indexed by admission to hospital, in patients with first-episode psychosis.

Schoeler, T. (et al)  (2017). Poor medication adherence and risk of relapse associated with continued cannabis use in patients with first-episode psychosis: a prospective analysis

The Lancet Psychiatry , 4 (8),  627 - 633 Open access


The “hello my name is” campaign was created by Dr Kate Granger MBE, a doctor in the UK who had terminal cancer. Together, with her husband Chris Pointon, Dr Granger asked frontline NHS staff to make a pledge to introduce themselves in future to their patients. She used social media to help kick start the campaign and created the hashtag #hellomynameis.
As a patient  Kate observed that many staff looking after her did not introduce themselves before delivering her care. It felt incredibly wrong that such a basic step in communication was missing and as a result, the campaign continues long after Kate has passed away. Kate believed it is not just about common courtesy, but it runs much deeper. Introductions are about making a human connection between one human being who is suffering and vulnerable, and another human being who wishes to help.
Read more about this campaign here.  

Adult Admitted Patient Survey

The third year of AdultAdmitted Patient Survey results from 28,000 patients in NSW is available on the interactive data portal, Healthcare Observer on the Bureau of Health Information (BHI) website. The Adult Admitted Patient Survey asks for feedback from people who have recently been admitted to a NSW public hospital. 
Results are available at a NSW, local health district, peer group and hospital level with an easy search option to find particular hospitals. 
BHI is a board-governed organisation that publishes independent reports about the performance of the NSW public healthcare system.

Adolescents, young adults and cancer: what GPs need to know

Although cancer in the adolescent and young adult age group is rare, a cancer diagnosis is the most common cause of death in this age group after accidents, murders and suicides. Being familiar with potential medical and psychosocial complications and providing support to families are essential in the primary care of adolescents and young adults with cancer. 
GPs have an important role in providing care for adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer, and their role should be encouraged, even for patients with complex needs.

 Ng, M.,  Forsyth, V., Trahair, T., Carrington, N., Anazodo, A. (2017, August).  Adolescents, young adults and cancer: what GPs need to know. Medicine Today, 18(8). 14-22.

03 August 2017

Australian Women Against Violence

The Australian Women Against Violence Alliance (AWAVA) was established in March 2010 as one of five National Women’s Alliances funded by the Australian Government. AWAVA ensures that women’s voices, particularly marginalised women’s voices, are heard by Government.
The website under the Resources link includes a information on family violence, child protection and ending violence against women.
Australian Women Against Violence Alliance 

Combatting the Burnout Epidemic

AHRQ has been funding research on physicians’ working conditions to determine what causes burnout and explore interventions to combat it. Causes of burnout can include a lack of control over work conditions, time pressures, chaotic workplaces, and a lack of alignment of values between providers and their leaders. This blog post by Dr Gopal Khanna  & Dr. Arlene S. Bierman from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality looks at these issues and the professional and personal consequences for clinicians.

Combatting the Burnout Epidemic. AHRQ Views Blog. July 2017.  

Flooded with evidence: improving research implementation in nursing practice

The object of the study in this article was to identify barriers to implementing evidence-based practice initiatives in small to medium sub-acute facilities in Queensland. Three themes emerged which described the needs of clinicians when evidence-based practice initiatives were being implemented: (1) valuing evidence; (2) risk prioritisation; and (3) controlling the flow of evidence. A ‘Spillway Model’
was used as a mechanism for targeting clinical priorities using integrated risk management.

Moloney, C., Ralph, N., Taylor, M. (2017). Flooded with evidence: using a 'spillway' model
to improve research implementation in nursing practice. Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, 34(1)  

New Approaches to Value in Health and Care

New Aproaches to Value in Health and Care was written for those seeking to add value to people’s lives and mobilise the value that people and communities themselves can create for health and wellbeing. Although this is a UK initiative, it is of value in that it bases core national outcomes on the health and wellbeing outcomes that are most important to people and communities.
Written as part of the Realising the Value program, the report makes a series of calls to action to ensure that the approach to understanding, capturing, measuring and assessing value in health and care takes full account of value.

Redding, Don. New approaches to value in health and care. The Health Foundation, 2016  

McMaster Optimal Aging Portal

The McMaster Optimal Aging Portal’s (Portal) professional bibliographic database contains high quality scientific evidence about optimal aging specifically targeted to clinicians, public health professionals and policymakers.
The objective of this work was to provide easy access to reliable health information based on good quality research that will help health care professionals to learn what works best for seniors to stay as healthy as possible, manage health conditions and build supportive health systems. The Portal is continually updated, freely accessible online, easily searchable, and provides email-based alerts when new records are added.
Access the McMaster University Optimal Aging Portal here.  

Heart Failure

The journal Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics has published a virtual issue on heart failure.
These articles are free to access for the month of August and after this date contact your library.
Access the virtual issue here.  

Health Care Access, Mental Health, and Preventative Health; Health Priority Survey Findings for People in the Bush

This report published by the Royal Flying Doctor Service, is from a collaboration between the National Farmers' Federation and the Country Women's Association of Australia. A survey of over 450 country people drawn from every state and territory, saw one-third of responses (32.5%) name doctor and medical specialist access as their key priority. 

The five most important issues identified by respondents overall were access to medical services; mental health; drugs and alcohol; cancer; and cardiovascular health. The areas of health that respondents identified money should be spent on included: access to medical services; mental health; health promotion and prevention activities; cancer; aged care; and travel and accommodation support for people needing to access health care outside of their community.
Download the report here.  

17 July 2017

The Burden of Musculoskeletal Conditions in Australia

This report from AIHW presents findings from the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011 on the burden of musculoskeletal conditions in Australia. Musculoskeletal conditions were the fourth leading contributor to total burden of disease in Australia, with back pain and problems, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis being the greatest contributors to the musculoskeletal burden.

Download report: The burden of musculoskeletal conditions in Australia: a detailed analysis of the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011
ISSN 2204-4108 (PDF) 2006-4508 (Print); ISBN 978-1-76054-150-7; Cat. no. BOD 14; 28p.

Respiratory Conditions in Australia

This report published by AIHW presents information on the disease burden of chronic respiratory conditions using data from the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011. Respiratory conditions were the sixth leading contributor to total burden of disease in Australia, with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma and upper respiratory conditions being the greatest contributors to the respiratory burden.

Download report: The burden of chronic respiratory conditions in Australia: a detailed analysis of theAustralian Burden of Disease Study 2011

N 2204-4108 (PDF) 2006-4508 (Print); ISBN 978-1-76054-152-1; Cat. no. BOD 15; 32pp.