IF News – December 2013



 APPCC Collabortive New.jpeg Cardiovascular Disease & Chronic Kidney Disease the Focus in the Next APCC Program

People with Chronic Kidney Disease are up to 15 times more likely to have a heart attack. This is just one of the reasons why the Improvement    Foundation have introduced a Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) & Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) topic to the next APCC Program.

Every hour five Australians will die from CVD, and people with CKD are up to 15 times more likely to have a heart attack. For certain sectors of  our population, such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, the outcomes are even worse.

Yet we know that through appropriate screening, assessment and management of these conditions, it is possible to dramatically reduce the    burden, both financially and personally, of hospital readmissions, invasive interventions and untimely deaths.With the right care in place using proactive identification processes and systematic management, we can improve the overall quality of life of patients with these chronic conditions. This is particularly important for CKD which is largely asymptomatic. Implementing systems within the practice or health service which support the work of identifying risk factors and undertaking screening will be also be a fundamental component of this program.

Through the next Australian Primary Care Collaborative (APCC) Program, IF will support approximately 20 Medicare Locals to assist about 70 general practices and Aboriginal Medical services to use proven APCC methodology to implement small, manageable changes which will improve the care they provide to patients with CVD and CKD. The CVD and CKD topic was selected for the next APCC Program based on input from a range of sources, including Improvement Foundation Expert Reference Panels, Heart Foundation, Kidney Australia, the National Vascular Disease Prevention Alliance, Department of Health and Medicare Locals.

This robust pre-work has ensured that the topic is relevant to current national health priorities and can be practically applied at a local level to make positive change to patient health outcomes through a 15 month program.
The IF will commence delivery of the CVD and CKD Program as Wave 10 of the APCC Program, in March 2014.


PrintOnline QI Workshops a Bonus for Medicare Locals

Medicare Locals involved in the Improvement Foundation’s QI Partnership will benefit from additional online quality improvement training for as many of their ML staff as they wish.

Through participation in the 12 month QI Partnership, 25 Medicare Local teams are focusing on team building and communication, and the practical application of a variety of quality improvement (QI) tools and methods, including the Model for Improvement.
The teams will be supported by IF to embed continuous QI within their Medicare Local. They will also be supported to develop and implement a QI Plan, working directly with general practices and health services to apply QI methods with the aim of improving chronic disease health outcomes within their region. The adoption of the personally controlled electronic health record is also a component of the training. 

To further assist participating Medicare Locals in the work of embedding continuous QI in current and future projects and programs, IF will host a series of online QI training sessions for all interested Medicare Local staff. This series is designed for those staff that have little or no training in this area and who have an interest in learning about and applying QI tools and methodologies.

The online training sessions will cover topics such as the Model for Improvement; measuring for improvement; team innovation and creativity; facilitation skills; fostering motivation and continued engagement; identifying champions and empowering leaders; cultivating practice innovation and creating QI initiatives.

Medicare Locals not participating in this QI Partnership will have the opportunity to participate in a future QI Partnership. Visit the APCC website for more information about the QI Partnership.


Committed to Closing the Gap

The recent establishment of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Team within the Improvement Foundation (IF) is the result of a continued commitment toward closing the gap in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

IF recognises the importance of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health partnership between the government and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), along with the continued need for strong partnerships between Local Health Districts and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation Services (ACCHOS) at the local level.

With strong leadership from Mr Colin Frick (CEO at IF), Dr Katie Panaretto (Public Health Medical Officer at NACCHO) and Dr Jason Agostino (Data Clinician at NACCHO), IF continues to engage with a number of Affiliates and NACCHO with the aim to better understand how ACCHOs can use their data and improve the health of their communities.

Specific sites have been built in IF’s web portal, qiConnect, for the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC), the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO), and the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia (AHCSA) to facilitate and support accurate data analysis of improvements in health status, systems of care and treatment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

IF is proud to have been the principal sponsor for the NACCHO Summit held in Adelaide in June, and the NACCHO Members’ AGM held in Perth in November this year.


outreachNew Outreach Web Portal Site for CheckUP

The CheckUP consortium has been working with IF to build a customised web site that supports the Outreach Services work.
CheckUP leads a strong, effective consortium in delivering Outreach Services to urban, rural and remote locations and high-need populations throughout Queensland.

Since successfully winning the tender, the CheckUP consortium has been working with IF to build a customised Outreach Service site, which supports the Outreach services work. The custom built site supports CheckUP staff with the coordination of service providers such as medical specialists, GPs and allied health professionals who are providing their services in urban, regional, rural and remote locations throughout Queensland, including The Outreach Service site provides Outreach providers with functionality for reporting, checking budgets and schedules,invoicing, and helping maintain an organised approach to Outreach work.

This functionality can be readily adapted to suit the requirements of other government funded organisations who coordinate Outreach services. CheckUP is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health.


anualreportcover2Celebrating Success with IF’s First Annual Report

As we celebrate the end of what has been a very successful year, with significant results achieved across on a number of projects and programs, it is important to reflect on why we have worked so hard to achieve these results. The Improvement Foundation (IF) exists to inspire people to think differently about the way services are provided, and to empower them to make changes to the quality of the services delivered, ultimately improving outcomes for their communities. Our 2012-2013 Annual Report reflects on ongoing work, and highlights some of the results that have been achieved, including:

• The Australian Primary Care Collaboratives Program has helped more than 1,300 practices and health services improve the health outcomes of hundreds of thousands of patients,

• Data Collection tools have been created which have unlocked the greatest repository of de-identified primary health care clinical data in the Australian health system, and for the first time a national picture of primary health
care data is a realistic possibility,

• The eCollaboratives has played a pivotal role in trialling the national eHealth record system, and

• OCHREStreams, we have developed and implemented Australia’s first fully electronic reporting system for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Services.

The year has built on success from previous years and we  continue to build essential knowledge, infrastructure and relationships to support the national refocus of the health system on primary care, and on our role as leaders in quality improvement in primary health care. IF would like to thank everyone who has worked with us to achieve these goals. We are excited about the future of our organisation and the possibilities ahead. As you read our Annual Report, please consider areas where you might want to work together with IF to make a real difference within your own organisation and the communities you serve.


eiffel_tower_at_night_paris_france-normal IF QI Award – Get Your Entry in by 17 Jan 2014

Could your quality improvement work take you all the way to the International Forum on Quality and Safety Conference in Paris? Entries for the  IF QI Award close in January, and we’d love to hear what you’ve been up to.

Have you ever been involved in an IF quality improvement program? Are you continuing to make improvements within your primary health  care organisation? We’d love to hear what you’ve been up to. Tell us all about your quality improvement work by entering the IF Quality  Improvement Award. The successful recipient of this award will win a return flight, accommodation and delegate registration to attend the 19t  annual International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare in Paris from 8 to 11 April 2014.

To be eligible, you need to tell us about changes you’ve made within your primary health care organisation using a quality improvement approach. Prashiba Thavarajadeva, Practice Manager at Montague Farm Health Centre won the 2012 Improvement award and attended the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s 24th National Forum in Orlando.
“With 5,500 people attending the conference, all focused on making improvements in health care, it felt more like a movement than just a conference. The immense scope of the work being done worldwide, with so many people working towards the same goals, inspired us with a new energy and enthusiasm for the work we are doing here in Montague Farm”, said Prashiba.

Hurry, you only have until 17 Jan 2014 to get your entry in!

IF Opening Hours

IF’s offices will be closed from Friday December 20th 2013 through until and reopen on Monday January 6th 2014. We will then have minimal staff operating until Monday 20th January 2014 when the majority of the team will be back on board. IF would like to thank our staff, stakeholders, and everyone involved with our organisation for their support over the last year and we wish you all a very safe and happy holiday season.

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February 06, 2014

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T: (08) 8422 7400 | TOLL FREE (within Aust): 1800 771 522 | F: 08 8231 6690 | E: enquiries@improve.org.au

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