Delivering training to Australia’s most remote medical practices


Rural Health West encourages quality improvement techniques in Western Australia’s rural and remote communities using the Improvement Foundation training webinars.

The Challenge – how to deliver quality improvement training to rural healthcare professionals
The practices that Rural Health West provides support to include some of Australia’s most remote medical practices.

Providing equal access to training programs for health practices that are located over 1000 kilometres from the nearest regional centre can be challenging.

Additionally it is not always logistically possible for health practice staff to take time out of busy schedules to travel to regional centres to attend training.

Rural Health West required a training solution that would provide cost effective and equitable training for rural and remote healthcare workers and practice staff.

Solution – Quality Improvement Webinar Training – interactive and cost effective

With eLearning now a standard feature on many education providers curriculum, Rural Health West decided to embark on providing webinars as a part of their training format.
Rural Health West chose the Improvement Foundation to deliver a secure, live online professional development course that covers quality improvement techniques.

“I wanted to look at how we could raise awareness of Quality Improvement as a whole and assist practices toward accreditation and delivery by webinar is so practical – participants can access training in their lunch hour.” said Laura Harnett, Practice and Workforce Support Coordinator with Rural Health West.

Achieving better outcomes in chronic disease management
Quality Improvement techniques provides general practitioners, primary health care providers and practice staff with the tools to:

  • Improve patient clinical outcomes
  • Reduce lifestyle risk factors
  • Help maintain good health for those with chronic and complex conditions and;
  • Promote a culture of quality improvement in primary health care.

Many of the Rural Health West webinar attendees have seen the course content give them big gains in productivity from the implementation of the quality improvement techniques in their practices.

Improvement Foundation Webinar Format
With the Improvement Foundation’s webinar series, health services staff can attend training sessions with minimal disruption to their busy work schedules.

Additionally classes are recorded and available to access at a later date on their computer or mobile device, making it even easier for participants to attend training sessions at their convenience.

The Improvement Foundation webinar series ensures that even with participants being remote they are always engaged in the training. With years of experience in delivering online training, the Improvement Foundation’s course instructors provide interactive and engaging course content by incorporating:

  • Interactive question and answer session
  • Problem solving exercises with online brainstorming, categorizing, prioritizing
  • Ideation activities prompted by images, graphics, video clips
  • Storytelling and reflection
  • Quick polls
  • Team building discussions

In just a couple of clicks, Improvement Foundation trainers can turn over control to each of the students and let them participate in interactive exercises in real time.

High Participation Rates
Many of the practice staff in rural and remote areas have enthusiastically embraced the webinar format due to the convenience factor and its minimal financial costs.
Being able to access the course sessions at a time and location that suits participants means that are able to fully engage in the course content and easily fit it into their busy work schedule.

“The Improvement Foundation QI webinar courses enables us to easily provide general practitioners and their staff with the training they need, anytime, anywhere. They’re going to be better qualified because they’re getting access to higher-skilled training,” said Bryan Foley, Improvement Foundation Course Instructor.

The popularity of the Quality Improvement webinars course has seen the registrations for each session rise and with the flexibility of it being online, there is no limit to the amount of attendees that can participate.

Customised Course Delivery
Rather than a one size fits all model, the Improvement Foundation worked with Rural Health West to tailor the course content and format so that it would best suit the requirements of the practices they support. The current webinar series for Rural Health West is delivered monthly over a 12 period.

Feedback from general practitioners and practice staff about Rural Health West’s professional development courses has been overwhelming positive with participants stating that Rural Health West’s conferences and workshops continue to be highly valued and meet many of their learning needs.

About the Improvement Foundation Quality Improvement Webinar Training Program
The Improvement Foundation is Australia’s leading provider of quality improvement training. The Quality Improvement training series has been designed for healthcare professionals and can be delivered online or face to face based on your needs.
We give you a practical understanding of continuous quality improvement (CQI) and the tools to implement it you can build your skills and put your training into practice, one step at a time.

Key Benefits

  • Webinars are a cost-effective and convenient format with real-time interaction
  • Live webinars can be re-broadcast as on-demand versions, thus enabling knowledge-sharing and optimum utilization of interesting content
  • User-friendly for participants: no travel or accommodation costs involved, and webinars can be searched and referred to for specific content afterwards
  • The Quality Improvement course can boost staff morale and productivity  whilst also improve patient clinical outcomes

Training Attendee Feedback
I work as the Health Information Manager and nurse/midwife in a large and busy Aboriginal Medical Service located in extremely remote WA, covering 12 communities spread across 250,000 sq km with our support office being in Alice Springs (where I am based). Quality Improvement is something that I am really passionate about, and I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to participate in the Quality Improvement Training. Each training session has been well organised and thought out. I have found that the information presented has been relevant to current practice and up-to-date in the content. I’ve learnt some really valuable skills that I have been able to utilise in my own practice. I travel a lot, both to remote locations and other parts of the country and having the sessions via webinar has been extremely helpful. The webinars are easy to set up and it is great to be able to see presentations online whilst hearing the commentary. I have appreciated hearing what others are doing in quality improvement in their roles, and whilst it is a short session it is an opportunity to be able to learn from each other. I recommend this training to others who are in similar roles to myself.  It is invaluable training.

Melissa van Leeuwen – Health Information Manager – Ngaanyatjarra Health –

About Rural Health West
Rural Health West is the leading workforce agency for health professionals, providing recruitment and retention activities in rural and remote Western Australia. They provide a range of high-quality educational activities to assist rural and remote general practitioners; practice management and administrative staff access professional development opportunities.

February 26, 2014

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