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Thursday, 17 December 2009

Health, Development and Wellbeing in Far Western NSW, A Picture of our Children

The launch today of a strategic document aimed at improving child development and well being for Aboriginal children in the far west is the culmination of more than 18 months work by six government and nongovernment agencies. Health, Development and Wellbeing in Far Western NSW, A Picture of our Children, is being launched at Alma Bugdlie Pre-School by Senator, the Hon Mark Arbib, Federal Minister for Employment Participation and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Government Service Delivery. Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation, which is co-chair of the group that developed the strategic framework document, has been committed to working with other agencies to achieve this goal.

Health, Development and Wellbeing in Far Western NSW, A Picture of our Children, contains local information and data on children in the region against those indicators the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare have determined to be "key indicators" of child health, development and wellbeing.

Also available from MaariMa in hard copy.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Statistical snapshots of Indigenous health

ABS Statistics released today
4724.0.55.003 Health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Males, 2004-05

4724.0.55.004 Health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Females, 2004-05

Health at a glance 2009 : OECD indicators


This fifth edition provides the latest comparable data on the performance of health systems in OECD countries, revealing striking evidence of large variations in costs, activities and results of health systems. Key indicators provide information on health status, the determinants of health, health care activities and health expenditure and financing in OECD countries. This edition also contains new chapters on the health workforce and on access to care, an important policy objective in all OECD countries. The chapter on quality of care has been extended to include a set of indicators on the quality of care for chronic conditions.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Managing urinary incontinence in primary care

Urinary incontinence is often underreported. One survey conducted in Australian GP waiting rooms found that only 30% of participants with urinary incontinence had spoken to a health professional about it. To assist health professionals to identify and manage patients with incontinence or at risk of developing incontinence, the National Prescribing Service (NPS) has developed a new program, Managing urinary incontinence in primary care.

"People are often reluctant to talk about incontinence because they may feel embarrassed. Some think it is anormal part of ageing or the childbirth process and therefore don't think it useful to discuss incontinence with their doctor",NPS clinical adviser, Judith Mackson said. Health professionals are encouraged to routinely ask about a history of incontinence in women who are at a greater risk of becoming incontinent. This includes those who have experienced recent childbirth, are overweight or have chronic health conditions.

InsideRadiology (Patient information radiology website)

For some people, a radiology procedure can be a frightening prospect. That is why the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) has launched InsideRadiology to give Australians free access to world class, up-to-the-minute, web-based information about radiology tests and procedures in layperson's language. There were more than 16 million medical imaging procedures performed in Australia last financial year. Now, all those needing an X-ray, radiology procedure (such as joint injection) or a scan can access information about why their doctor ordered a particular test or treatment, what will happen when they have it, how they need to prepare for it and if there will be any after effects.

Diabetes, medicines and me

The National Prescribing Service (NPS) and Diabetes Tasmania have launched a new educational series aimed at people with type 2 diabetes, which addresses medicines use issues. The videos are designed to be used by health professionals and community organisations when discussing the management of type 2 diabetes with newly diagnosed patients. The series comprises 11 segments which cover issues including the types of medicines used to manage type 2 diabetes, the best ways to manage medicines, and what patients should discuss with their healthcare providers.The videos range from one to five minutes and you may download, display print and reproduce the videos in unaltered form only for non-commercial use either personally or within your organisation.

Reposted from NCAHS Library Clippings

Monday, 14 December 2009

Manage your pain : a pain management diary

A new pain management diary has been developed by Arthritis NSW and the National Prescribing Service (NPS) to help healthcare providers work with patients to determine optimum pain management plans. Doctors, pharmacists, physiotherapists, nurses, specialists and other health professionals are encouraged to promote the resource to patients which records the necessary information needed to make an accurate diagnosis and treatment regimen. "More than 3.85 million Australians live with chronic pain caused by arthritis, many of whom are not achieving adequate pain relief with their current medicine regimen," ArthritisNSW CEO Karen Filocamo said.

"We know that many people also experience break-through pain and try to manage it themselves with low dose analgesics and may not think to discuss this with their doctor. The pain management diary is very detailed and includes the person's mood, sleep and physical activity as well as the steps taken to alleviate the pain and whether they worked. This information is vital to determining treatment however consumers may not pass on this level of detail."

Clinical practice guideline for the prevention of venous thromboembolism (deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism) in patients admitted to Australian hospitals (2009)

Australians at risk of potentially fatal blood clots will benefit from NHMRC's new Australian Guideline for the Prevention of Venous Thromboembolism (VTE). These evidence-based guidelines developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) provide recommendations on prevention of VTE for adult patients admitted to Australian hospitals. Thirty thousand people are hospitalised each year in Australia due to VTE. Approximately 2,000 Australians die each year from VTE. Eighty percent of these cases are related to prior hospitalisation for either surgery or acute illness.

Schizophrenia is the most stigmatized mental illness (SANE Australia research)

New research by SANE Australia finds that schizophrenia is the most stigmatised mental illness. An analysis of complaints made by the public to SANE's StigmaWatch program about media reporting of mental illness has found that nearly 1 in 4 relate to schizophrenia. By comparison, only 1 in 50 complaints are about the irresponsible media reporting of depression. The report, SANE Research Bulletin 10: Stigma, the media and mental illness, found that 23 per cent of the complaints made about schizophrenia involved sensationalised media reporting. Many of these complaints related to media reports that perpetuate violent or dangerous stereotypes, or incite community fear about the illness.

Virtual medical centre news report

Emergency department stroke and transient ischaemic attack care bundle (NHMRC)

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has released a stroke care package designed to improve care for people presenting to the emergency department with acute stroke and transient ischaemic attack (TIA).

Stroke is Australia's second single greatest killer after coronary heart disease and is a leading cause of disability. There are approximately 60 000 new and recurrent strokes in Australia each year, that's one stroke every 10 minutes. This number will increase as the population ages.According to the National Stroke Foundation (NSF), one in five people having a first-ever stroke die within one month and one in three die within a year. Effective treatment in the emergency department can reduce disabilities and improve long term patient outcomes.

Implementation of the stroke care recommendations will result in:
* Timely and accurate stroke and TIA assessment;
* Timely and appropriate clinical management consistent with national guidelines; and
* Increased consistency of care.

The stroke care package, or bundle approach, was selected by a multidisciplinary reference group of emergency and stroke clinicians. It provides recommendations in a concise and useable format tailored specifically for use by clinicians in the emergency department setting.

The package comprises a small number of evidence-based interventions, grouped together and applied to the management of a particular condition. Each element must be undertaken at the same time and in the same way for all patients, which reduces variability of practice and significantly improves patient outcomes.

The materials were developed by NHMRC's National Institute of Clinical Studies (NICS) and are based on the NSF Clinical Guidelines for Acute Stroke Management.

It has been endorsed by the NSF, the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, the Australian College of Emergency Nursing, and the College of Emergency Nursing Australasia.

Prevention of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease: targeting risk factors (AIHW)

Cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes and chronic kidney disease (CKD) account for around a quarter of the burden of disease in Australia, and just under two-thirds of all deaths. These three diseases often occur together and share risk factors, such as physical inactivity, overweight and obesity, and high blood pressure. This report includes information on the national prevalence of the main risk factors for CVD, CKD and diabetes as well as population initiatives and individual services that aim to prevent or control these risk factors. It shows the prevalence of some risk factors is increasing-notably obesity, which rose from 11% of adults in 1995 to 24% in 2007-08. This is the first report to present a systematic approach to monitor prevention in Australia, providing a baseline for future monitoring.

Media release

Alcohol and other drug treatment services (New AIHW reports)

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released 7 new reports today:

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in New South Wales 2007-08: findings from the National Minimum Data Set

This data bulletin summarises the main findings from the 2007-08 Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Services National Minimum Data Set (AODTS-NMDS) data for New South Wales. Other data bulletins are available for most states and territories in Australia. More detailed information about the 2007-08 collection and its national findings can be found in the publication Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2007-08: report on the National Minimum Data Set(AIHW 2009).

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in South Australia 2007-08: findings from the National Minimum Data Set

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Tasmania 2007-08: findings from the National Minimum Data Set

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australian Capital Territory 2007-08: findings from the National Minimum Data Set

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Northern Territory 2007-08: findings from the National Minimum Data Set

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Victoria 2007-08: findings from the National Minimum Data Set

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Western Australia 2007-08: findings from the National Minimum Data Set

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Public and private hospitals can improve efficiency (Productivity Commission )

The average efficiency of public and private hospitals is about 20 per cent below best practice after adjusting for differences in what hospitals do and who they treat, according to a Research Report released today by the Productivity Commission. However, the Commission also found that the private sector tends to be slightly more efficient among large hospitals, while the public sector tends to be more efficient among small hospitals.

The Report responds to a request by the Australian Government to examine three aspects of the health care system - the relative performance of public and private hospitals; rates of informed financial consent for privately-insured patients; and the most appropriate indexation factor for the Medicare Levy Surcharge income thresholds.

Media release

Data gaps mar hospitals report - Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association

Draft National E-Health Strategy

The National E-Health Strategy commissioned by the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council and developed by Deloitte,together with key stakeholders, provides a useful guide to the further development of E-Health in Australia.

Closing the accountability gap: the first step towards better Indigenous health

Sara Hudson of the Centre for Independent Studies examines the problem of accountability in indigenous health expenditure. Over the past 10 years, funding for Indigenous health programs has increased by 328%-from $115 million in 1995-2006 to $492 million in 2007-08, with no appreciable improvements in health outcomes. The latest budget shows that the Commonwealth government is now spending 50% more on Indigenous health than it was in 2007-08.

Different departments may know where funding for individual programs is going, but information on all the funding provided by Commonwealth and state and territory governments to Indigenous health providers is difficult to find. Complex funding arrangements have resulted in separate "buckets" of funding for different programs, with one Aboriginal health service receiving 42 different "buckets" of money,all requiring separate applications and reporting. Funding complexities make proper financial accountability next to impossible.

Australia's mothers and babies 2007 (AIHW)

Australia's mothers and babies 2007 is the 17th report providing information on births in Australia from perinatal data collections for each state and territory. The report presents demographic, pregnancy and childbirth factors of women who gave birth in 2007 and the characteristics and outcomes of their babies. A new feature is an analysis of trends in caesarean section births.

Media release

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

AMA Junior Doctor Training, Education & Supervision Survey Report of Findings

The AMA has released the findings of its junior doctor training,education and supervision Survey, which contains important data about the training environment in our public hospitals for prevocational and vocational doctors.

The survey, an initiative of the AMA Council of Doctors in Training,documents the views of those at the coalface"junior doctors" on the training environment in public hospitals. It shows that more resources are needed to ensure that the quality of medical training in our public hospitals is maintained and improved. The system is already under strain as hospitals attempt to cope with a surge in medical graduate numbers and the pressures of the increasing demand for service delivery.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Review of Indigenous male health

The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet, Kurongkurl Katitjin Centre for Indigenous Australian Education and Research, Edith Cowan University, Western Australia has released a review of Indigenous male health.The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet is an innovative Internet resource that aims to inform practice and policy in Indigenous health by making research and other knowledge readily accessible. The HealthInfoNet aims to contribute to "closing the gap" in health between Indigenous and other Australians.

General practice activity in Australia 2008-09 (AIHW)

This report presents results from the eleventh year of the BEACH program, a national study of general practice activity. From April 2008 to March 2009, 1,011 general practitioners recorded data about 101,100 GP-patient encounters involving the management of 149,462 problems. For an `average' 100 encounters, GPs recorded 106 medications, 34 clinical treatments, 17 procedures, 9 referrals to specialists and 4 to allied health services, and ordered 46 pathology and 10 imaging tests.

Also available : General practice activity in Australia 1999-00 to 2008-09: 10 year data tables.This AIHW report presents results from the most recent 10 years (April 1999 to March 2008) of the BEACH program, a national cross-sectional study of general practice activity. During this time 9,901 GPs provided details of almost 1 million GP-patient encounters. Readers can review changes that have occurred over the decade in the characteristics of general practitioners and the patients they see; the problems managed and the treatments provided. Changes in patients' body mass index, smoking status and alcohol use are described for a subsample of adult patients.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

draft Australian Guidelines on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) today made available updated draft Australian Guidelines on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and other useful information to assist parents and medical professionals to recognise and appropriately treat ADHD. More than 350,000 Australian children and adolescents are estimated to have ADHD.