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Awards recognise Australia’s leading sustainable healthcare pioneers and advocates

The research team behind a trial of 24-hour emergency nursing care at Southport Watchhouse has won one of five major awards at the inaugural Bond University Sustainable Healthcare Awards.

The Award winners, which were announced during a dinner at the Bond University Club on the Gold Coast, were developed and launched this year to raise awareness of best practice in high-value Healthcare and recognise the achievements of advocates and pioneers in this area.

Sustainable Healthcare aims to improve health outcomes while using resources wisely. Sustainable health interventions should be evidence-based, effective, minimise waste, affordable and able to be implemented in the long term without accumulating adverse consequences for society or individuals.

Professor Julia Crilly of Griffith University claimed the Research Award – for increasing understanding of causes or interventions for sustainable health (sponsored by Health Service 360) -  on behalf of the Gold Coast Health and Griffith University team last night (NOV 22).

The study followed an inquest into the death in custody of Herbert John Mitchell in Townsville in 2011. The coroner found it was “inappropriate‟ for police to make medical decisions about watchhouse prisoners.

Prior to the trial, the Southport watchhouse was staffed a few hours a day by community care nurses.

Prof Crilly and the other researchers set out to discover whether 24-hour nursing care reduced the cost and need for prisoners to be transferred to a hospital emergency department for medical attention.

It costs more than $900 every time a prisoner is transported to an emergency department in an operation involving two police officers and two ambulance officers.

The nurses saw as many as 30 people per shift and ailments included drug addiction, wounds, alcohol poisoning, mental health illnesses and high blood pressure.

In addition to the Research Award (outlined above) the other major award winners were:

Health Literacy Award: for increasing public understanding of sustainable health (sponsored by Bupa Health Insurance) - WINNER: Health Lit for Kids

  • HealthLit4Kids is an education package designed for use in schools to raise awareness of health literacy and prompt discussions about health amongst teachers, children, families and communities.
  • Chief Investigators Dr Rosie Nash and Dr Shandell Elmer

Practice Award: for sustainable health intervention that is being implemented (sponsored by Concerto Analytics) - WINNER: Choosing Wisely Australia

  • Choosing Wisely Australia is an initiative that improves the quality of health care by reducing the use of tests, treatments, and procedures that have no proven benefit or, in some cases, lead to harm. Choosing Wisely Australia encourages clinicians and consumers to start a conversation about what care is truly needed, identifying which practices they provide are helpful and which are not.
  • Dr Robyn Lindner, NPS MedicineWise

Educational Award: for increasing understanding in students of sustainable health (sponsored by HealthCert) - WINNER: 12 Month Redesign Program - Graduate Certificate (Clinical Redesign)

  • In 2014, the Centre for Healthcare Redesign at the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) partnered with the University of Tasmania to deliver its highly regarded 12-month Redesign Program as a postgraduate qualification.
  • ACI and UTAS content was combined to produce a Graduate Certificate award course that is practically applied in the workplace, delivered in a blended learning model and meets Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) 8 requirements. The resulting program not only provides students with an understanding of person-centred sustainable healthcare but also the skills and confidence to design, implement and evaluate health service improvement initiatives

Policy Award – for driving improvements at regional or national level (sponsored by Osler Technology) - WINNER: Wiser Healthcare

  • The Wiser Healthcare Research Collaboration is the Australian organisation responsible for the “Preventing Overdiagnosis” initiative which includes a series of national meetings to develop a National Action Plan overdiagnosis and related overuse, with influential healthcare stakeholders, which have culminated in the emergence of an important new alliance aimed explicitly at enhancing sustainability in Australia’s healthcare system
  • Wiser Healthcare Research Collaboration: The University of Sydney, Monash University and Bond University

Justin Coleman – medical writer, GP, academic and Chair of the RACGP Choosing Wisely working group – was MC of the Awards. Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite - Founding Director of the Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Director of the Centre for Healthcare Resilience and Implementation Science, and Professor of Health Systems Research at Macquarie University – was Key Note Speaker, with Professor Brian Dolan – Director of Health Service 360 (UK) and Director of Service Improvement, Canterbury District Health Board, NZ also attending the awards.

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