ROME visits Alice Springs
Measuring health outcomes and how this can potentially improve patient care is an important aspect of healthcare delivery, particularly so for rural and remote areas.
On 29 October the RACP hosted a workshop in Alice Springs, titled Working Together: Rural Health Outcomes across the Continuum of Care, as part of the Rural Outcome Measurement Enhancement (ROME) project funded by the RHCE Stream One Program.
Held in conjunction with the Rural Medicine Australia Conference, the workshop brought together some of Australia’s foremost experts in community, rehabilitation and general health services.
Attendees discussed the need for flexible training programs in rural areas where a critical mass of specialists is not always available to assist in supervision. Dr Sue Morey highlighted the need for a model for training doctors in the system in which they work.
Associate Professor Graeme Maguire highlighted the benefit of tailoring protocol to the environment in which doctors are working. Excess mortality is borne by Aboriginal Australians in many diseases, and it is important to determine whether the process markers or guidelines are appropriate in these communities and ask whether these processes are getting us the outcomes we want.
‘Rural specialists often work in isolation and have difficulty in accessing other specialists for consultation and collaboration in healthcare,’ RACP physician and one of the workshop co-chairs Dr Howard Flavell said.
‘Rural clinicians often lack the infrastructure to assist with health outcome measurement and the use of this information to improve health outcomes.’
Overall, the workshop provided an opportunity to engage directly with rural specialists and other healthcare workers to identify areas of focus that could assist in integrating care to improve patient outcomes in the rural setting.
The RACP is delighted that RHCE funding for this project has been extended into 2012. The Working Party is currently planning to host another workshop in conjunction with the ACRRM Conference in Fremantle, WA in October 2012.
Dr Jeremy Christley
Chair, ROME Working Party
Taken from the RACP News Article December 2011
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