What’s new

SRSA program launch – Individual CPD grants

The Commonwealth Department of Health and The Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges have launched the Support for Rural Specialists in Australia (SRSA) Program to provide grants for rural and remote specialists to access continuing professional development (CPD) activities.

Grants of up to $10,000 are given to specialists living and working in regional, rural and remote areas (ASGC-RA 2-5) to help them access mentoring, workshops, conferences and other forms of CPD.

Please visit the SRSA website (www.ruralspecialist.org.au) to check:

  • If a funding round is open
  • If you are eligible
  • How to apply

Support for Rural Specialists in Australia (SRSA)

We would like to officially announce the new rural and remote support program for rural specialists called Support for Rural Specialists in Australia (SRSA).

The Commonwealth Department of Health and the Committee of Presidents of Medical Colleges have signed a funding agreement to provide new funding for rural specialists to undertake CPD and upskilling. As part of the transitional arrangements for the RHCE Stream One Program, the SRSA will build upon the existing infrastructure and services, to grow and modernise to reflect new ways of learning.

The regular updates to the www.ruralspecialist.org.au website will continue. The website will be modernised and a series of grant funding rounds for individual medical specialists will be released under the new agreement. We are anticipating funding round 1 to be announced by the end of the year, and more information will be made available closer to the time.

The SRSA Program Management Unit (PMU) will continue to deliver and support the program.

RANZCR Launches Android App to Guide Imaging Referrals

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) is pleased to announce that the ‘Imaging clinical decision rules (CDRs)’ app is now available on Android devices following the recent launch on iOS.

Clinical decision rules (CDRs) help clinicians use evidence-based strategies to classify patients into higher and lower risk categories for a given clinical condition to eventually determine if medical imaging would be beneficial.

The CDRs app complements the interactive Educational Modules for Appropriate Imaging Referrals introduced last year by RANZCR, and funded by the RHCE Program, that aim to improve the decision making process for medical imaging referrals.

The educational modules were created to assist health professionals by guiding them to think more comprehensively about the role of imaging in patient assessment and care with regard to unnecessary diagnostic testing.

Validated, evidence-based  CDRs are ultilised in the modules so that they can be used to either estimate the probability of a disease or an outcome as well as suggest a diagnostic or therapeutic course of action.

These imaging referral recommendations also formed the foundation for the six RANZCR Choosing Wisely recommendations, a health profession-led initiative launched in 2015.

To support the use of the CDRs, RANZCR developed the smartphone app to provide easy access to the decision pathways for clinicians and health care professionals.

The ‘Imaging CDRs’ app is available for free on the App Store and the Google Play store.

For more information about the initial project please visit the RANZCR website

For more information about the Choosing Wisely Campaign please visit the website

 

Conducting a rural practice review

Course overview

In this course you will learn about what’s involved in conducting a rural practice review. Read more.

Telehealth Technology Workshops

In 2015, a consortium of specialist medical colleges, led by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) and including the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA), the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO), and the Australasian College of Dermatologists (ACD), delivered workshops at Port Macquarie and Hobart on telehealth.

Each workshop provided ‘hands on’ opportunities for specialists to explore telehealth technologies and to learn from their peers. The workshops were delivered in two parts:
1. Presentations from specialists on how they use telehealth
2. A demonstration of the various technologies and an opportunity to experiment with them.

The featured technologies included videoconferencing setups, imaging software, cameras, 3D printers and more.

Experimenting with these technologies was deemed to be an important step in increasing specialists’ confidence and excitement about telehealth.

O&G Audit App

In 2015, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) developed an audit tool to assist and encourage participation in audit of clinical practice.

The App aims to monitor practice and identify areas for improvement, which may be subject to a ‘Quality Cycle’ approach of measurement, comparison to a standard, introduction of change and re-measurement approach.

The App will enable rural and regional Fellows with minimum expertise in databases and IT systems to conduct clinical audits on a mobile device.

The App can be accessed here.

Safe Patient Transport

In 2015, the College of Intensive Care Medicine of Australia and New Zealand (CICM) developed an online learning module to assist medical practitioners develop and implement strategies and protocols for the safe transport of critically ill patients.

The aim of the module is to ensure that all specialists involved in the transport of critically ill patients minimise risk and maximise safety.

Those completing this module will become aware of the most current guidelines, protocols and practices.

The module is available here. Follow the instructions on the linked page to register as a Rural Health Continuing Education guest user.

Safer Australian Surgical Teamwork

Course Overview

Research shows that a breakdown in non-technical skills (NTS) frequently contributes to adverse outcomes. The training offered in the SAST workshops addressed these breakdowns, and thereby improved safety in the operating theatre and patient outcomes.

This project brought together surgeons, anaesthetists and scrub practitioners for eight one day workshops between 2014 and 2015. These were collaborative, cross-disciplined  workshops, improving situational awareness, decision making, leadership, task management, communication skills and teamwork. They utilised three behavioural marker frameworks – Non-Technical Skills for Surgeons (NOTSS), Anaesthetists’ Non-Technical Skills (ANTS) and Scrub Practitioners’ List of Intra-operative Non-Technical Skills (SPLINTS) developed by The University of Aberdeen, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the National Health Service.

The below videos were used during these workshops. They were produced by RACS in conjunction with the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA), the Australian College of Nursing (ACN), and the Australian College of Operating Room Nurses (ACORN). Read more.

Telehealth and Teleophthalmology

Course Overview

This resource is no longer available as it is now out of date (originally developed in 2014).

After completion of this learning module ophthalmologists developed an understanding of:

  • What is teleophthalmology
  • Who is suited to teleophthalmology
  • Why consider teleophthalmology
  • How to become a service provider of teleophthalmology

RANZCR Appropriate Imaging Referrals

Course Overview

Improving the appropriateness of referrals for medical imaging, thereby enhancing the quality of clinical care, is an important issue around the country but is especially important in rural health where there may be more limited resources and increased patient travel time to imaging facilities.

Each of the nine clinical modules present the evidence behind the best clinical decision rules for that topic, followed by how to apply rules in practice. An interactive format is used, with numerous quizzes aimed to consolidate the theory, followed by clinical scenarios to assess understanding in practice. A smart phone app is also under development to help practitioners implement practices learned from the modules.

Read more.

E-dgy Issues Program

Course Overview

In 2014 and 2015, RACMA delivered eight e-debates and discussions to doctors, based on contemporary and ‘edgy issues’ that were current to health services, medical and clinical administration. Some of this content may now be out of date, however the topics remain relevant across regional, rural and remote Australia.

The EIP was delivered online via a Learning Management System in a webinar format, and videos of the sessions are available here. The program provided doctors in medical and clinical management positions in rural and remote areas opportunities to enhance their CPD and sustain best practices in medical leadership and management. The EIP also reduced the impact of professional isolation.

Each video runs for 1 to 1.5 hours and comprises a presentation, debate, and discussion between the presenter and other participants.

Read more.