Friday, March 06, 2015

This Is An Interesting Discussion On Some Ways Of Saving And Or Improving The Health System.

There was an interesting discussion broadcast last week:

Saving Health

It’s the conversation that doctors and patients want to have, but many politicians are avoiding – how do we create a patient-focused healthcare system?
By SBS Insight
Airdate: Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - 20:30
Channel:  SBS One
Carly Stewart's seven-year-old son Lachlan has cerebral palsy, requiring treatment from up to eight different hospital departments. She says the biggest hurdle for her family is poor communication between doctors across these departments.
Two-year-old James Robins has cystic fibrosis, and requires consistent medical care. His mother, Katherine, prefers to use Hospital in the Home (HITH) wherever possible, because it gives James a sense of normality in his daily routine, and reduces his chances of contracting further infections.
Dr Charlotte Hespe has been in general practice for over 20 years. She says a doctor's primary focus is the patient, but feels their efforts are supremely hampered by an unnecessary amount of red tape.
Terry Barnes, the man who floated the idea of a GP co-payment in recent times, and a former advisor to the Howard government, is frustrated by the current debate. He feels that whilst the co-payment remains on the table, any chance at greater health reform is stymied by both professional and political forces.
The Federal Government's spending on health care was around $30.2 billion in 2012-2013, according to the Productivity Commission's Report, and this is set to rise from 4 per cent of GDP to 7 per cent by 2059.
As the government warns of unsustainable spending, we ask: how efficient could our health system be?
This week, Insight brings together patients, carers, nurses, health professionals, and economists, to discuss the challenges in reforming healthcare.
Saving money and helping patients: can the health system do both?
Presenter: Jenny Brockie
Producer: Paige MacKenzie 
Associate Producer: Saber Baluch 

Insight, Saving Health

Transcript

JENNY BROCKIE:   Welcome everyone, good to have you with us tonight. Carly, your seven year old son Lachlan has cerebral palsy. How many health professionals would Lachlan see in a year say? 
CARLY STEWART: Oh, I think currently we see about eight or nine different departments at the Children's Hospital in Melbourne mostly doctors, sometimes physios or occupational therapists, occasionally speech therapists but generally doctors at the Children's Hospital.  We don't see our GP all that often except for referrals, we also see our private paediatrician just so that we can have a bit of an overarching view of where we're going with Lachlan, a lot of the paediatricians and doctors at the hospital, though very good, work in one modality. 
JENNY BROCKIE:   So how much do all of these people talk to one another about Lachlan?  
CARLY STEWART: Very little. It is getting better but very little. I'm usually the common thread in terms of making sure that we have, um, a plan that takes into account all of the things that's happening with him health wise and physically.
JENNY BROCKIE:   Isn't there a central record of everything that's happening in the hospital with Lachlan? 
CARLY STEWART: Um, they do have a central record. However, I believe there are still some departments that hold individual records. Um, and often when you see doctors they look at those areas that look to be relevant to them rather than whatever else might be happening in his life medically at that point in time.
Much, much more follows. 
Audio and a very full transcript are available from this link:
There are a lot of interesting view expressed in this program by a range of experts with lots of discussion of the issues around information flows, communication, information sharing and care co-ordination.
E-Health as a generic gets a fair bit of discussion.
I found it interesting that when the audience was asked only two people had a PCEHR record and most had not heard of www.ehealth.gov.au.
Well done guys!
David.

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