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Western Health a finalist in Victorian Public Healthcare Awards

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Western Health a finalist in Victorian Public Healthcare Awards

​Western Health has been announced as a finalist in two categories of this year’s Victorian Public Sector Healthcare Awards.

The awards recognise our innovative approach to improve integrated care for patients with chronic and complex conditions, as well as our employee and volunteer program to sustain a healthy workplace.

Our HealthLinks Integrated Care Program for patients with chronic and complex conditions is about improving their overall care experience, and enabling them to spend more healthy days back in their own homes.

It has resulted in over 3000 patients with conditions like chronic heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, renal failure and diabetes spending less time in hospital and being much happier with their care.

Western Health Director of Community Services Jason Plant said: “Patients with chronic and complex illness are at risk of poorer outcomes so we established the program to ensure a more supportive, cohesive and integrated model of care for them.

“Our new identification system ensures that we can now identify patients who are frequently readmitting and those facing difficult challenges in managing their complex and chronic illness.

“Essential to the program is making sure that these patients receive a quality transition from hospital, are reconnected with their GP, and receive the services they need on their return home,” Mr Plant said.

“Patients are further supported with access to a 24/7 phone service that connects them to a registered nurse 24 hours a day. They can also access a rapid response team of registered nurses who can be sent to their home to provide clinical support with their GP or the Western HealthLinks GP,” he said.

A comprehensive suite of home-based services including allied health, nursing, pharmacy and social support services complements this care.

“Patients are very satisfied with the around-the-clock support, and have also reported significant improvements in the communication they receive about their condition and how to navigate the health system.

“The program has also achieved cost savings. We identified over three thousand patients for the program and in the first year saved over $4.3M, 3961 bed days, which is the equivalent of 10.9 bed days per day.”

HealthLinks is a three-year pilot and draws from existing funding from the Victorian government.

Feedback from a carer
A carer for a patient who is receiving care through our HealthLinks program said:
“The HealthLinks is a service sent from heaven! The triage over the phone, where the nurse has full health records is amazing. Not having to transport Mum to hospital and wait for hours and start from scratch is priceless. Going to hospital is daunting and fear of waiting and possible admission often deters Mum from asking for help with her health.”

Sustaining a health workforce
Our ‘Don't Walk Past - Sustaining a Positive Workplace’ program was also recognised for its engagement with employees and volunteers to share and support responsibility for building and maintaining a positive and respectful workplace.

‘The standard you walk past is the standard you accept’ theme has improved interactions between colleagues, and is creating a more positive workplace with flow on benefits.

More information
Winners will be announced at the awards gala ceremony on Thursday 11 October 2018.

For more information, see the Victorian Public Healthcare Awards website