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Clinical editors cross health system boundaries to lead change

Published on 14 Dec, 2018 | Return|


After exploring the leadership role of clinical editors in workshop sessions at the
2018 HealthPathways Conference, 30 clinical editors contributed to the follow-on education activity.

Building on the conference themes of collaboration and leadership, the group shared their insights into the challenges and opportunities of collaborative pathway development across traditional boundaries.

Summarising the post-conference submissions for the conference education activity, Dr Louise Delaney, GP Clinical Editor, HealthPathways Regional Clinical Advisor NSW & National Clinical Advisor Australia, says the post-conference reports clearly demonstrate the impact HealthPathways teams are having at the frontline of healthcare.

“Overall, 30 clinical editors completed this first clinical editor education module, Clinical Editors and Leadership,” says Louise.

“The post-conference activity reports gave some great insight into significant projects that are happening across our HealthPathways teams. Although these may currently sit under the radar as we focus on pathway numbers and page views as measures of success, we hope to share and acknowledge some of these initiatives soon.”

Feedback from the contributing group was generally very positive, says Louise.

“While the learning outcomes may have been a little ambitious, the input was highly valuable and included some great suggestions for future education activity around outcome measures for HealthPathways,” she says.

Summary of post-conference submissions

In their post-conference submissions, most of the clinical editors discussed the leadership aspects of achieving collaboration across the traditional boundaries between primary and secondary care.

Themes that illustrated the impact of achieving pathway projects in the face of multiple challenges included:

  • increasing health equity
    • care for sufferers of autism across their lifespan (Mackay, Queensland),
    • improving management of diabetic foot disease (Murrumbidgee, New South Wales) and renal disease (Northern Territory) in remote communities
    • early colorectal cancer detection (Murrumbidgee, New South Wales)
    • access to HCV treatment (Western Victoria)
    • ensuring adequate workup of rural/remote patients before travelling for specialist assessment (Northern Territory)
  • supporting GPs in the face of a change in treatment or government initiatives
    • HCV antivirals (Western Victoria)
    • withdrawal of over-the-counter codeine (Brisbane North Queensland)
    • increasing complexity of influenza immunisation (Nepean Blue Mountains, New South Wales)
    • prescribing opioid replacement therapy (Melbourne, Victoria)
    • advances in technology around antenatal screening (Hunter New England)
    • assessment of children in out-of-home care (Sydney, New South Wales)
  • accessing and translating secondary care information for use in primary care
    • reduction in CT radiation in headache presentations (Nepean Blue Mountains)
    • earlier assessment of high-risk obstetric patients (Western Victoria)
    • assessing head injury in children (Tasmania) 
    • complex medication handover (Canterbury)
  • collaborating to improve care of patients preoperatively to reduce post-operative transfusions or complications related to diabetes (Hunter New England, New South Wales)
  • taking an honest look at one’s own skills when faced with the war against industry influence on guidelines in trying to write a healthy eating pathway (Western Victoria)
  • the universal difficulties of back pain management
    (3D - Wairarapa, Hutt Valley, Capital and Coast NZ)

“Reading through this work has made me wonder how general practitioners ever kept up with the haphazard supply of guidance they were drip-fed before HealthPathways, and how patients ever navigated the system,” says Louise.

In a final note, Louise shares her favourite experiences of the education activity:

Learn more

We’re always interested in your ideas for future education and professional development topics for clinical editors.

To support ongoing development for clinical editors, we’ve added new Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Resources to Online Help. The new resources list all the currently known ways a clinical editor can add, gain, or award CPD points as part of pathway development or Work Group activities:

Share your experiences

We’re interested in hearing about and sharing examples of successful education activities created by HealthPathways teams throughout the Community, particularly any activities where clinical editors have been able to access:

  • Category 1 CPD points (RACGP)
  • PRPD points (ACRRM)
  • Clinical audits (RNZCGP)

To share your HealthPathways team’s method of achieving continuing professional development (CPD) with the HealthPathways Community, please email your suggestions, with activity details and any supporting submission documentation, to Louise Delaney, email hp@louisedelaney.com.au