Reducing harm to patients from healthcare associated infections

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has released the draft report Reducing harm to patients through healthcare associated infection: the role of surveillance.

The report provides up to date scientific and clinical advice on how to reduce HAI by the use of the surveillance of processes of care and of infection rates of certain micro-organisms, in a variety of settings. The Commission reports that hospital infection rates could be halved if health workers simply washed their hands more regularly and more thoroughly. It has found that around 200,000 people each year are contracting infections within the healthcare system and two million extra bed days are occupied by patients because they have picked up healthcare associated infection. The total cost is about $20 million per year.

Dementia Resource Guide

A comprehensive new guide on the Department of Health & Ageing website, designed to assist people who care for those with dementia. Covers all major areas with lots of links to other resources.

Inspirational journeys (Free diabetes DVD)

The inaugural Inspirational Journeys award program unearthed five unsung heroes from among Australia's dedicated diabetes healthcare professionals. The program, a collaboration among Diabetes Australia, the Australian Diabetes Educators Association, Australian Diabetes Society and Eli Lilly Australia, recognises the contribution of multiple disciplines working together to improve diabetes health outcomes.

During 2007, judges selected five award recipients nationally, who were filmed on location to produce a documentary about their work.

The Inspirational Journeys documentary is available on DVD. If you would like to order your free copy, please contact Lilly on ph: 02 9325 4594.

Sources for Drug and Alcohol research

The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at UNSW has just published a useful document called Searching the grey literature to access information on Drug and Alcohol Research : a resource to identify drug related databases and websites, by Bianca Calabria and a team of writers.
Grey literature is material that is not formally published by commercial publishers or peer reviewed journals. It includes reports, fact sheets, conference proceedings and other documents from institutions, organisations, and government agencies. It is often hidden away on the Internet and difficult to unearth, but can be extremely valuable. This document gives a comprehensive and amazingly detailed list of databases and websites where you can freely find information on this topic.

Pathways into the health workforce for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (Report)

The Pathways report provides key recommendations that focus on maximising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in the health workforce, by promoting and improving pathways between school, vocational education and training (VET) and higher education and retaining and building the capacity of the existing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce by addressing ongoing support and career development needs.The report highlights the need for strong collaboration between health and education across all levels of government and identifies four areas for action: the student and their needs ; the institutional context ; enabling the system ; and leadership for change.

The Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin (e-journal)

The Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin (ISSN 1445-7253) is the electronic journal of the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet. The purpose of the Bulletin is to facilitate access to information of relevance to Australian Indigenous health. The current issue, Vol. 8, No. 3 is now available.

Australian e-Health Research Centre

CSIRO today welcomed the launch of the Australian e-Health Research Centre (AEHRC) as a national venture, supported by A$20 million in funding from the Federal and Queensland governments.  Research undertaken at the AEHRC is leading to the development of simulated training tools (enabling colonoscopists, for instance, to become more skilled), home monitoring systems for patients recovering from heart attack, and improved imaging techniques to facilitate early diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease. Established in 2003 as a joint venture between CSIRO and the Queensland Government, the AEHRC is a key delivery point into the health system for CSIRO health research based on information and communication technologies (ICT). Reposted from NCAHS Library Clippings

Living is for everyone: research and evidence in suicide prevention

This report by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs sets the context for suicide prevention activity, summarising current research, evidence and statistics relating to suicide and suicide prevention in Australia. It includes material on suicide risk and protective factors for suicide, suicide trends and comparisons, evidence of what works in suicide prevention and a discussion of the Living Is For Everyone (LIFE) suicide prevention model.

GreenFILE (free environmental database)

Ebsco has recently made GreenFILE free to search. The database focusses on the relationship between humans and the environment, covering topics such as environmental health, global warming, recycling and alternate fuel sources. GreenFILE searches scholarly and general interest journals, as well as government documents and reports and connects the environment with other disciplines such as agriculture, education, law, health and technology. If you search the database and find an article or document you want to read that is not in full-text, please just email or phone your nearest GWAHS Library. Reposted from NCAHS Library Clippings.

Rural and remote public health (Special issue of the Australian Journal of Rural Health V. 16, Iss. 2, April 2008)

Prof. David Lyle and Prof. David Perkins of the Broken Hill Department of Rural Health have co-edited this issue focussing on rural public health. Amongst the papers included are : Addressing the health disadvantages of rural populations ; Impact evaluation of the WellingTonne Challenge; Rural obesity, healthy weight and perceptions of risk ; Health workforce crisis : how to achieve a work-life balance ; and several others.

NSW Farmers' Mental Health Network

The severe, and in many cases, ongoing drought has highlighted a range of problems with the current mental health conditions and services across rural and remote NSW. The emotional stress from the lingering drought is impacting not only farmers, but also their families, communities and even the drought support services themselves. Whilst the drought may have a limited life span, its ramifications such as depression, financial hardship, and loss will continue for many years.
As part of a wider response to this worrying problem, NSW Farmers Association,brought together a group of key stakeholders in the area of rural mental health, to discuss how best to work together to address rural and remote mental health issues. This forum, held in June 2005, resulted in the creation of a formal Rural Mental Health Network and a NSW Farmers Blueprint for Maintaining the Mental Health and Wellbeing of the People on NSW Farms (please click here for a pdf/printable version). The Blueprint is a simplified summary of key issues that need to be addressed.

South Australia: Our Health and Health Services

South Australia: Our Health and Health Services 2008 provides a comprehensive picture of the health status of South Australians. The report uses population health information and an extensive array of other health and demographic data to portray the dkecurrent state of health and to illustrate how risk factors associated with lifestyle choices, socioeconomic circumstances and environmental conditions can lead to ill health. The report also contains information on the health services and facilities that serve the people of South Australia and the initiatives that will lead to improvements in health and wellbeing.

Women's sexual and reproductive health: A literature review Karolyne Quinn and Jenny Ejlak / Women's Health Victoria

This review looks at women's sexual health and sexuality as dynamic and changing throughout life. It identifies some of the social aspects of sexual health and sexuality that impact on and influence women and men's behaviours. Addressing these social determinants can decrease risk behaviour and increase health benefits for all women.

Climate change sparks regional mental health fears

This article describes the effect of climate change on the mental health of regional and rural communities. There are indications that the effects of the drought on farming communities could see it as a major cause of mental health problems.

Farmers depressed by big dry: report

According to this report Australia's farmers are both poorer and more depressed as a result of the drought. This has included factors such as financial hardship & climate change and it's effect on family wellbeing.

Essentials of social justice : what comes after "Sorry!"

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Tom Calma, will deliver 6 public speeches on the agenda for change in Indigenous Affairs. The six speeches are : "Sorry", "Reform", "Protecting indigenous children ", "Close the gap", "Land and Culture", and "The future". Text of the first five is available. The last will be added when it is delivered. Audio and other materials are also available.

New program supports mental illness

A new program has been developed in the Central West region to help those suffering from mental illness.

Drought linked to indigenous health

A forum held at the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health at Bloomfield Hospital Orange, discussed the way drought affects the mental health of indigenous people. Key mental health issues were raised as well as strategies.

National Primary Health Care Partnership

19 national peak health organisations representing over 100,000 frontline health professionals working in the primary health care sector have come together to form the National Primary Health Care Partnership (NPHCP).
The NPHCP is working towards a primary health care system that works for the people who need and use it. It calls on the Australian Government to develop and implement a National Primary Health Care Policy, providing coordinated, evidence based, safe primary health care services delivered by multidisciplinary health care teams and accessable by all Australians irrespective of geographic, social, economic or cultural background in accordance with the principles of the Declaration of Alma-Ata.

Clinical Practice Guidelines

Readers looking for Practice Guidelines on a particular procedure have many good and authoritative databases you can search to find them. If you're looking for a one-stop shop, however, you could try the National Library of Guidelines site, which is produced by the NHS in the UK. You can search all the NHS guidelines here and they also provide great links to International Guidelines sites, such as the US National Guidelines Clearinghouse and our own NHMRC Guidelines. There's an absolute plethora of best practice in all these Guidelines -take a good look.

Office of Rural Health

The Federal Government has today announced the creation of an Office of Rural Health
Press release.

Rural Doctor's Association response

Key Drivers of Demand in the Emergency Department: A Hypothesis Driven Approach to Analyse Demand and Supply

Booz Allen Hamilton, NSW Health, December 2007
The main finding of this review was that growth in Emergency Department services in NSW was generally consistent with that experienced in other states and that all states concluded that the reasons for increases were multi-factorial. The report contended that reasons for growth included issues such as the ageing population, GP access & practice issues, increased patient awareness of conditions that require immediate medical attention, of faster access to ED and ability to obtain all clinical and diagnostic services at a single location.

Obesity : should there be a law against it ?

Australian and New Zealand Health Policy is a free online journal which publishes articles on all aspects of health policy, but also produces symposium issues. The latest of these is the provocative Obesity : should there be a law against it?