2011 Innovation in Practice Awards Winners

The Winners of the Innovations in Practice Awards 2011 were announced at an Awards Ceremony on Friday, 4 March 2011 in Hobart. The Chief Nurse and Allied Health Unit would like to congratulate the following:-

Client / Patient Centred Care

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Cancer Care - submitted by Louise Nicholson, Nurse Unit Manager Oncology Outpatients, Royal Hobart Hospital.

Louise worked on this project with Virginia Dauney, Cheryl Studley, Angelica Pearce, Christine Storey, Alana Fitzgibbon, Trixie Taylor, Gillian Sheldon-Collins, Susan Roper, Julia Aston and Suzanne Smith.

This is a multi-disciplinary project that explored the perceptions of both cancer patients and the multidisciplinary staff following the introduction of the Pre-Chemotherapy Education Clinic. The project directed specific attention to the method of distribution of information and its effectiveness for patients commencing chemotherapy. They sought to identify areas for improvement so that the multidisciplinary team could further improve this area of care.

Stay and Keys Services - submitted by Suzanne Willis, Senior Housing Consultant, Housing Tasmania and project team member Kylie Fidanza.

This project looks at the needs of people who are at significant risk of homelessness; those who frequently cycle in and out of institutions such as prison or youth detention and often become repeat users of specialist homelessness services. The aim is for clients to develop skills which enable them to sustain their tenancies and live independently while connecting with families, the community and other networks.

Long term it will:

  • help to prevent homelessness for vulnerable people who have experienced institutional care,
  • provide opportunities for chronically homeless people to make the transition to secure and supported accommodation,
  • support clients to reconnect with family, the community and other networks, and
  • improve access for homeless people to mainstream health, social and employment services.

Client / Patient Safety

Safe Tick Routine - submitted by Jo Hodgson on behalf of the Speech Pathology Department, Launceston General Hospital.

One of the most important roles of the Speech Pathologist is to recommend safe swallowing strategies for patients in order to reduce adverse health risks such as choking, aspiration, malnutrition and dehydration.

SAFE TICK was developed in consultation with speech pathology colleagues across the state and with key nursing staff at the Launceston General Hospital following an audit that showed significant variance in the documentation, interpretation and implementation of meal management strategies for patients with dysphagia.

Launceston General Hospital Speech Pathologists developed a “generic set” of safe swallowing strategies to help address these issues. The SAFE TICK routine assists staff to remember to apply the strategies in an organised and consistent manner for all patients with dysphagia. The ‘Safe Tick’ strategy has been supported by an extensive education program which has been completed by more than 200 staff to date.

Functional Electrical Stimulation - submitted by John Cannell, Neurology/Rehabilitation Physiotherapy Supervisor, Launceston General Hospital.

Stroke is the leading cause of disability in Australia and recovery of arm strength is a major determinant for a stroke survivor’s ability to function. John and his team - Kylie Lane, Louise Rigney, Rebecca Cannell and Anna Lynch, have developed an eLearning module to support Allied Health Assistants to apply electrical stimulation.

With increasing numbers of stroke patients, huge challenges emerged for health professionals. How could more patients receive the best treatment at the right time? This initiative maximises the role of the Allied Health Assistant, and using a system of educational resources, a wider group of staff have expertise in the application of electrical stimulation minimising the time delay for patients.

New Ways of Working

Gastrointestinal Cancer Multidisciplinary Team Meetings - submitted by Renae Grundy, Cancer Care Coordinator, Royal Hobart Hospital

Working with Dr Louise Nott and members of the multidisciplinary team, this project focuses on the establishment of multidisciplinary team meetings that promotes a team approach to planning treatment and care for patients with gastrointestinal cancer.

The team includes radiologists, pathologists, surgeons, oncologists, nurses and palliative care clinicians. Just imagine the challenges of getting this diverse group of people together! However, this fantastic initiative means that the patient’s physical and supporting care needs are identified looking at all aspects of care.

Hospital at Night - submitted by Debbie West, Launceston General Hospital and project team members Drs Beth Mulligan and Jackie O’Keefe.

This project was undertaken in response to the findings of a work analysis audit. Using the findings of the audit - an ‘out of hours’ medical team consisting of a Medical Registrar, a Resident Medical Officer and an Intern were introduced in a dedicated roster arrangement known as ‘Hospital at Night’.

The initiative not only provides a cohesive team approach to patient care during night shift, but also supports clinical supervision of junior medical staff and provides improved continuity of care for patients.

A structured handover meeting is conducted at the beginning and the end of the shift and ward rounds are conducted overnight. This improved communication between medical and nursing staff results in improved access to the team should there be the need for urgent medical review with obvious benefits for the patient.


Prize Donor Awards

Royal College of Nursing Australia (Tasmanian Chapter)

  • Dementia Research at Royal Hobart Hospital – submitted by Helen Courtney-Pratt, Practice Development Unit, Royal Hobart Hospital

Australia Nursing Federation (Tasmanian Chapter)

  • Tunstall in Home Client Monitoring – submitted by Sandy Carmichael, Central Highlands Community Health Centre

Australia College of Midwives (Tasmanian Chapter)

  • Cradle Coast Midwifery Practice – submitted by Anne Ling and team, Mersey Community Hospital.

Allied Health Professionals Endowment Committee

  • Intake and Outreach Team – submitted by Suzanne Botak, Phil Brew, Robyn Tyson and Nicky Osborne, Clare House, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services