The Health News – 29 March 2017

Overview:
• According to NSW Ambulance, 142 women delivered their babies with the assistance of a call taker, while paramedics made it in time to complete 84 deliveries. Call taker Chris Lewis said while it might seem daunting for mothers to deliver a baby outside the safety of a hospital, call takers were highly skilled and could help guide those who went into labour suddenly.

• Katherine Hospital in the Northern Territory has gone from one of the worst facilities in the country when it comes to Indigenous health care to one of the best. Their secret: engaging with Indigenous patients and supporting doctors.

• The PAGI program is an Australian-first and will use machine learning and artificial intelligence to uncover unprecedented insights from genomic and clinical information. It aims to set the intellectual and technological framework for a new way of thinking in medical research, in healthcare and in health systems management. It also aims to usher in an era in which big data and its analysis transform our understanding of human biology and disease.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  29th of March 2017. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-28/unexpected-labour-handled-calmly-and-safely-by-nsw-ambulance/8393896

A car wash, a fish and chip shop and a fast-food restaurant.

These are just some of the 320 locations in New South Wales where mothers unexpectedly delivered their babies last year.

According to NSW Ambulance, 142 women delivered their babies with the assistance of a call taker, while paramedics made it in time to complete 84 deliveries.

Monique Jensen, 32, was one of many who gave birth with just a helping voice over the phone.

She was at her Whalan home in western Sydney and her husband was dropping off her young twins at a relative’s home when her water broke.

Ms Jensen’s mother and neighbour came to her aid and called triple-0 but her contractions increased and that was when she knew she would have to rely on the remote guidance of call taker Chris Lewis.

Mr Lewis has delivered 13 babies over his five-year career as a call taker and successfully talked Ms Jensen’s mother and neighbour through the birthing process.

Mr Lewis said while it might seem daunting for mothers to deliver a baby outside the safety of a hospital, call takers were highly skilled and could help guide those who went into labour suddenly.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-28/katherine-hospital-from-worst-in-the-country-to-one-of-the-best/8392792

Katherine Hospital in the Northern Territory has gone from one of the worst facilities in the country when it comes to Indigenous health care to one of the best.

Their secret: engaging with Indigenous patients and supporting doctors.

When physician Simon Quilty arrived at the hospital, it was going through a major crisis.

“What had happened in 2010 is that the hospital found itself in a situation where things were falling apart,” he says.

A number of doctors complained to the NT Medical Board about a lack of supervision and the impractical workload. The hospital was on the verge of shutting down.

More than one in four Indigenous patients left Katherine Hospital before completing treatment, often without informing staff, the worst rate in the nation. These “take own leave” cases are complex, but one factor is Indigenous patients’ perception of inadequate treatment.

It’s an issue plaguing the health system nationally: a 2014 federal Health Department report found that racism contributes to the low rates of access to health services by Aboriginal people.

Similarly, the number of patients who “discharge against medical advice” is recorded and recognised by health departments as a key indicator for the quality of Aboriginal healthcare.

In the NT, 11 per cent of all Indigenous patients discharge themselves against medical advice.

The NT Department of Health conducted an investigation into the staffing crisis at the Katherine Hospital. Its findings weren’t released publicly.

Six years ago, a new general manager and a group of new doctors arrived with an ambition to turn things around.

They’ve brought highly trained specialist doctors who are invested in the community, interpreters are used regularly and families of Indigenous patients are consulted on complex treatment plans.

This year, only 4 per cent of the Indigenous patients “took [their] own leave”, making Katherine one of the best performing hospitals in the nation when it comes to caring for Aboriginal patients.

The systematic use of interpreters is a big change at Katherine Hospital.

Dr Quilty, who joined the hospital in 2012, was the first physician to have ever been employed at the hospital. Last year he won the Royal Australian College of Physicians’ medal for clinical service in rural and remote areas.

https://www.garvan.org.au/news-events/news/garvan-and-deakin-university-join-forces-to-accelerate-precision-medicine-through-machine-learning

The PAGI program is an Australian-first and will use machine learning and artificial intelligence to uncover unprecedented insights from genomic and clinical information.

The pioneering new program aims to set the intellectual and technological framework for a new way of thinking in medical research, in healthcare and in health systems management. It also aims to usher in an era in which big data and its analysis transform our understanding of human biology and disease.

The program [was] launched by Dr Amanda Caples, Victoria’s Lead Scientist, at Deakin Downtown, in the company of Deakin University Vice Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander AO, Garvan Executive Director Professor John Mattick AO FAA and PRaDA Director Professor Svetha Venkatesh.

In the future, researchers in the program aim to bring together thousands and ultimately millions of genome sequences and clinical information from individuals who have consented. They will integrate the two kinds of information and to explore it through machine learning and pattern recognition.

The program seeks to learn more from the vast amounts of human genome sequence data that are now being generated in Australia and worldwide.

The launch [took] place …[onTuesday 28 March] at Deakin Downtown, Level 12, Tower 2, 727 Collins Street, Melbourne.

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