The Health News – 13 January 2016

Overview:
• The National Health Co-op has moved to permanently remove children’s toys from waiting rooms in its six medical clinics across Canberra. Managing director Adrian Watts stated that toy rooms at medical centres were a breeding ground for germs.

• Barwon Health’s website has been taken down after it was apparently hacked on Tuesday morning. The Victorian health service’s website was replaced by a pro-Palestinian message claiming the website was hacked by Akram Stelle.

• The Ambulance Alternate Pathways pilot program aiming to free up space in hospital emergency departments will be rolled out in Newcastle in the months ahead. It involves paramedics referring non-emergency patients to general practitioners where appropriate.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 13th January 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-12/kids-toys-removed-from-gp-waiting-rooms/7082950

The National Health Co-op has moved to permanently remove children’s toys from waiting rooms in its six medical clinics across Canberra.

Managing director Adrian Watts …[stated] that toy rooms at medical centres were a breeding ground for germs.

Mr Watts said soft toys, abacuses, blocks and dolls were among the toys that would be removed from the waiting rooms.

Parents disgruntled by the change have been reminded they can bring their own toys from home to keep their children entertained.

A spokesperson for the Australian Medical Association said there were no national regulations calling on medical clinics to remove toys from waiting rooms.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-12/barwon-health-website-targeted-by-pro-palestine-hackers/7083538

Barwon Health’s website has been taken down after it was apparently hacked on Tuesday morning.

The Victorian health service’s website was replaced by a pro-Palestinian message claiming the website was hacked by Akram Stelle.

It also played an audio message questioning various religions.

That message has since been replaced by a message saying the website was “down for urgent maintenance”.

In a statement, Barwon Health said patients’ medical records were not at risk, because the site is hosted by an external service, with no access to sensitive information.

“This morning, the provider’s hosting service was compromised, along with a number of other websites using this server,” a spokeswoman said.

“We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause and we are working with our service provider to rectify this issue.” [said the spokeswoman].

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-12/new-program-hopes-to-cut-hospital-emergency-presentations/7082562

A pilot program aiming to free up space in hospital emergency departments will be rolled out in Newcastle in the months ahead.

The Ambulance Alternate Pathways pilot has already been operating on the Central Coast for more than a year.

It involves paramedics referring non-emergency patients to general practitioners where appropriate in an effort to cut hospital presentations.

Hunter New England Central Coast Primary Health Network CEO Richard Nankervis said the early results of the program are promising.

“People are really pleased that they do not necessarily have to go to hospital when their condition is eligible for them to see their GP,” he said.

“Also care is sometimes more appropriate with their GP than at the hospital so that’s a positive thing too.”

The Hunter’s primary health network will be pushing innovation in the year ahead as it works to create new models of care for the future.

The network is rolling out several programs in the Hunter region in 2016, including an e-Referral trial [which] hopes to streamline the referral process.

Mr Nankervis said they are also working on an innovation hub.

“We’re looking to create a web based portal where different clinicians and service providers and technology developers can bring ideas together to better engineer solutions and services in healthcare in our region,” he said.