Anyone wondering what Medicare Locals are getting up to will be interested in this contribution from Scott White, Communications Manager, Hunter Medicare Local. He writes…
As the new Medicare Local in the Hunter begins, one of the most frequent questions being asked by primary health clinicians is “what exactly will the Medicare Local do?”. If you take a quick glance at the Governments website – yourHealth – the answer is: improve collaboration between the primary and tertiary sectors.
“But what does collaboration actually mean and isn’t that just a buzz word that sounds good?”
A good practical example of this type of collaboration is the current project between GP Access (now the Hunter Medicare Local) and the Hunter Integrated Pain Services (HIPS) at the John Hunter Hospital. The aim of the project is to improve access to pain management in primary care.
The project began with sponsorship from the National Prescribing Service [NPS] to strengthen the links between primary care and specialist pain clinic clinicians.
The project’s main objectives are to change current pain service delivery by developing closer collaboration between primary and tertiary services. It also hopes to identify individual champions who can promote and enact change.
One of the first outcomes of this project has been the development of a short educational video “Understanding pain and what to do about it in less than five minutes”.
The development of the video was seen as particularly important because it allows communication of the pain message in a clear and concise format and more importantly is one that patients are comfortable and familiar with. Additionally the benefit of a short educational video is that it provides busy clinicians with a tool that can be utilized during patient consultations.
Another advantage of the video is the opportunity it provides to make use of social media as a distribution channel to disseminate the message well beyond the Hunter.
Health promotion is another new task which has been assigned to Medical Locals and this project also allows us to gauge the effectiveness of social media as tool to promote health literacy.
The video has now been released on YouTube under a creative license commons because both parties were keen for the information to be shared. This means the resource needs to be highly accessible and YouTube is the most efficient way of doing this. The aim is to have the information shared as widely as possible so it is important that the content is reusable, as they say in the world of social media, “content is king”.
We encourage everyone to view the video and hope that the resource will be shared widely throughout the community.