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health
Healthcare and health reform
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Australian Medical Association
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Choosing Wisely
chronic diseases
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Cochrane Collaboration
complementary medicines
conflicts of interest
death and dying
diabetes
digital technology
disabilities
e-health
emergency departments and care
Equally Well
euthanasia
evidence-based issues
general practice
genetics
health & medical marketing
health and medical education
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health ethics
health financing and costs
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HIV/AIDS
hospitals
HRT
infectious diseases
influenza
international medical graduates
journal articles
LGBTIQ
medical marijuana
Medicare Locals
men's health
mental health
MyHospitals website
National Commission of Audit 2014
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naturopathy
NDIS
NHMRC
non communicable diseases
nurses and nursing
oral health
organ transplants
out of pocket costs
pain
palliative care
paramedics
pathology
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
pharmaceutical industry
pharmacy
Pregnancy and childbirth
primary health care
Primary Health Networks
private health insurance
quality and safety of health care
rural and remote health
screening
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social media and healthcare
suicide
surgery
swine flu
telehealth
tests
TGA
trauma
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youth health
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#CTG10
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Acknowledgement
cultural safety
Indigenous education
Lowitja Institute
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social and emotional wellbeing
Uluru Statement
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Improvement requires change: a wrap of #Giant Steps19

On November 21 and 22, Safer Care Victoria held its Giant Steps – Towards Better, Safer Care conference in Melbourne.

The sold-out event brought together Australian and international health care safety and quality experts, consumers, administrators, academics, clinicians and more, to explore the steps that have been taken, and what has to happen next, to put our hearts and souls into improving health care and health.

Marie McInerney reported on the day for the Croakey Conference News Service. She couldn’t be in two places at once for the many concurrent sessions, but we’re delighted to post here, a multimedia wrap of many of the conference highlights.

A good place to start is by watching this video, in which Professor Euan Wallace, CEO of Safer Care Victoria, touches on the reason the organisation was established, and what it seeks to achieve.

He also previews some key messages ahead of his keynote address on the first morning of the conference. He reminds us,

Fundamentally, at the root of all health care, there’s a consumer – a patient, and a care provider – doctor, nurse, midwife… and I think sometimes we forget to look after the care provider.

At the end of the day it’s all about the patient and her family and her carers. Actually nothing else matters …but in order to deliver the best health care, you also have to look after those providing that care. You can’t give what you don’t have…”

And if you’d like an audiovisual sampler, here’s a link to the full playlist of Marie McInerney’s interviews from the day.


Day one begins…

Official opening

The Right Honourable Lord Mayor of Melbourne Sally Capp opened the conference following a Welcome to Country from Boon Wurrung Traditional Owner Gheran Steel, and a cultural performance.


Patient story: Sarah Hawthorn

Stepping up: change needs courage

Professor Euan Wallace, CEO of Safer Care Victoria, had everyone’s attention with this keynote, on recognising, learning from, and building on success, and on how caring for the caregivers is good for everyone.

Learning from success as well as failure: Don’t miss this video, in which delegates talk about their takeaway messages from the opening plenary at #GiantSteps, including the keynote from Safer Care Victoria’s Professor Euan Wallace and the remarkable patient journey of Sarah Hawthorne, who gave birth to her son while in a coma for two months after contracting the flu.

Scaling down and scaling up

UK presenters Helen Bevan, Chief Transformation Officer, NHS Horizons, and Jennifer Rodgers, Chief Nurse, Hospital Paediatrics and Neonatology, Women and Children’s Directorate, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, presented on scaling down and scaling up change in healthcare.

They’ve generously shared the slides from their presentation here.

Conceptually, they said, it’s all about where you are standing. Using the “Balcony and dance floor” analogy you can overview the whole system (balcony) or step into the shoes of individuals for their experience of health and health care (dance floor).

Putting Australia’s First Peoples first: how cultural safety saves lives

Ben Gorrie, Victorian Director of  the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM), gave practical advice for making health services more culturally safe.

Said Gorrie,

Building a safe system recognises it’s core business for every part of the health system. Not just clinicians, but cleaners, admin staff, board, executives. A culturally safe system is where the wider health system understands its complicity in culturally unsafe care.

Cultural safety is very different to cultural awareness. The latter “others us” by examining us and persists with idea that “we’re all the same” amid very different Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

In a dominant culture, your identity is constantly reaffirmed without you knowing. We all have to interrogate why do we do things the way we do.”

Read Marie McInerney’s Twitter Thread of the presentation BenGorrie@GiantSteps19

And watch this interview with Gorrie on how Cultural Safety is much more than undertaking cultural awareness training.

Handle with care

Andy Tagg, Emergency Physician and Co-founder of Don’t Forget the Bubbles, talked about burnout and depression with Lucy Mayes, author of Beyond the Stethoscope and her husband Richard Mayes, General Practitioner and Obstetrician.

Building the plane as you fly

How does leadership in health look these days?

Jessica Amy, Improvement and Innovation Advisor, Albury Wodonga on “managing from inside the peloton”, Annie Moulden, Paediatrician and Clinical Lead, Paediatric Clinical Network, Safer Care Victoria, on “health tales of vulnerability”, and Tanya Farrell, Chair, Consultative Councils on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity (CCOPMM), on “Breaking the mould: from Checkout Chick to Chair of CCOPMM”.

Each brought their own spin to this and other questions. 

Joy at work — Not just the kind thing to do, but the smart thing to do

Andy Tagg returned, along with Shahina Braganza, Senior Emergency Physician at Gold Coast Health, to bring some joy to the afternoon, and talk positives.

Here’s a Twitter Thread from Andy Tagg on how his sessions played out.

We used to do quality on Tuesdays

Adjunct Professor Cathy Balding, Managing Director of Qualityworks PL, Dr Narelle Watson, Director of Quality, Safety and Patient Experience, Western Health, Dr Sue Sinni, Director, Safer Care Unit (Quality, Risk, Consumer Participation & Feedback), Peninsula Health, and Nicola Reinders, Executive Director, Quality and Patient Experience, Ambulance Victoria on the ongoing work of striving for quality.

Innovation in healthcare — does it really exist?

There was plenty of audience engagement with this session on the what, why, when, where and how of innovation in health care.

Matiu Bush, Deputy Director, Health Transformation Lab, RMIT spoke on “The Trojan horse for transformation” and Ariana Carrodus, Project Manager, Northern Health considered “What it takes to foster innovation”.

Small players, big impacts

Sarah Fagan, Health Services Manager, Alpine Health; Denise Fitzpatrick, Regional Clinical Governance Coordinator, Ballarat Health Services; and Lois O’Callaghan, CEO, Mallee Track Health and Community Service covered some ground on quality improvement in regional areas.

To get on board, watch this video, in which Denise Fitzpatrick talks about teaming up for better clinical governance, and Lois O’Callaghan describes an innovative approach to community consultation.

Leadership and change during difficult times

Christine Nixon, Former Chief Commissioner, Victoria Police and current chair of the RACGP, had a message for the health care community about leadership, compassion and seizing opportunities.

She said,

Never let a crisis go by… You can either see it as ‘nothing to see here’ or ‘this is a significant opportunity for us to think differently’. Maybe we’re at that point now in health care.”

You can view Marie McInerney’s Twitter thread of the presentation ChristineNixon@GiantSteps19.

Watch her interview with Christine Nixon here.

Day two dawns…

How one person can change the world

In the opening keynote, Lyn Swinburne AO, talked about how her own experiences as a woman with breast cancer spurred her on to found Breast Cancer Network Australia, and inform her work as Chair of The Royal Women’s Hospital.

Read Marie McInerney’s Twitter Thread of the presentation LynSwinburne@GiantSteps.

Lyn Swinburne speaks to Marie McInerney about her efforts to change the culture in health care towards the needs of patients in this video 

From the ward to the United Nations

Dr Bronwyn King AO, Founder, CEO and Director of Tobacco Free Portfolios gave an inspiring presentation about her work, and on clinician advocacy.

It’s worth thinking about the power that a clinician has. The whole world is crying out for people to trust. Every business conference talks about fake news. But clinicians are trusted. Nurses the most trusted in the world.

Sometimes I see clinicians advocating for change, sometimes with a picket and a sign. Why not try to walk through the front door? The ‘doctor thing’ I have exploited for all it’s worth, it has opened doors that otherwise would be closed.”

Have a crack – change doesn’t happen because the cause is right, it happens because people make it happen.”

You can view Marie McInerney’s Twitter thread of the full presentation BronwynKingGiantSteps.


In this video, Dr Bronwyn King discusses with Marie McInerney why the tobacco control fight is nowhere near over, the advantage that health professionals have in advocacy,  and “secondary boycotts” as legitimate action.

Rebuilding from failure: The Djerriwarrh Health Service experience

Rebuilding from failure (video): Djerriwarrh Health Service CEO Belinda Scott talks about the organisation’s experience after a tragic and avoidable cluster of deaths, its impact on the community and more widely, and how it has worked to restore quality and faith.

Creating shared purpose

Helen Bevan, Chief Transformation Officer, NHS Horizons, and Jennifer Rodgers, Chief Nurse, Hospital Paediatrics and Neonatology, Women and Children’s Directorate, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, discussed the difference between working with purpose and having an aim, with the example of the transformation of a neonatal intensive care unit by a shared understanding of the patients’ and parents’ needs.

You can check out all the slides here

And read a blow -by-blow account of the presentation on Marie McInerney’s Twitter thread SharedPurposeGiantSteps.

Watch this interview with Helen Bevan and Jennifer Rodgers on the difference between purpose and aim, a moving case study at a neonatal intensive care unit, and what love has to do with it.

Sex is a quality issue

Dr Cheryl Carcel, Senior Lecturer, University of New South Wales, Professor Mark Woodward, George Institute for Global Health Dr Zoe Wainer, Head of Public Health and Medical Director, Bupa talked about the exclusion of women as research subjects, unconscious gender bias in health care and poorer cardiovascular disease outcomes for women than for men.

Said Woodward,

It is really frustrating….we’ve known for years but I’m still producing evidence that seems to surprise people so clearly not everyone knows yet.”

The presenters are part of a group that issued a call to action in the latest issue of the Medical Journal of Australia, for Australia to align with other nations and implement sex and gender analysis in health and medical research.

Unmask your potential!

Turia Pitt, athlete, author, humanitarian and motivational speaker, rounded off #GiantSteps19 with some final words.

She shared her experience as a patient – what she values in her carers (it’s kindness and empathy) and the attitudes and actions that have been unhelpful. She also spoke about what it has taken to achieve her remarkable recovery.

Anyone can have a life changing experience that can turn your life upside down, but to turn that into gold is the challenge and the interest – consistency trumps motivation each and every time”.

Marie McInerney summarised the keynote in a Twitter thread, found here TuriaPittGiantSteps.

Final words

Caring conference touches

A chorus of #GiantSteps19 voices

Leadership, bushfires, women & babies: A short interview with with Jill Butty, Director of Quality and Safety at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne, & Adjunct Associate Professor Ann Maree Keenan, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Safer Care Victoria and the Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer can be viewed here.

This brief podcast was made by the MedEdStuffNNonsense team @MedEdStuffNN, live from the event. 

And watch this preview vox pop with the MedEdStuffNNonsense team with Mya Cubitt, Royal Melbourne Hospital emergency physician; Dr Bec Szabo, gynaecologist at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne; and Dr. Nisha Khot, Clinical Director of Obstetrics at Djerriwarrh Health Service in Victoria.

In another video Marie McInerney talks to Cohuna District Hospital and Loddon Mallee health professionals about safety and quality issues in rural and regional areas, particularly in recruiting and retaining staff in an area suffering drought.

In this video, Safer Care Victoria’s Eleanor Sawyer talks about dangers of bed rest and the success of the #EndPJParalysis movement, launched as frontline action and advocacy in the UK, in getting hospital patients mobile.

Think sepsis. Act fast: In this video, Safer Care Victoria’s Senior Project Officer Kelly Sykes talks about the Sepsis Scaling Collaboration involving 11 health services across Victoria to improve outcomes for patients diagnosed with sepsis through earlier identification and management.

Kelly presented the project and its significant results, along with Karin Thursky, Director, National Centre for Antimicrobial Stewardship, at one of the #GiantSteps19 breakfast sessions.

Operating at Code Red: In this video, Chief Paramedic Officer Alan Eade tells Marie McInerney prevention is the key to emergency resourcing.

He was speaking on Nov 21, when Victoria had its first ever Code Red alerts in two regions, with weather conditions threatening bushfires and thunderstorm asthma.

Doctor, why can’t you cure me? In this video Monash Health oncologist, Dr Ranjana Srivastava, talks to Marie McInerney about negotiating difficult conversations in health care.

And here’s a short message from Kellie O’Callaghan, self declared “governance geek and hybrid patient/engagement advisor”, board member of Safer Care Victoria, and chair of the Consumer Advisory Committee. Her take-home from #GiantSteps19? “Take every bit of that information and use it in your services…”


#GiantSteps19 Analytics

Between 20 November and 29 November, Symplur analytics show 802 participants sent 4,332 tweets using the #GiantSteps19 hashtag, creating 20.425 million Twitter impressions. As of 29 November, the video interviews from the event had been viewed 2,530 times via the Periscope app.


Marie McInerney live-tweeted the event and conducted interviews via Periscope, and Dr Ruth Armstrong compiled this post from the tweets and videos, for the Croakey Conference News Service.

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