Our latest edition of Connect magazine looks at cases that demonstrate how some small, day-to-day issues can escalate into big headaches for doctors and poor patient outcomes.
We also cover tackling young doctor burnout, and advice to address administrative matters such as contracts and Medicare billings.
Read the articles below or download the PDF with best practice insights to help you in your professional and personal lives.
Back to usual practice
Dr Beverley Rowbotham - Chair, Avant
Avant’s Chair, Dr Beverley Rowbotham introduces Connect while highlighting how all issues, no matter big or small, can affect our
Dr Nicola Campbell -
Psychiatry registrar and Avant member, QLD
Nicola is a psychiatry registrar at Toowoomba Hospital in
Queensland, completing a Master of Public Health and a Graduate
Certificate in Clinical Education. She shares her experience and
views on tackling junior doctor burnout and suicide.
A stitch in time ...
Dr Patrick Clancy -
Senior Medical Adviser, Advocacy, Education and Research,
Doctors strive for the best standard of care for their patients and
often go the extra mile, but unwanted things happen. You face a
range of medico-legal challenges and whether big or small, you
may need good and timely advice to provide the best care.
The big decisions
Court vindicates doctor's patient management
Hayley Daniel -
Solicitor, Avant Law
Despite doctors’ best efforts, some patients won’t comply with the treatment advice
they are given. When things go wrong for these patients, the doctor is often in the firing line, so there are important steps to take in managing these patients.
Doctor faces tribunal for sharing patient’s information
Stephen Grant - Head of Practice Civil Claims, Avant
Sharing patient information with colleagues is sometimes necessary, but careful consideration is
required in view of the privacy laws.
Small but significant
Reflection needed for a positive outcome
Dr Peter Walker - Risk Adviser, Member Advisory Services, Avant
A complaint made to a health regulator against you can be confronting and overwhelming. However, if
dealt with appropriately the best outcome can be achieved, as one member experienced.
Diagnosis issues drive
Melissa Yee - Research and Evaluation Manager,
One in 10 GP members had a complaint or claim raised about their care in 2018-19. While the GP’s care was found to meet the standard expected in the majority of matters, facing an allegation is often stressful, even if your care is appropriate.
Clinical decisions under pressure
Dr Andrew Broad - Senior Medical Adviser, Avant
It’s sometimes difficult to keep a clear head when facing urgent medical situations and pressure from family members. These situations can lead you to ignore your gut instincts and cloud clinical decisions, but how you manage them can
make all the difference.
What’s colouring your thinking?
Justine Matthews - Solicitor, Professional Conduct, Avant Law
Sometimes a doctor’s desire to help a patient when empathising with their situation can backfire.
Knowing when to say no and remain supportive, can often avoid medico-legal issues down the track.
Business of medicine
Sonya Black - Special Counsel, Employment Law, Avant Law
Practices often find the situation tricky when an employee refuses to sign an updated employment
contract. So how do you handle these situations, to get everyone on board?
Common Medicare mistakes
Dr Peter Henderson -
Deputy Chief Medical Officer and General Manager, Medical Advisory Services,
Indiscretions or mistakes under Medicare can seem like a small issue, but can lead to penalties
and disciplinary action, so it’s worth brushing up on the common issues.
Lessons from the pandemic
Dr Penny Browne - Chief Medical Officer,
The COVID-19 pandemic threw up a situation that neither our members nor the wider profession has
Phishing has gone viral
Tanya Freeman - Chief Information Officer,
Wherever you work, viruses are a serious issue, and not just the sub-microscopic infectious agents.
Viruses are disrupting life through infecting IT systems, with health service providers being the most
A doctor's life
Dr Vikram Balakrishnan - Colorectal and general surgeon, Co-founder, myBeepr
For all the fantastic technology advances in medicine, the pager is still a mainstay tool for doctors, but this is changing. Research shows over 95% of doctors currently use private messaging apps to coordinate care, with tailored tools becoming available.
Peter Aroney -
Chief Executive Officer, Doctors’ Health Fund
Two years ago, a series of reforms were introduced by the government to simplify private health
insurance and address its affordability. Looking at this ‘first wave’ of a reform package that remains
ongoing, there have been successes while some key objectives are yet to be met.
Looking for a loan?
James Ostroburski - Chief Executive Officer, Kooyong Group
When it comes to home loans, doctors need the right guidance to ensure being time-poor and under
pressure doesn’t prove costly.
Assessing the consent process
Adam Golabek -
Head of Avant Foundation,
Obtaining patient consent is a fundamental, yet tricky skill and some doctors don’t always get it right.
Our data shows consent is a factor in one in 10 claims. The Avant Foundation was pleased to support
members’ research into assessing trainees’ abilities in performing this task.