In our latest edition of Connect magazine we look at getting back on track as we move to a new norm of ‘living with COVID’.
We examine the challenges that lie ahead, such as getting patients back into practice to minimise the potential consequences of delayed screenings, health checks and follow ups.
In addition, there are case studies, profiles and articles offering best practice insights to help you in your professional and personal lives.
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Getting back on track
Dr Beverley Rowbotham - Chair, Avant
Avant’s Chair, Dr Beverley Rowbotham introduces Connect and examines what the new normal will look like as it starts to take shape. Encouraging patients back into the practice will play a key role in getting back on track after two years of living with the pandemic.
Improving conditions for healthcare workers
Our cover features Dr Laksmi Sakura Govindasamy, an emergency medicine trainee and public health physician, who worked in the public health response and emergency department during COVID. She shares her view on some lessons coming from her experience.
Coming out of COVID
Resuming preventative care
Dr Michael Wright – Chief Medical Officer, Avant
Resuming routine care, such as regular cancer screening and managing chronic health, will be key priorities for doctors. Avant’s new Chief Medical Officer offers insight on ways to re-establish that vital personal connection that exists between doctors and patients.
Rocky Ruperto – Legal and Policy Officer, Avant
Prior to COVID, no one could have predicted that face-to-face patient consultations will be an exception and telehealth the norm for many doctors. Since telehealth has now become a permanent fixture, we look at the guidelines and requirements to take into consideration.
Managing patients’ new expectations
Dr Patrick Clancy – Senior Medical Adviser, Avant
Adapting to the changes brought on by COVID has meant patients are also seeing things differently. What was considered convenient during the pandemic must now be managed on a case by case basis. What does this mean in your day-to-day operations and how can you effectively manage patients?
Coroner highlights fixated thinking behind tragedy
Emma Winch – Solicitor, Avant Law
Doctors are often required to make calls in stressful situations, but sometimes important clinical signs are missed. An anaesthetic team working in a high-pressure operating theatre which ended in the unexpected death of a toddler is a reminder to be mindful of fixated thinking in emergency situations within treatment teams.
Faxing error leads to privacy breach
Peter Harris - Associate, Avant Law
A case where multiple medical records were faxed to a wrong number, reminds both doctors and practices to consider more secure methods of communication, when sending private patient information.
‘Strange examination’ results in patient complaint
Dr Peter Henderson – General Manager, Medical Advisory Services, Avant
While physical examinations may be necessary for a correct diagnosis, they can be uncomfortable for the patient. Despite the doctor having done everything correctly, this can still lead to a complaint and is a reminder to communicate openly and effectively.
GP suspended after ignoring prescribing red flags
Ruanne Brell – Senior Legal Adviser, Medico-legal Advisory Service, Avant
Complex legal requirements when prescribing drugs of dependence and pressure from patients can create the perfect storm for doctors, which is a reminder to refresh your knowledge and sharpen your prescribing practices and provide these medications safely.
Don’t let a natural disaster be a financial one
Michael Loughman – Chief Executive Officer, Avant Financial Services
The past two years of living with the pandemic has taught us the value in being prepared for any event, which includes financial preparedness. While it is hard to prevent natural or financial disasters, you can prepare for them and other unexpected incidents, to minimise the impact.
Making a good diagnosis
Dr David Pakchung – Head of Practice – Civil Claims, Avant
Wrongly diagnosing a patient is one of the biggest concerns for doctors, where an estimated 140,000 people have medical issues misdiagnosed in Australia every year. Picking up on red flags and signs of uncertainty can help you avoid diagnostic errors.
Private health insurance after a pandemic
Peter Aroney - Chief Executive Officer, Doctors’ Health Fund
Looking to what life might be like once COVID is no longer at pandemic proportions, the private health industry must stay alert to the opportunities and responsibilities that lie ahead. This is our perspective on these issues.
Doctors are not invincible
Dr Rosa Canalese – Senior Medical Adviser, Avant
In a high-stress occupation such as medicine, it’s no surprise that doctors face issues such as burnout and struggling with work-life balance. We dispel some of the myths associated with doctors seeking treatment and the stigma associated, because anyone can be susceptible to mental health challenges.
The pneumonia checklist
Avant Foundation revisits the progress of research by Professor Kumar Visvanathan, who received the Avant Foundation grant in 2018 for his application on investigating the accuracy of pneumonia diagnosis in ED.
Healthcare for the homeless
Street Side Medics is a wonderful example of the altruism of doctors. The brainchild of Young Australian of the Year, Dr Daniel Nour, who founded the not-for-profit organisation, it delivers a mobile primary healthcare service to people who are vulnerable or experiencing homelessness.