LMHN Regional Review Autumn 2023

Regional Review Issue 3 | Autumn 2023

Loddon Mallee Shared Services

Loddon Mallee Public Health Unit

Regional Clinical Governance

In this issue


Message from the Chair of Loddon Mallee Health Network, Peter Faulkner

6 8

Regional Clinical Governance Surgery Recovery and Reform

10 12

Loddon Mallee Public Health Unit Workshops

Regional Electronic Patient Records

Cover and inside cover photos: Kate Monotti

Acknowledgement of Country We acknowledge the First Peoples of Australia who are the Traditional Custodians of the land and water where we live, work and play. We celebrate that this is the oldest living and continuous culture in the world. We are proud to be sharing the land that we work on and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

Family violence is a health issue

Message from the Chair, Loddon Mallee Health Network

As Chair of both the LMHN and the LMSS and having announced my retirement, this is a fantastic punctuation mark at the end of my journey.


my retirement, this is a fantastic punctuation mark at the end of my journey. In reflecting on my six years as CEO of the Regional Hospital I am most grateful for the wonderful collegial support I have enjoyed from peers across the region. The commitment, effort and belief in better outcomes for our communities through collaboration and joined-up effort give me great confidence and comfort as I move from a provider of health services to a customer within Loddon Mallee; I know that we are doing as well as the best. I have been honoured to work with great people in our health services at Board, Executive and Service levels; to have enjoyed the confidence and support of our Departmental colleagues and colleagues in so many other agencies committed to supporting our communities. I must acknowledge the fabulous work of the LMHN team led by Yvonne Wrigglesworth, they make such a positive difference. Also, the work of the LMSS Teams led by Stuart Lamshed and Danny Lindrea,

their expertise to commit to building on fantastic foundations laid by the past CIO Bruce Winzar is to be admired and regarded. Finally, I wish the LMHN/LMMS teams every success in the future. To all of my colleagues I thank you for your support, trust and commitment to making such a positive difference and in particular, the Board Members, you all carry that extra workload, that extra responsibility and demonstrate that extra commitment, thank you.

It is my pleasure to introduce the Autumn Edition of the Regional Review. This edition contains important updates on our Planned Surgery efforts, our innovative work on the Regional Clinical Governance initiative that we are undertaking in partnership with Safer Care Victoria and progress on the LM Public Health Unit sub-regional workshops. Of particular note also is the great news we received that the Department of Health had supported our business case and allocated $14.2m to the rollout of Electronic Medical Records to our sub-regional health services in Mildura, Swan Hill and Echuca. This will be a critical project for the Region. I know from experience in our Regional Health Service in Bendigo, this will be a major change in how we do clinical business. I do however believe that a lot of the challenges (some of them quite difficult) have already been confronted and overcome and that others in the region will benefit from the Regional Hospital learnings. From a personal perspective as Chair of both the LMHN and the LMSS and having announced


Peter Faulkner Chair Loddon Mallee Health Network CEO Bendigo Health

LMHN Regional Review | Issue 2 | Summer 2023


A new approach to excellent, safer care Peter Abraham, CEO at Swan Hill District Health is certain he is not alone in ‘data overwhelm’ when measuring, reviewing and reporting clinical data. “As you may be aware, collectively, Loddon Mallee individual health services and the LMHN have an exciting opportunity to co-design better systems for clinical measurement, review and improvement through the support of Safer Care Victoria and importantly, their association with the Institute for Health Care Improvement (IHI). I say exciting because, we are the chosen Region to work with first and lead the way. “On the ground, what we all should be striving for through a shared approach, is a more consistent, standardised view of data and simplified Clinical Governance dashboards tailored for each service that focus on the indicators we need. “We will develop and tailor “Improvement Science” skills with tools and methods available in all health services from the floor up and finally, a shared vision for improvement from the Board to Ward at each health service and across LMHN.” Following consultation with our region’s health service leaders and representatives from Safer Care Victoria, the LMHN has formally recogised a need for an innovative, regional approach to building the capability of Health Services to provide excellent, safe care.Developing a Regional System of Clinical Governance for the Loddon Mallee provides a great

opportunity to drive better care experiences for patients and clinicians with a tailored and standard framework. Through partnership with Safer Care Victoria and collaboration with key stakeholders, we will work together as a team to achieve a regional system of clinical governance through an evidence-based approach and with target focus areas. Investment in three Quality Improvement Fellowships in the next financial year will provide valuable insight in what is required for success. We are striving for excellent tangible outcomes for every health service. We are committed to providing regular communications and opportunities to work closely with you to help steer the direction and success for the Loddon Mallee region. As the initiative progresses the Steering Group will be engaging with the project team and be providing advice on quality and safety improvement areas. Project lead, Tara Cramer, says this is the first time Safer Care Victoria have worked with a regional focus dedicated to addressing the needs of the Loddon Mallee region in developing a Regional System of Clinical Governance. As project lead, Tara Cramer is your key contact and invites all members to have their voice heard through the steering group. “We will provide regular updates and avenues to work together in the co-design phase.”

We have an exciting opportunity to co-design better systems for clinical measurement, review and improvement through the support of Safer Care Victoria.

I’m excited to be involved in developing and uplifting the capability of all fifteen member

health services to deliver better, safer healthcare with a regional focus.

LMHN Regional Review | Issue 3 | Autumn 2023


Surgery Recovery and Reform

Improving elective surgery access in post-pandemic recovery is one of the four Ministerial priorities for Victorian Health Service Partnerships (HSPs). In order to achieve this the Victorian Government committed to $21.6 million, over three years, to support each Victorian Health Service Partnership to develop a regional plan for improving patient outcomes by reducing planned surgery wait times. The LMHN Surgery Recovery and Reform Program will provide improved and sustained regional planned surgery access to the Loddon Mallee community by increasing surgical capacity, reducing waitlists, reducing the time patients wait for their surgery, freeing bed capacity and providing the right surgery, at the right time, for the right reason. Tailored to each health service, changes will be made to a specific list of surgical procedures, starting with laparoscopic cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal) and moving next to simple breast surgeries. Dhelkaya Health, for example, is working on these priorities: • Introduce nurse-led criteria-based discharge • Schedule lap chole procedures for the morning (surgical) session • Update discharge information to help reset patient expectations (around length of stay)

Sue Race, CEO of Dhelkaya Health says their size allows them agility and flexibility. “We’re already making significant changes in response to the surgery recovery and reform agenda,” said Sue. “First, we’re moving patients to day surgery when safe to do, and scheduling certain surgeries for mornings rather than afternoons so patients can go home that same day. Second, we’re looking at patient flow to maximise use of our theatre time and make sure we’re seeing the right balance of public patients to reduce planned surgery waiting lists,” said Sue. Third, the team at Dhelkaya are working with consumers on discharge to clarify expectations around length of stay and applying criteria-led discharge to make sure they can go home as soon as they’re medically ready. “Our Victorian Healthcare Experience Survey discharge planning score is 93% and we’re getting some great feedback from patients.” A patient recently commented; “[The staff] put me at ease, talked to me throughout about what they were doing and why. I also appreciated the surgeon coming to talk to me about how the procedure had gone and explaining where the results would be sent.”

Dhelkaya Health is a local health service and our size gives us agility and flexibility. This means we’re already making significant changes in response to the surgery recovery and reform agenda.

I was admitted and seen for evaluation in a timely manner and had the procedure shortly after. Everything was explained to me and any questions I had answered so I was happy. Excellent care.

LMHN Regional Review | Issue 3 | Autumn 2023


LMPHU Population Health Planning Workshops

We are a new large region, the more collaboration and partnerships and communication we have with each other, the better.

The Loddon Mallee Public Health Unit (LMPHU) has been working towards a population health plan which identifies priorities for place-based health promotion, primary prevention and early intervention across the region. Local population health data has been collated, existing health plans reviewed, and local networks identified. This Data Summary Resource was shared with participants prior to the three workshops held recently in the Loddon, Mallee and Murray sub- regions.. Participants of the workshop included representatives from health and community services, familyviolence services, local government, mental health, Aboriginal and multicultural services. Shelly Lavery, Regional Project Manager, Prevention

Current population health data to inform their planning, monitoring and evaluation to focus on Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples, vulnerable families, rural communities, older people, people experiencing homelessness, cultural and language diverse people and new arrivals. Build the capacity of our local Health Services and health promotion workforces. To collaborate and align health and wellbeing plans to achieve shared outcomes. “The Mallee region is a long way from Melbourne and Bendigo, distance has a big impact on accessing the services that can be provided here - this data is shouting that out loud,” a participant said.

and Population Health for LMPHU said the workshops were an excellent channel to hear the stories behind the data from the perspectives of local service providers. “They provided great insight into the concerns of their communities, the impacts on their service system and how the LMPHU could add value to their work,” said Shelly. “These workshops demonstrated the importance of a place-based approach with different strengths and challenges across the region. We were really pleased with the level of engagement and the positive feedback we received from the planning workshops. We are excited to work with our local services to identify shared local priorities and plan for the next two years.”What stakeholders want:

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Regional Electronic


Patient Record funding

Virtual Care Office The Virtual Care Office is focused on the

Loddon Mallee Shared Services (LMSS) has secured $14.25 million in State Government funding to implement a regional electronic Patient Record (ePR) for the Loddon Mallee sites. The overall aim of the project is to enable a single instance, single vendor, integrated enterprise solution for Patient Administration and Clinical functions to Echuca Regional Health (ERH), Swan Hill District Health (SHDH) and Mildura Base Public Hospital (MBPH). LMSS will deliver the program of work across three years in four project phases and the intended scope will be subject to an Implementation Planning Study (IPS). Elyse Adam, Program Director of the Regional ePR Project (pictured) says the move towards a single ePR enables continuation of seamless patient care, providing all staff with a complete picture of the patient across the four health services. This will strengthen and streamline patient handover and care with standardised documentation, assessments and screening. The project methodology will be a combination of Loddon Mallee Shared Services, InterSystems and Department Treasury and Finance (DTF) Governance frameworks. The implementation and functional requirements and assessment will encompass Victoria-wide standards.

A phishing test was conducted across all health services of the LMHN in March to assess the level of cyber security awareness across the alliance. The test involved sending a typical phishing email to all staff members, and the results were quite revealing. Of the 15,743 emails sent, 3,702 were opened, and 1,765 staff members clicked on the phishing link. This equated to a 47.7% click rate among those who opened the email. (426 staff members reported the email as suspicious.) These results highlight the importance of maintaining a high level of cyber security awareness, particularly in the healthcare industry, where sensitive patient data is at risk. Cyberattacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and it is essential that staff recognise and respond appropriately to phishing attempts. Even with a high level of security in place, it only takes one click to put an entire organisation at risk. It is critical that all staff remain vigilant and informed about the latest cyber security threats.

Healthcare providers interested in security concepts for the healthcare sector can enrol here for the Digital Health Security Awareness eLearning module and access useful resources and information, specific to healthcare providers. Developed by the Australian Digital Health Agency, this free eLearning course provides an introduction to online security concepts and can be completed in your own time. “As the manager with responsibility for delivering cyber security capability across the Loddon Mallee Health Network, Tony Lou urges all staff throughout the region to complete this course at the earliest opportunity,” commented Tony Lou. “Cyber security is an essential part of any organisation’s operations and cyber attacks are becoming more frequent and sophisticated. They can cause significant financial, reputational, and operational damage. It is crucial that we all maintain a high level of cyber security awareness to minimise the risk of data breaches and cyber attacks,” said Tony. “The knowledge and skills gained from this course can also be applied to protect your home network and personal devices from cyber threats,’’ he said. “This is especially important for staff who are connecting to work networks from home.”

implementation of the Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) program of work for the Loddon Mallee. Currently engaged to deliver RPM functionality to support the reduction of potentially preventable hospitalisations in those living with chronic disease, the team have engaged with 5 Health Services and will be implementing in the coming months. This work is in partnership with Murray Primary Health Network and is aligned with the Better@ Home program of work, with the capital funding supporting the procurement of clinical equipment and integration into regional platform. A contract has been established with Propel Health, who will be the provider for the clinical equipment for the region.

LMHN Regional Review | Issue 3 | Autumn 2023


Our values: Respect. Integrity. Collaboration.


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