NSLHD News July 17

Get the latest news from across Northern Sydney Local Health District.


collecting stories at the bedside Ryde Hospital’s latest initiative aims to improve its patients’ experience one story at a time.

Read more on Page 4

rNSH patient’s covid recovery Page 5

septic shock research to improve patient outcomes Page 6

Leaders in healthcare, partners in wellbeing


Message FROM the acting Chief executive Dr Tamsin Waterhouse

and preparedness during the pandemic. Our COVID-19 clinics are continuing to run and the community’s response has been outstanding. To continue to help improve the experience for patients, families and carers, NSLHD has commenced a COVID-19 Clinic survey. Early feedback from a small sample size has been excellent, with most patients having very positive experiences at our clinics. An automated daily SMS application to deliver the survey has been developed and is now live. Through this system, an SMS will be sent to people over 18 years of age who were tested at a district COVID-19 clinic the previous day. The SMS will advise the recipient they are being contacted to help improve the patient experience and will contain a link to the survey. I look forward to seeing the feedback as we continue to respond to COVID-19. Finally, we are officially halfway through July and I am sure you would agree at this rate September will be here before we know it. Every year, our district participates in Steptember for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, and every year we show just how generous and fit we are. Last year we clocked more than 220 million steps and since 2016 we have raised more than $200,000 for people living with cerebral palsy. I would like to encourage you to get in early and sign up as a team or individual for Steptember 2020. Head to steptember.org.au and use the code NSLHD2020 to register. message FROM the Chief executive Deb Willcox

I know many of us have been pleased to see some normality return to daily life, including within our district. While we must all still continue to be conscious of social distancing and practising proper hand hygiene, the increase in numbers at gatherings will allow a number of our favourite events to return. It all starts on Tuesday July 28, with the second instalment of the Quality and Improvement Awards 2020. The awards may have been delayed by the pandemic, but we have received a large number of entries from very worthy projects. Last year, a number of those who received QI Awards went on to represent the district at the NSW Health Awards, with two entrants, the Oncology Telephone Hotline and Walking the Milky Way, claiming top honours. The district awards ceremony will be held in the Kolling Auditorium, with RSVPs essential to ensure physical distancing rules are followed. The following day will see the return of the Innovation Awards Pitch on Wednesday 29 July. A favourite for many of us, the Pitch involves five groups of clinicians with an idea presenting to a panel of judges who can offer up to $50,000 to see the idea become a reality. Previous winners include the RNSH Wellness TV Channel, Mona Vale’s Bored on the Ward, Hornsby’s New Sensations as well as Don’t Go Breaking My Heart at Ryde. I always look forward to the Pitch and I am excited to be MC’ing and being part of the judging panel. With limited seating available I would encourage those of you interested in watching to use the live streaming that will be available. While the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, I would like to again thank all of you who have played a key role in our response

Deb Willcox Chief Executive Northern Sydney Local Health District

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Rehabilitation, Aged Care, Outpatients and Allied Health Manager Bronwyn Nolan and Ada Chan with the new kiosk

Hornsby leads the way in new patient queuing technology A new program designed to improve patient flow is being piloted in the Hornsby Ku-ring- gai Hospital’s Bernard Curran Rehabilitation Unit, the first of its kind within the Northern Sydney Local Health District. “Patients can also opt to receive updates regarding their appointment via SMS. The patient may choose to stay in the waiting room or wait elsewhere and return when they are called back to the clinic,” Ada said.

The hospital’s stage 2 redevelopment has created an opportunity to build an integrated outpatient clinic, centrally managed from a common reception desk near the new entrance foyer of the hospital. The Patient Queue Management System (PQMS) pilot implemented recently allows the system to be tried and tested prior to departments moving into the new Clinical Services Building next year. Patient arrival kiosks and calling screens will be installed and a new application will be used by clinicians and clerical staff to manage the patient journey. Patients with pre-booked appointments will register their arrival and confirm their details using the touchscreen on the patient arrival kiosk. A ticket will be produced with the patient’s appointment times and clinician details. HKH redevelopment ICT Project Manager Ada Chan said the new technology allowed patients to leave the waiting area and go to a café on-site or browse the retail stores, when they open in the new building.

“When the redevelopment is completed patients will have the option to enjoy the retail space, florist and coffee shop while they wait for their appointment in the new building. Wayfinding will be available on the arrival kiosk to help patients navigate through the new facility.” Patients will also have the ability to provide feedback on their visit at the kiosk. The kiosk has been programed with the top five languages for the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai area as identified through NSW Census data. “The PQMS will streamline communications between clinicians and clerical teams by enabling the instant exchange of details such as billing and upcoming appointment times,” Ada said. “By capturing patient feedback at each visit, the hospital has the ability to follow-up for continual improvement. Hornsby is the first hospital in the Northern Sydney Local Health District with this type of patient queue system. Depending on the trial’s success, the technology could be rolled out to other sites.



Some of Ryde’s patient story takers

IMPROVING RYDE PATIENTS’ EXPERIENCE ONE STORY AT A TIME Collecting patient and carer stories from the bedside is Ryde Hospital’s latest initiative to improve its patients’ experience.

“CAPE will initially focus on gathering the stories of various cultural groups and falls patients to gather feedback – positive or constructive – and change practices as required,” she said. “The most powerful thing about the initiative is finding out what we can improve on from the patient’s perspective – and it’s won’t necessarily be the things that we thought we needed to improve on.” In the longer term, Sophie hopes the story taking will become part of Ryde’s culture. “Eventually we hope all our consumers’ stories will be heard and their feedback incorporated into the way they are cared for and for future patients,” she said. Once enough stories are recorded, the team will collaborate with clinical governance and the quality team to identify trends and theme the stories. To find out more about CAPE, please contact Sophie at Sophie.Lange@health.nsw.gov.au The child protection team are also happy to assist with completing the nomination form, just call the Northern Sydney Child Protection Service on 9462 9266 or email: NSLHD-ChildWellbeingChildProtection@ health.nsw.gov.au Nominations close on July 17 2020. Please note late nominations will be considered until July 31 2020. The awards will be presented by Chief Executive Deb Willcox during Child Protection Week September 6-12.

Earlier this year the nursing team at Ryde, led by Deputy Director of Nursing Sophie Lange, set themselves a challenge: how could they use their consumers to educate staff and improve their practice. “It’s a really difficult thing to do,” Sophie said. “We thought if we could give our consumers an opportunity to tell us their experience while they’re in our care, we could capture that and use it to improve our performance – and that’s when we came up with CAPE.” The new ‘capturing the patient experience’ initiative, also known as CAPE, involves staff undergoing story taking training so they can sit down with patients and collect direct feedback on their care. So far 14 nursing staff and one allied health worker have been trained to collect stories, and Sophie said after the first month the group had collected 26 stories between them.

nominations now open for child protection awards Nominations are now open for the 2020 Children and Young People Safety, Welfare and Wellbeing Awards.

If you would like to nominate yourself, your service or another professional or service that you think deserves the recognition for their work in this space, then we want to hear from you. The nomination form can be found on the Child Protection intranet page accessed via Quick links (Child Protection) on NSLHD homepage.



Fred’s covid recovery after ruby princess diagnosis Fred Jackson was one of the 2700 passengers aboard the Ruby Princess cruise

Mary said the hospital staff went “above and beyond” looking after her dad. “Thank you so much to all the staff – the nurses, allied health professionals, doctors, cleaners, admin staff and other ancillary staff – who provided nothing but love and care to my dad,” she said. “He would not be here today without the amazing care of the teams at RNSH.”

ship that docked in Sydney in March. He and his partner were self-isolating at home when they both started feeling unwell. “About a week after we had gotten off the cruise we started feeling very weak and stopped eating – so I called up my doctor and he said we needed to go and get tested for COVID,” Fred said. “Our tests both came back positive.” Fred’s daughter Mary, a former Occupational Therapist at Royal North Shore Hospital, could tell her dad’s health had deteriorated from their phone calls. “After speaking with him [Fred] I could just tell he needed to get to hospital, so I called up RNSH right away and about an hour later a nurse turned up at his house and took him straight to the emergency department,” Mary said. Fred was taken to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit and was put on high-flow oxygen. He was in the ICU for a few days before being moved to the COVID ward to recover. All up Fred was in hospital for just under a month before he could return home, and during that time he said everyone who looked after him helped keep his spirits up. “I was so overwhelmed with the kindness from everyone – from the nurses and doctors to the cleaners and food servers,” Fred said. “Everyone was so lovely and treated me beautifully – there was not one person who didn’t have a smile on their face even though the work they were doing was potentially putting them in danger.” nslhd on social media NSLHD on Facebook • facebook.com/nthsydhealth/ • facebook.com/RydeHospital/ • facebook.com/MonaValeHospitalNSW/ • facebook.com/RoyalNorthShore/ • facebook.com/HornsbyHospital/ • facebook.com/NSLHD.MHDA/ NSLHD on Twitter • twitter.com/NthSydHealth NSLHD on LinkedIn • linkedin.com/company/northern-sydney- local-health-district/


Share your news and achievements. Contact our team on 9463 1722 or email NSLHD-media@ health.nsw.gov.au to submit your news.



improving outcomes for patients with septic shock Congratulations to Royal North Shore’s Intensive Care Clinical Research Manager Dr Naomi Hammond, who’s been awarded a hotly-contested National Health and Medical Research Council investigator grant.

Dr Hammond will receive more than $500,000 for her program of research, to investigate the role of fludrocortisone and hydrocortisone steroids in the treatment of patients with septic shock. Dr Hammond said steroids have been used to treat septic shock for decades, and while hydrocortisone has been shown to help save lives, adding fludrocortisone may improve patient outcomes. “This approach is not currently recommended in international guidelines and not consistently adopted in clinical practice,” she said. “The research program, which will be coordinated through The George Institute for Global Health, will undertake a series of studies to help inform a definitive trial of hydrocortisone plus fludrocortisone. “The studies will also help determine the optimal dose of fludrocortisone in patient care. “The research will be conducted in the Intensive Care Unit at Royal North Shore Hospital, and through the Australian and New

Dr Naomi Hammond

Zealand Intensive Care Society Network. “We will also be collaborating with the Asia Pacific Sepsis Alliance, with plans for a future trial in that region. “Sepsis and septic shock are leading causes of morbidity and mortality globally, claiming approximately 11 million lives each year. “Our program of research will investigate a simple, inexpensive treatment which has the potential to reduce disease and the number of lives lost to this condition. “This research is particularly important for low and middle-income countries where the burden of sepsis is disproportionally high.”

Boots on the ground this steptember As Steptember approaches, NSLHD News is catching up with some of our top performers who share their secrets to success. This edition we hear from Assistant Chief Radiographer at Royal North Shore, Emily Hodgins. You can sign up at steptember.org.au with the code ‘ NSLHD2020 ’. The top fundraiser from each facility will win a Samsung Smartwatch.

How many years have you been doing Steptember? Last year was my first year doing Steptember. How many steps do you aim for each day? I tried to make sure I completed at least 10,000 steps each day. There were a few days I didn’t quite get there. What is your favourite way to get your steps up? Last year I walked either before or after work on my own, but this year I will have my beautiful adopted Greyhound Cooper to keep me company

I raised $1190 last year with some very generous donations from family and friends. It’s a great cause, one that many are eager to support. Who or what inspired you to take part? It was promoted within the RNS Radiology Department by a few eager radiographers, and around 10 teams were formed. Radiology had some fun with it, giving out in- house prizes for best weekly performers which encouraged some healthy competition. A bake sale was also organised with all proceeds going to the charity. What is your stepping and fundraising goal for this year? This year I’d love for the

Radiology department to get involved again. It’s a great morale booster, particularly during these trying times. If we can beat last year’s result, that would be amazing!

How much money have you raised throughout Steptember?

Emily and Cooper

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Study looks into relieving pain during pregnancy An inflatable bed which has a belly cavity and designed for pregnant women is being researched through RNSH to see if it alleviates severe pain.

invited to enter a photo competition at Mona Vale Hospital, to have their work included on the walls of the new Geriatric Evaluation Management and Palliative Care facility. Judges are after the best photographic images that capture the local natural environment in Mona Vale and surrounds. There are two great prizes on offer - first prize is a $250 Westfield voucher and second prize is a two hour private session with professional photographer, Steve Turner. The successful entries will be displayed in the main corridors within the new facility when it opens. The photography competition is open to staff, patients and family, volunteers, consumers, students, residents and community members. Details on how to enter can be found on the Known as The Belly Bed, the king-single air mattress has been designed by a mother- of-five, who wanted to help other mums not suffer from debilitating pain. Pregnancy pain is a common problem and researchers estimate that it impacts more than half of pregnancies, which can be incapacitating if untreated or not treated appropriately. There are several factors associated with the development of pregnancy pain. As the baby grows, the body’s centre of gravity shifts forward, and this increases the force applied to the sacroiliac joint straining surrounding muscles and joints, causing pain. Normal hormonal changes experienced with pregnancy increase the mobility of the ligaments surrounding the sacroiliac joints which can results in inflammation producing pain. RNSH obstetrician and principal study investigator Dr Sean Seeho said the bed’s effectiveness in relieving pregnancy pain is being examined as part of the study. “The purpose of this clinical study is to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the Belly Bed in the third trimester of pregnancy in women who have a documented history of sacroiliac, lumbar spine, and/or symphysis pubic pain during this pregnancy,” Dr Seeho said.

RNSH Clinical Trial Coordinator, Women and Babies Research Rachelle Sau-Harvey testing the Belly Bed

“The potential benefits of the Belly Bed may include, a reduction in pregnancy-related pain, improved quality of sleep and improved quality of life. However, these benefits have not been previously assessed in a clinical trial.” “Although the Belly Bed has not been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) as a treatment for pregnancy-related pain in Australia, the device has been available on the commercial market.” Women who are interested in participating in the study and would like more information, should email Kristen.Rickard@sydney.edu.au

Photos sought for new Palliative Care Unit’s walls Local amateur photographers are being

Mona Vale website. Entries close 5pm, 14 August 2020.

‘Waves’ by Steve Turner



Register as an organ and tissue donor today at donatelife.gov.au #DonateLifeWeek2020 #DonateLife

26 July – 2 August 2020

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