Paul Kelly from the Winsome

Last week North Coast Medicare Local's (NCL) "Copernican Inversion Series"* breakfast featured speakers from the aged care and disadvantaged sector. 

Shelly Fletcher described the innovation taking place at Feros Care in Byron Bay and Bangalow, where communication technology is revolutionising the management of patients both in aged care facilities and their own homes. The project is looking ways to streamline routine GP and specialist care through teleconsultations. She described how information and communication technologies (ICT) could not only overcome the geographic barriers the residents faced in seeing specialists an hours drive away but also the physical barriers of poor access that still exist at some surgeries and health centres. It is hoped that through better communication the waste of time and duplication of investigations can be reduced. 

 Living everyday with heart failure
 The painting on the front cover of 'Heart Information - Living every day with my heart failure' is by Tina Weston (Barkindji). It represents different clans/tribes all travelling on the connecting pathways to having healthy hearts and lifestyles.

 Indigenous heart disease patients in the Northern Rivers and around Australia are the real winners of an award given to a local team that developed a pioneering self-management guide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with a history of heart problems.

While the roots of dragon boat racing lie in an ancient Chinese fertility rite and a 4th century BC homage to the patriot/poet Qu Yuan, its benefits for post-operative breast cancer patients were not considered until 1996.

In that year, a Canadian sports medicine specialist, Dr Don McKenzie, began to interrogate whether, as was claimed, repetitive upper-body exercise in women treated for breast cancer encouraged lymphedema.

Bahia grass

The first molecular-based blood test developed for one of the commonest grass pollen allergies in Northern NSW

A research collaboration between one of Australia’s largest diagnostic practices, Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology and The University of Queensland has identified the molecule responsible for the majority of subtropical grass pollen allergies and developed the first molecular-based test.

"What's measured improves" wrote Peter Drucker, American management guru, in the 1950s. 

This week the North Coast Medical Local in conjunction with PEN Computer Systems is conducting a series of workshops on the North Coast to assist practices in measuring and monitoring the information available within their databases. By using Pen's Clinical Audit Tool (PenCAT) staff can analyse both the clinical and financial performance of their practices.