Chiron Weber, Practice Manager Mullumbimby Medical Centre

After a two year hiatus the North Coast Medicare Local (NCML) Kaizen meetings resumed this week at the St Vincent's Hospital Education Centre in Lismore.

Kaizen is the Japanese word for "good change" and is the philosophy adopted by businesses in post war Japan to rapidly raise the quality and efficiency of manufacturing and service industries. It equates to the English word "improvement" and therefore not surprisingly is a key strategy of the Improvement Foundation's philosophy of "continuous improvement".

Chiron Weber, winner of the inaugural NCML PITCH award, described the continuous improvement methodology and emphasised one of the other concepts of the improvement process, "Sharing Generously and Stealing Shamelessly".

Donna Gibson spoke on the Alstonville Clinic's experience in implementing the Coordinated Veteran's Care program. She emphasised the value of motivational interviewing as described in the CVC Program's Module 2 (page 92) and youtube videos (Bill Matulich - An Introduction to Motivational Interviewing, Stephen Rollnick - Motivational Interviewing)

Dr David Guest of the Goonellabah Medical Centre outlined his clinic's progress with the DVA's telemonitoring project. He spoke of the difficulty in finding suitable patients for enrollment and early experiences with using the web interface. He noted that the acceptable ranges for parameters such as pulse rate and glucose levels needed to be adjusted for individual patients. He also noted that the system had already uncovered raised systolic blood pressure in one of his two patients and that treatment adjustments were being made.

Dr Tony Lembke, Chairman of the NCML, rounded out the evening with a discussion on the future of the NCML and of the Kaizen program. It was agreed that further meetings would be held monthly and that some meetings should be held in members' clinics. It was also agreed that the SVH Education Centre made a good home base and that at least some of the future meetings would be webinars linking with other kaizen groups across the North Coast. The Kaizen group at Healthy North Coast will support inter-meeting communication and collaboration. The next meeting of the group will be in late September at the Alstonville Clinic.