AHHA Healthcare in Brief — 26 February 2021
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This week marked the 67th anniversary of the first mass inoculation against polio and coincidently the beginning of Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Professor Rhonda Stuart from Monash Health, who with her team treated the first Australian case of COVID-19 in January 2020, was among the first recipients of the vaccine in Australia.
Today, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety handed down its final report to the Governer-General. You can read AHHA’s position on aged care online.

Next Thursday AHHA CEO Alison Verhoeven will be participating in a free event discussing the report. Hosted by AHHA, ACHSM and Hall & Willcox, the event which will be held in Sydney and online will examine how the findings may affect future policies for aged care, the regulatory and legal implications of the report and an employment law update including information on mandatory vaccinations. To register click here.
By popular demand, early bird registration for the Value-Based Health Care Conference has been extended! Click here to register and lock in your discount. On Wednesday 3 March, we will be co-hosting a half-day virtual conference examining value-based healthcare practices in Europe. Tickets are still available here.


Value-Based Healthcare: Good Practices from Europe
3 March 2021, online
European countries have been moving towards value-based healthcare to address the growing pressures their healthcare systems are under, maintain quality of care for their populations and implement new funding models.  
Countries like Germany, the Netherlands and France are at the forefront of revolutionising healthcare through value-based healthcare initiatives and the lessons from their initiatives can support the Australian health sector in navigating the complex health landscape.  
In this half-day event, you will hear from European health leaders and researchers on topics including:
  • Alternative payment models for value-based healthcare – Netherlands
  • Integrated care networks - Germany
  • Experimenting to reinvent healthcare financing – France
For more information and to register, click here

What can be learned from the final report of the Aged Care Royal Commission?
4 March 2021, Sydney and online

Join leading industry experts as they provide valuable insight into the findings of the Final Report from the Aged Care Royal Commission, and importantly share what the report means for the future of the aged care sector, including:
  • how the findings may affect future policies for Aged Care;
  • the regulatory and legal implications of the Report; and
  • an employment law update including mandatory vaccinations.
For more information or to register click here

Webinar: Revision of the Framework for Australian clinical quality registries and the development of a CQR Quality Standard
10 March 2021, online
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) acknowledges the value of clinical quality registries (CQRs) informing health system improvement, and has undertaken significant work to assist CQR establishment and ongoing standards of practice. In 2014, all Health Ministers endorsed the Framework for Australian clinical quality registries (the Framework) and, in November 2019 the Commission convened the Clinical Quality Registry Advisory Group to advise on the project to revise the Framework.  

The purpose of the revised Framework is to minimise duplication and maximise the use of health data for the community. Upon completion, the Framework will provide a contemporary quality Standard for CQR governance, reporting, and technical infrastructure arrangements. These principles will be applicable to traditional and future-focused multi-dimensional CQRs and the various ownership models.

For more information and to register click here

This webinar is FREE for AHHA members. Please email communications@ahha.asn.au for the discount code. 

Webinar: Searching for Value in Mental Health Care Delivery

31 March 2021, online
Service delivery for people with mental illness and distress currently accounts for 7.5% of the Australian healthcare budget. There is also evidence that there is profound inequity in mental health care delivery, with the most vulnerable members of the community receiving one fifth of the mental health services. Australia has a relatively diverse and distributed system for delivering mental health care, with Commonwealth-subsidised specialised services, primary care
practitioners, and mental health practitioners, other services funded through states and territories and private practitioners direct-contracted by consumers. The challenges for any practitioner, and any person with an evolving mental illness, is establishing what constitutes value for that person, and how that may intersect with what constitutes value for the health system. In this talk, two clinicians discuss this intersection - the sweet spot for policymakers - and critically explore strategies to deliver person-centred value within a sustainable, responsive health system

For more information and to register click here

This webinar is FREE for AHHA members. Please email communications@ahha.asn.au for the discount code. 

If you plan on attending a number of our webinars this year you can sign up for our personal basic membership for just $88/year ($44 to end-June 2021). More details here: https://ahha.asn.au/membership.

Value-Based Health Care Conference
27 - 28 May 2021, online and Perth
The inaugural Value-Based Health Care Conference will be held in Perth and online in May 2021 to raise awareness of value-based healthcare (VBHC) and the work being done in this area across any/all disease types or conditions. Focus will be given to practical applications of VBHC, rather than a theoretical approach, with innovative opportunities for involvement and discussions about how to put VBHC into practice and the conference will also feature the inaugural Australian Value-Based Health Care Awards.More information is available online.

eJourneys - Pennemes: Nature-assisted aged care innovations in the Netherlands
AHHA and Dialog Health have teamed up to take you around the world from the comfort of your own couch, to embrace innovative models of care and to learn from international best practice. Our eJourneys are not just a webinar. With in-depth interviews, written materials, and high-quality video, you will feel as though you visited in person. In our latest Journey, we're heading to Zaandam in the Netherlands to explore Pennemes, an aged care organisation promoting green innovations that help older adults live healthier and happier lives. You will be guided through the key benefits and best practices of adopting nature-based (green) innovations in aged care. Get on board this eJourney with Dr Rutger De Graaf, the Innovation Advisor of Pennemes and Het Mennistenerf, and other key stakeholders of this model. More information is available online

Health Transformation Program: Learning sets
By request, online
The Health Transformation Program has been developed for Australian health leaders to build their skills and knowledge to successfully deliver value-based healthcare in Australia. Learning sets are offered for participants to provide them with a supportive environment, facilitated by an experienced leader where participants have the option to raise real-life problems, difficult questions, discuss sensitive issues and the leadership tutorials, as well as sharing their learning in an encouraging environment. 

For more information click here.


This week Dominic Dwyer, the Australian representative on WHO’s investigation into the origins of COVID-19, shared what the team learned on their four week investigation in China.

In global COVID-19 news, the US death toll has reached 500,000, surpassing the number of Americans killed on battlegrounds in both World Wars and the Vietnam War.
Coronavirus has killed 500,000 Americans — more than both World Wars and Vietnam combined
I was the Australian doctor on the WHO’s COVID-19 mission to China. Here’s what we found about the origins of the coronavirus

Health media

This week Facebook reversed its ban on news in Australia after the federal government agreed to amend the media bargaining code. Meanwhile, the industry association representing Australia’s digital industry including major players like Facebook, Google and Twitter, launched a voluntary code of practice on disinformation and misinformation. While the code acknowledges the need to address misinformation and disinformation, it lacks teeth and overlooks the ways in which public health can be undermined by false information.
Facebook to reverse news ban on Australian sites, government to make amendments to media bargaining code
New disinformation code slammed as “pointless, shameless, shameful”
News media code is coming, but regulation of digital platforms remains a work in progress

Rural and remote health

During the 2019 bushfires, volunteer firefighter Rodney O'Keeffe waited in agony for medical assistance, while a veteran remote area nurse was stuck at a roadblock less than a kilometre away on the other side of the border. Residents of border communities often deal with confusion and inefficiencies in emergency responses.
Drones will begin to deliver medicines to regional patients in May. Startup, Swoop Aero has signed a deal with TerryWhite Chemmart and will be used to deliver medicines to patients within 130km range of Goondiwindi, QLD.
Medical deliveries by drone ready for take-off in Australia
'Someone could lose their life': Waiting in agony for an ambulance in a remote border town

Social determinants of health

This week the federal government announced a $25 weekly increase to JobSeeker payments. Several health organisations have responded saying that an additional $25 a week is not enough for people to afford stable housing, nutritious food and healthcare, and this could push many into poverty and poor health.
Miserly JobSeeker rise will push more into poverty and ill-health


Digital Innovations in Aged Care
Since COVID-19, organisations and services have further embraced digital practice for their residents, carers and staff. ELDAC recognise that technology is now even more important in supporting aged care, and the Digital Innovations team are working on four new tools:
  • The care worker app to support staff providing care for older Australians at home
  • The online self-care tool specifically for the aged care workforce
  • A home care search filter to provide easy access to evidence from national and international studies
  • A palliative care projects database with information on Australian studies focused on aged care, palliative care and advance care planning.
ELDAC is interested in your ideas for developing the most useful innovations to support those working in aged care. Find out more or join the discussions here.

Free online palliative care training
The AHHA runs FREE online, CPD accredited, Palliative Care training, accessible anytime and anywhere. This training is aimed at anyone working in aged care, acute or primary care, assisting a loved one with a life-limiting illness or has a general interest in the topic. Register for your free account here. 

Health economics online training
This 13-week health economics training course will provide you with the skills to analyse and evaluate typical health resource allocation problems. This training is suitable for all medical professionals including doctors, policymakers and anyone involved in healthcare as a whole.

Workplace training for health service staff
In conjunction with Kineo, the AHHA provides discounted workplace learning for its members and supporters. Topics covered include; Ethics & Conduct, Health & Safety, Healthcare, Personal Development, Leadership & Management, Sales & Customer Service and Health & Wellbeing.

Access the online store here.


The COVID-19 vaccine rollout commenced this week with frontline healthcare workers and hotel quarantine workers among the first to be inoculated. The Department of Health Information for COVID-19 vaccination providers web page is now live with information for general practices, GP-led Respiratory Clinics, Aboriginal and Community Controlled Health Services and community pharmacies.
In Queensland, a doctor has been stood down from the vaccination program after giving two elderly patients incorrect doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The doctor had not completed the required vaccination training. The two patients are not showing any symptoms of an adverse reaction. Healthcare Australia, the provider who employed the doctor and was responsible for training, has stood aside their CEO while an investigation is underway. This incident has caused a delay in the delivery of the vaccine in some aged care facilities.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration has developed strict guidelines for the promotion of the COVID-19 vaccine. Organisations involved in the rollout are not permitted to develop their own ads. They can use government-approved materials to inform the public of vaccine availability, however, they cannot promote a particular brand or active ingredient.
Each state and territory will manage the vaccine rollout and you can read more about it here. You can also find out how each country is progressing with the vaccine rollout through this online COVID-19 vaccine tracker.
Globally, inequity in vaccine distribution remains a significant problem that poses a threat to global health and economic activity according to HESTA. HESTA has joined other global investors and pledged its support for equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccines worldwide.
Aged care COVID-19 vaccination behind schedule as untrained doctor delivers wrong doses
Doctor stood down after two Brisbane nursing home residents given excessive dose of Pfizer vaccine
HESTA joins global investors in call for equitable response to COVID-19
How the COVID-19 vaccine rollout will be handled by each of Australia's states and territories
TGA bans Pfizer, AstraZeneca brand mentions in COVID-19 vaccine advertising


Australia Health Review – COVID-19 Journal Articles
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The Australian Health Review is AHHA's peer-reviewed journal, published six times a year. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of sharing research, AHHA is providing free access to all research articles related to COVID-19. You can find these articles here and the full journal at https://www.publish.csiro.au/ah.

AHHA members have access to all articles including those available only to subscribers.

For member access to the AHR click here or contact us to request a username and password.

Blueprint for health reform
AHHA's refreshed blueprint, Healthy people, healthy systems: a blueprint for outcomes-focused, value-based healthcareoutlines AHHA’s vision for health system reform in 2021 and beyond and includes short, medium, and long-term actions, to strengthen and reform the Australian health system. Learn more about in this short clip at https://youtu.be/xYSmMRAcHQc.

COVID-19 and health system crisis planning: PhD Scholarships
The Australian Institute of Health Innovation (AIHI) is pleased to announce five new domestic PhD scholarships, focusing on research into COVID-19 and health system crisis planning. With a track record of delivering internationally significant research, AIHI leads in understanding responses to the pandemic along with preparing for future health crises. The directors, Professors Jeffrey Braithwaite, Johanna Westbrook and Enrico Coiera, are seeking suitably qualified candidates with pioneering ideas for research in this field. For more information, click here
The Health Advocate – February 2021
The latest issue of AHHA's magazine, The Health Advocate, is out now! This issue focuses on Close the Gap and articles include:
  • Rapid service design and cultural safety 
  • Ask the Specialists: a cultural education podcast 
  • Co-design in oral health 
  • Learning through healing
You can read it online here


AHHA CEO – closing 15 March 2021
Clinical Director (Medicine) – closing 15 March 2021
Clinical Director (Surgery) – closing 22 March 2021
Nurse Practitioner (Heart Failure) – closing 25 February 2021

Just Health Consultants for practical, cost-effective results

AHHA's Just Health Consultants provide quality, affordable consultancy services to AHHA members and the health sector more broadly. With the ability to bring together sector-specific expertise backed by quality methodologies, AHHA is known for delivering innovative, timely, cost-effective results for both short-term and more complex projects. 
If you need support and want a team that will deliver practical results and work with you as a partner not just a client, contact us.
For more information including project examples showing the diversity of our work, visit https://ahha.asn.au/justhealth-consultants/our-work

Australian Health Review

The AHHA is pleased to offer you early access to articles in our peer reviewed journal Australian Health Review. If you have trouble viewing these in your browser, they can be accessed via the AHHA homepage

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of sharing research, AHHA is providing free access to all research articles related to COVID-19. Links to the articles can be found here.
Volume 45(1) 2021
Featured articles
Healthcare in Brief is brought to you by the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Associationthe independent peak membership body and advocate for the Australian healthcare system and a national voice for universally accessible, high quality healthcare in Australia.

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The views expressed in The Healthcare in Brief are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association. 
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