The President's Message – 19 February 2021
I’d like to start by acknowledging all of the Divisional Written Exam candidates who sat their exam on Monday. This includes candidates in Melbourne, Geelong and Auckland who went into lockdown, days, and even hours before their exam. Thank you for your patience and perseverance during the uncertainty.
I also want to talk about our new Strategic Plan. We had a three-year plan of what we were going to achieve from 2019 through to the end of this year. But like everything, the pandemic has forced a review and changes, to ensure our goals are still relevant in this post COVID-19 world. Given how rapidly things are evolving, we’ve made this a plan for one year. The Strategic Plan for 2021 includes our core business as usual priorities such as training, advocacy, services and operational functions.
Next, the plan covers several areas in which we need to improve. This includes uplifting governance by continuing to implement the recommendations from Effective Governance and review our constitution. It includes our ongoing education renewal of both Basic and Advanced Training, as well as implementing computer-based testing.
We will continue to deliver the Indigenous Strategic Framework as a core priority. Growing the Indigenous physician workforce and ensuring our College is culturally safe and competent is essential. We’re making sure College IT systems are improved and that we have a diversity, leadership and culture plan that is member centric.
Finally, we want to improve your experience. We’re looking at how we can support you with new digital services including an exciting new online community and a refreshed College website. All of these items are underpinned by our new organisational values of being accountable, respectful, collaborative and leading the way.
We also have a new value developed by our Indigenous staff and the members of the Māori and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health committees, to Indigenise and decolonise our practices. I encourage you to look at our 2021 Strategic Plan to see how we are growing and evolving to keep supporting you.
Professor John Wilson AM
Adding to an already expansive program, the Division and Faculty virtual program has been revealed and with over 24 sessions, it promises something for everyone. This, along with the growing list of keynote speakers and Clinical Updates and the ability to revisit the talks for an addition six months should make RACP Congress 2021 a valuable tool for what lies ahead.
As part of the lead up to RACP Congress 2021 and building on the success of our previous online series, RACP Congress 2021 is pleased to bring you a three-part webinar series. The free event has its first session on Thursday, 25 February at 6pm AEDT and 8pm NZDT.
Associate Professor Clair Sullivan leads the Queensland Digital Academy Research Group, at the Centre for Health Services Research, The University of Queensland (UQ). She graduated with Honours in Medicine from UQ and a Research Doctorate in Medicine from the University of Leeds. She is a Fellow of the RACP, the Australian College of Health Informatics, and the Australasian Institute of Digital Health.
Recently, she was appointed Associate Professor of Medicine in Clinical Informatics at UQ and is Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology. She is widely published in clinical informatics and serves on several national advisory boards for digital health.
How has digital health transformed your work?
When I started working, I only thought about the patient in front of me in the consulting room. Digital health allows me to have information to manage patients at a distance, risk stratify groups and to apply innovations such as artificial intelligence. This allows me to work at the top of my practice and digitally enable a team centred around the patient, wherever they are.
What benefits does digital health have for you on a day-to-day basis, and the industry as a whole?
Ten years ago, we hand wrote all our patient information in paper charts. The information was really only useful for me to manage the episode of care, and perhaps for whoever could decipher my handwriting. Now the information we collect as part of routine clinical care is digitised and structured and stored.
Now that the data we collect as part of routine care is able to be re-used for quality improvement and research for every patient, every time, in real time, we can start to become a learning healthcare system and deliver smarter, better outcomes.
Can you please share a recent example of how digital health has helped you improve patient outcomes?
We have recently developed an application to track COVID-19 quarantine participants. This allowed real time tracking of travellers arriving to airports, which allowed rapid contract tracing in Queensland and consequently a very low transmission rate of COVID-19.
Hear more from Associate Professor Clair Sullivan at our upcoming Artificial Intelligence for healthcare webinar.
Continuing the College’s significant partnership with the Australian Digital Health Agency, RACP is offering digital health scholarships to eligible Australian Fellows and trainees.
Ten $4,000 scholarships are available for Fellows and trainees familiar with or practising the use of My Health Record and electronic prescribing in the healthcare environment.
- be a RACP Fellow or trainee who resides in Australia
- be currently employed in a public or private accredited clinical environment
- have a recent, demonstrated record of prescribing electronically and/or adopting various digital health initiatives.
Applications close on Friday, 15 March 2021.
You're invited to an interactive webinar on Tuesday, 16 March
from 6pm AEDT where you will receive the opportunity to have your questions on artificial intelligence (AI) for healthcare answered.
Associate Professor Clair Sullivan, Dr Olivier Salvado and Professor Enrico Coiera will form a panel session, answering the burning questions asked during the recent webinar
, AI for healthcare: Principles, challenges and opportunities. They will cover key topics such as bias, implementing AI models into clinical practice, privacy issues, and other technical and cultural challenges of AI.
You are invited to a Medicare webinar on Wednesday, 17 March from 6.30pm AEDT or 8.30pm NZDT by the Benefits Integrity and Digital Health Division. The webinar will cover how to meet compliance standards and record-keeping, and how to best utilise support services for Medicare. This webinar will not be available as a recording.
- introduction to the overarching compliance approach of the Division
- case studies (de-identified)
- record-keeping requirements
- accessing support services.
The need for healthcare providers to connect to each other safely and securely is greater than ever. Secure messaging is an efficient and timely method for sending and receiving clinical information, which minimises the burden of paper and manual processes. An increased uptake of secure messaging improves continuity of care for patients, saves time and can help protect vital health information.
Safety and Quality Benefits of Secure Messaging
The content in this document has been derived from a review undertaken by the clinical safety program conducted by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, on behalf of the Australian Digital Health Agency.
Download now (PDF)
It's important to take time away from your daily life to reflect on your career, learn new skills and build connections with your peers. To help you achieve these goals, you're invited to the Aotearoa New Zealand Trainees’ Day. Held on Rāhoroi Poutū-te-rangi (Saturday, 27 March) at the Millennium Hotel in Rotorua, you'll hear from a diverse range of speakers and receive invaluable networking opportunities. Attendance costs may even be reimbursed. Ask us how.
Associate Professor Rinki Murphy works at the University of Auckland and is a Diabetologist at Auckland District Health Board and Counties Manukau Health. Her session 'Why do Research as a Clinical Trainee?' will outline various opportunities to experience different types of health research during specialist medical training which may motivate you to embark on an academic clinical career. Hear what she had to say about why you should attend this important event.
Supervisors, please encourage trainees to attend the Aotearoa New Zealand Trainees' Day.
The Medical Board of Australia’s second Medical Training Survey (MTS) results have been released. The survey ran in late 2020 and was completed by approximately 42 per cent (3,693) of RACP trainees. Almost 81 per cent of RACP responders said they would recommend their current training position to other doctors, with most rating their clinical supervision and teaching highly.
COVID-19 was a disruption to teaching, training opportunities and exam preparation for many respondents, but many also felt it provided innovative ways to learn. Half of the RACP respondents felt that COVID-19 impacted both positively and negatively on their training.
We continue to be concerned by the incidence of bullying, harassment and/or discrimination (BHD) in training with a significant proportion of our trainees reporting they had experienced (one in five) or witnessed (one in three) BHD in the past 12 months.
We stand firmly against bullying, harassment and discrimination against all members and have been working towards addressing this systemic issue through initiatives such as our statement on Respectful Behaviour in College Training Programs, Code of Conduct, RACP Support Program, Health and Wellbeing Strategy, guidelines on recruitment and selection, and the RACP Indigenous Strategic Framework which prioritises growing and supporting the Indigenous physician workforce.
Thank you to everyone who participated. We will use the survey results to further improve the training programs and supports we offer. We also ran our own Physician Training Survey from October to December 2020, to understand the experiences of trainees and educators across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. We are working through the results which will be released in the next few months.
We are undertaking an extensive project to help you to find the information you need on the RACP website. The project is being delivered in two stages and will enhance and improve your experience in navigating our online services.
To help us improve the navigation on the RACP website, you’re invited to participate in this short online RACP Member Card Sort activity. Card sorting is a method that designers use to understand how people group information. The activity will take around 10 minutes.
- Your responses will be kept confidential.
- This activity is for RACP members only. Please don’t share the activity link with non RACP members.
Your time is appreciated and will go a long way to help us develop a website that meets your needs.
If you have questions about the project or need assistance with the activity please email Member Services.
RACP supports the Uluru Statement from the Heart. This support is outlined in the College’s Indigenous Strategic Framework and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Position Statement, acknowledging the link between self-determination and improved health equity.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart calls for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to have a voice to parliament and for this to be enshrined in the Australian Constitution. The Australian government is currently undertaking a co-design process to decide what a voice to parliament will look like. The government is accepting submissions as part of the co-design process.
We encourage all RACP members to make a submission supporting the Uluru Statement from the Heart and enshrining the Voice in the constitution by Wednesday, 31 March 2021. Instructions on how to make an effective submission are available on the From the Heart website.
The RACP is concerned about the gradual, sustained erosion of alcohol harm minimisation measures in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. The President of the Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine (AChAM), Professor Nick Lintzeris, recently wrote to Ms Nuatali Nelmes, Lord Mayor of Newcastle, to urge her to rethink the ongoing push to extend alcohol trading hours in the city, address the lack of involvement of local government and health experts in decision-making and acknowledge the likely harms of increased trading hours to the community.
Access RACP’s extensive collection of powerful and engaging educational videos all in one place. Browse the Medflix video library for videos covering a range of clinical and professional topics, including the VicFEAT and Continuing Education series, as well as all of the videos from our online courses.
Equip yourself with the knowledge you need to better identify, assess and manage chronic breathlessness in advanced illness through our new online course. Watch this video from the online course which explores something many of us find challenging: answering sensitively and truthfully when a patient wants to know how they’re going to die.
The IMiA Virtual Program Committee is placing the finishing touches on their virtual program. With less than two weeks until it commences, panel discussions continue to be finalised with some engaging topics such as:
Is alcohol getting old? Through a series of cases, this discussion explores issues related to assessing cognition and capacity among older people who drink alcohol.
Alcohol detox through telehealth: This workshop explores the different ways that telehealth is now included in management of Alcohol Detox from a primary care setting.
Challenges for children, young people and families affected by FASD: This discussion gathers clinicians from paediatrics, child and adolescent mental health, and addiction, along with the COO of NOFASD Australia to discuss behavioural and developmental issues that can impact children and young people with FASD.
The Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre (DHCRC) has combined forces with RMIT Online to create industry-relevant micro-credentials designed to revolutionise the digital capability of healthcare professionals across Australia. The online, six-week industry-led micro-credentialed short courses cover three areas, technology enabled care, digital health strategy and change, and healthcare design.
The DHCRC is offering co-sponsored places to all participants for the upcoming intakes of the micro-credentialed short courses. They are contributing 50 per cent towards enrolment costs for RACP members who wish to undertake the courses.
The three courses have start dates of:
- Monday, 22 February
- Monday, 12 April
- Monday, 24 May 2021.
If you are interested in this co-sponsored opportunity, please contact DHCRC
. To find out more about the digital health micro-credentialed short courses, please contact RMIT
To get the most from My Health Record (MHR) the Australian Digital Health Agency is providing an interactive webinar on Tuesday, 9 March from 7pm to 8pm AEDT tailored to RACP members.
The webinar will:
- highlight key clinical information available through MHR
- outline current connections to MHR including pathology services, diagnostic imaging providers and participating hospitals
- provide resources and support to get connected to MHR — for those in private practice
- describe how to access MHR — for those working in hospitals
- answer participants questions.
It's an opportunity to become a more effective user of MHR and to be rewarded with the benefits of improved patient care and administration efficiencies.
The College Research Committee (CRC) seeks expressions of interest from Fellows for the position of Committee Chair. This is an excellent opportunity for someone who would like to get more involved with the College and report directly to the Board.
The Chair of the CRC will:
- lead the implementation of the College’s Health and Medical Research Strategic Plan
- assist in the College’s contribution to broader debate and discussion of research matters with government, health jurisdictions, research agencies and the wider community.
The Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine (AChSHM) ASM 2021 takes place next month and we invite AChSHM Fellows and trainees to join the online experience. With a packed program, it promises to be a worthwhile experience for all.
The January 2021 issue of the Internal Medicine Journal is now live on the Wiley Online Library and the PDF is available on the RACP website (access though your RACP login credentials). This month’s Editor's Choice is an original article titled 'Care to the end: a retrospective observational study of aged care facility residents transferred to hospital in the last day of life' by Hannah Brownstein, Barbara Hayes, Amrita Simadri, Mark Tacey and Edwina Holbeach
Key highlights from the issue are:
- Tracking of systolic pressure over the life course
- Early stage Parkinson disease
- Health care to the end: aged care facility residents
- Treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer in public vs private hospitals
- National Strategic Action Plan for Reducing inappropriate polypharmacy
- Pregnancy outcomes in type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
The NSW Health Clinical Excellence Commission has contacted the College seeking assistance to promote vacancies on the Board of the following:
The Board positions are not for College representatives, rather any interested members would apply in an individual capacity. Further information can be found on the NSW Health website.
The Clinical Excellence Commission, established in 2004, is one of the five key structural reforms outlined in the NSW Health Patient Safety and Clinical Quality Program and is an evolution of the Institute for Clinical Excellence. RACP is partnering with the CEC to provide this fantastic professional development opportunity to eligible members.
Using the Model for Improvement, this workplace-based 12-month Improvement Science Program
, starting with a two day face-to-face/virtual workshop (pending NSW Health COVID-19 Plan at the time) will provide an opportunity for you to focus on developing your non-technical skills as well as your medical expertise.
Benefits of the program include:
- developing a broad understanding of quality and safety, areas which are becoming increasingly important in clinical care, clinical relationships and medical management
- learning and applying a contemporary approach to healthcare process improvement using driver diagrams
- developing skills which will be of value for future clinical leaders
- receiving the opportunity to publish projects or present your project at national and international conferences (as done by a number of past participants).
There are limited places available, so register your interest by Wednesday, 24 February to avoid disappointment.
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