Southern Adelaide Health Alliance Launches First Round of Projects

By Petrina Smith
Tuesday, 01 April, 2014

The first round of projects to give back healthy hours to the Southern Adelaide community has been announced by the Southern Adelaide Health Alliance (SAHA).
SAHA was established in December 2013, bringing together health and community providers in partnership with consumers of Southern Adelaide to better design, coordinate and integrate patient care.
Chair of SAHA and Southern Adelaide Local Health Network CEO Belinda Moyes said that the projects have all been designed with the primary objective to give back hours to the southern community.
“We recognise that a person’s time is their most precious commodity, and people want to use their time doing what they enjoy most,” she said. “People don’t choose to be sick, and the community can be frustrated about the lack of coordination across health providers and the time it takes going to and from appointments and navigate their way through the system - all of these things delay people from living healthy and productive lives.”
The six projects will be completed by July 2014 and include -
Where do I go?
Knowing where and how to access the services you need quickly when unwell can be difficult, leading to people calling an ambulance or going to hospital when they could see someone closer to home more quickly. A flip-chart has been designed as a fridge magnet to help the southern community know which local services are available when they are unwell.
Breathing better at home
An existing Respiratory Integrated Care Service provided by highly skilled nurses will be enhanced through SAHA.
Nursing staff will visit Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) patients in their home and provide a rapid response service when patients deteriorate. The service will receive direct referrals from and provide training and support to General Practice Teams and the SA Ambulance Service, with the aim to improve the management of patients with COPD in the community and minimise hospital admissions.
Quicker access to iron
Developing improved referral pathways for GP’s to access iron infusions and raising awareness of existing iron infusion services available in the southern suburbs will give back time to the community, through reduced waiting times for energy boosting infusions of iron. Patients with iron deficient anaemia can experience extreme tiredness and an infusion can instantly give them more energy to live their lives.
Waiting times on your side
Waiting times in our hospital outpatient clinics are currently unavailable to GPs. Although the most urgent and sick patients are seen rapidly, people with non-urgent problems sometimes wait for long periods to be seen by a specialist. Making these times available to GPs will enable the community to be more empowered to make decisions about their care. By understanding the actual waiting times, patients can talk to their GPs about alternative treatment options, taking steps to improve their own health if they need to wait for a specialist appointment.
Health services at your fingertips
Spending hours looking for in-home support can be a source of frustration for older patients and their families. SAHA is promoting a phone application developed by the Senior Services Reform Group (which works across the council areas of Onkaparinga, Marion, Holdfast Bay and Mitcham) that will give time back to the community by helping older people and their families have details about local services, specific to their age group, at their fingertips.
Seven steps to better end of life choices
The 7 Step Pathway is a clear, step-by-step process which is clinically, ethically and legally appropriate to assist clinicians (doctors) when patients are making decisions about end-of-life care.
When clinicians understand how to support patient choices around unwanted resuscitation or hospital admission, patients can remain in their home environment in the comfort of familiar surroundings with their family and friends, enabling them to die with dignity.
Each project will contribute to SAHA’s aim to give back 500,000 healthy hours to the community by 2017. A second round of SAHA projects is expected to be announced in mid-2014.
Southern Adelaide Health Alliance is a strategic partnership between Southern Adelaide Local Health Network (SALHN), Southern Adelaide-Fleurieu Kangaroo Island (SAFKI) Medicare Local, SA Ambulance Service and Health Consumers Alliance of SA.

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