09 Oct 2017
The Western Australian Country Health Service (WACHS) - Wheatbelt covers 155,000 square kilometres, includes 27 hospitals and health centres, and serves a population of 78,000.
WACHS - Wheatbelt's vision statement is "The Best Care in the Best Place" and we aim to provide an optimal health service as close as possible to home. Providing optimal care with limited resources means that good choices need to be made, and Choosing Wisely offers an opportunity to optimise care for our vulnerable populations.
The provision of regional health care offers unique challenges. Whilst the patient journey begins with us, it often includes transfer to a metropolitan tertiary facility for care, then repatriation back to a regional centre for rehabilitation, discharge and community care. Facilitating the journey gives our patients the best chance to recover fully.
Our initial focus has been on care for Wheatbelt patients in the acute phase of stroke. This was based on information from the first Atlas of Healthcare variation and an audit of regional practice. The application of the Choosing Wisely initiative has included the identification of which assessments, diagnostic tests and consultations best support the decision to provide initial treatment locally or at a metropolitan tertiary facility. The interim outcome has been the development of care pathways to enhance clinical decision making when treating stroke patients in WACHS - Wheatbelt.
Another strong focus has been Medication Safety and choosing the best antibiotics for relevant conditions. We will broaden our focus points as we achieve success in our initial projects.
Choosing Wisely has created an opportunity for us to engage our community and clinicians in conversations regarding better health care practice. Our leading clinician groups have provided guidance to the regional Patient Safety and Quality team on Choosing Wisely recommendations that are relevant to care in WACHS - Wheatbelt. This guidance and the conversations that have occurred in the development of these projects is representative of how the Choosing Wisely initiative has created an opportunity for WACHS - Wheatbelt to collaborate further with our clinicians.