CDM Plus attended the NACCHO Members Conference “Investing in What Works” in Brisbane November 2018. NACCHO is the national peak body representing 145 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) across the country on Aboriginal health and wellbeing issues.  Highlights from the conference included a number of inspirational speakers including NACCHO CEO Pat Turner and Minister for Indigenous Health, the Hon Ken Wyatt and of course the Karaoke Cup Challenge.  We’d like to thank NACCHO, especially Wendy Brookman and Julian Fitzgerald for their support and all the attendees at the conference.

I graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1999 with almost 10 years in the primary health care setting.  I began my journey working in Aboriginal health in 2014 across a number of settings in two states as a Chronic Disease Nurse.  I was lucky enough to present at the NACCHO Conference on the topic “Challenges & Opportunities for Chronic Disease Management in your practice”. 

There are many challenges in delivering Chronic Disease Management in primary health care and include:

  • Patient engagement (Attendance rates)
  • Staff (Skills & Training, Staff turnover, Part-time workforce)
  • Systems and Processes for Chronic Disease Management
  • Health system (Limitations, Medicare, Complex funding, PIP/PNIP)
  • Number of patients with Chronic Disease increasing
  • Technology (Software, Computer Literacy, Training, Templates)
  • Time (Completing Chronic Disease activities, Reminder Systems)
  • Clinic Appointment structure (Opportunistic vs planned care)

Leading up to the conference we delivered our Introduction to Chronic Disease Management workshop across Queensland: Rockhampton, Brisbane and the Gold Coast and interviewed attendees about the Challenges and Opportunities they face in their practice.  We heard from CEOs, Board members, Practice Managers, Nurses and AHWs and compiled this footage into a video presentation to highlight the similar challenges clinics faced (you can watch the interviews on our Facebook page)

I believe that these challenges also present opportunities to deliver better patient care and outcomes.  One of the biggest challenge clinics face is engaging the patients in their own care.  At our Chronic Disease Management workshops participants identify patient engagement as one of the main challenges in their clinics and we recommend solutions (or opportunities) to improve patient engagement.  

The first step in improving patient engagement is to reflect on your current practice and identify gaps you and your clinic may have.  How long is a Chronic Disease Management appointment?  What happens in a Chronic Disease Management appointment?  How involved are your patients in their care?  Is Chronic Disease Management opportunistic or planned?  What systems and processes do you have in place?   What team members are involved?  What training have you or other team members received?  What resources do you have?  Look at current attendance rates for Chronic Disease appointments, the number of patients with a Chronic Condition and how many of those have management plans in place. 

Jane Calligeros
CEO CDM Plus