Dr Azima Portelli MBChB FRACGP DRCOG DFSRH
I have been a GP in the Metro South area for over five years after relocating from the UK. Experiencing two different world healthcare systems has given me a unique insight into primary care interactions. General practitioners have always been the cornerstone of Australia’s healthcare system providing comprehensive and coordinated care to patients in their communities. The complexity of GP-patient encounters has increased and the growing shift of healthcare from secondary to primary care is an accurate reflection of GPs’ skills and therapeutic capacity. It is essential for us as gatekeepers to stay informed about services available for our patients, as well as practice up-to-date evidence-based medicine. I am really excited to be a part of the HealthPathways project, as I strongly believe that this valuable resource will support local GPs in the growing face of change. HealthPathways is a practical tool for General Practitioners to swiftly navigate locally relevant clinical resources, guidelines and patient services all in one domain. GPs value the importance of providing current and holistic care to patients and I believe that HealthPathways empowers us to do that.
Dr Vincent Lee FRACGP, MBBS, BPharm
We live in an exciting time of rapid technological development that has quickly transformed the Art of Medicine. Information technology allows the modern General Practitioner to have access to a vast amount of information, which allows for better-informed clinical practice consistent with the highest quality and most up-to-date evidence. However, making use of that technology is an art in itself, and this is where my interests lie. There is a lot of information out there, but not a lot of it is crafted in such a way to be easily and effectively usable by a busy GP in Brisbane. What I love about HealthPathways is that it provides up-to-date clinical information in a localised context and a simple, easy-to-use format. It is a privilege to take part in this project and to use my skills in technology, communication and medicine to help develop a clinical tool that will, hopefully, be of service to my colleagues in the local Brisbane South community. Another key strength of HealthPathways is how much exposure it gives local services. As a GP who has trained in many different clinical settings (both in metropolitan and rural areas), I understand how difficult it is to have a grasp of the full breadth of local services available to aid in the treatment of any given condition. Hopefully these HealthPathways will help our colleagues have a better understanding of the local resources available, and thereby be able to provide even more excellent care to our patients. It has been an exciting journey working with the HealthPathways team to craft this clinical tool, and I hope it will serve you well in your practice of Modern Medicine.
Dr Caroline Yates MBChB FRACGP
I have been a GP for twenty years and I am a passionate advocate for General Practice and General Practitioners. I believe Primary Care is the most important of all Medical Specialties and is where the Australian consumer and policy makers get the most return on investment. However General Practice is becoming ever more complex; it is estimated that by 2020 the doubling time of medical knowledge will be just 73 days. Multi-morbidity and complex care is becoming the norm rather than the exception, GPs move localities and tertiary and allied health services change more frequently. Although GPs still manage the majority of patient concerns entirely on their own GPs today need more than just a medical degree and their address book to provide the comprehensive Primary Care service Australians require. HealthPathways is one resource that is focussed on the needs of the modern GP by helping General Practitioners quickly and easily find up to date clinical guidelines and referral information pertinent to their community. I was keen to be involved in developing and localising this resource for Metro South. I wanted to ensure that as this project was rolled out in my area, the GP voice was heard as to what was practical and useful for GPs and what would improve the efficiency of our patient’s journey through the health system. I am excited to be involved in a dynamic project which I believe fulfils these criteria.
Dr Scott Preston MBBS FRACGP PG CertMedEd
As a GP and medical educator, I am excited by the potential of SpotOnHealth HealthPathways. The challenges for the modern GP extend far beyond the requirement for extensive clinical knowledge and skills. The contributing factors include rapid advances in medical knowledge, the ever changing evidence for management of diseases and delay in the translation of new evidence into practice. These medical knowledge challenges are compounded by increased medical complexity of patients, increased patient expectations, increased requirement for information technology in practice and the difficulties experienced in communication and handover of patients between primary care and hospital care. HealthPathways has the potential to simplify clinical information finding and referral processes for GPs, allowing a GP’s focus to be on the patient needs rather than the complexities of navigating the system. Through HealthPathways we have a one-stop shop that serves as an evidence-based, point-of-care knowledge and skills resource which is written by GPs for GPs that links with the local referral alternatives. This common-sense approach to information management backed up by a rigorous process facilitates best practice in primary care.
Dr Jim Griffin MBBS(Hons Qld), FRACGP, DRANZCOG, FRACMA(ret.), Aust. Cert. Civil Aviation Med. (Monash), MSCCA
The opportunity to be involved in the localization of HealthPathways for the SpotOnHealth project has been not only a great privilege, but also a great way to continue one of my long-term career interests, namely the continuing improvement of systems and resources which aim to improve patient care, and assist General Practitioners, hospital doctors and allied health practitioners. The importance of good communication and cooperation between both the General Practice community and hospital medical and other staff cannot be overstated, and HealthPathways aims for a similar plan of patient management for important health conditions. My own medical career of over 45 years has been diverse, with many years in Queensland Hospitals and medical administration, and about 18 years in General Practice. I have been privileged to see the issues of communication and co-operation from “both sides of the fence” having been Medical Superintendent of the Mackay Base Hospital, and in Metro South, the first Medical Superintendent of the QEII Jubilee Hospital (1980-1988) and then the Executive Director Medical Services of the Mater Public Hospitals (Adults, Mothers and the then Children’s, from 1988-1999). As a Life Member of the RACGP, I was privileged to serve on the RACGP Qld Board for 12 years, first as Honorary Secretary, and later as the State Corlis Fellow, a position which was an advocate for General Practice and liaised with Universities, and training bodies, and acted as a mentor for General Practice trainees. I have also served in the past on the Governing Councils of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (now the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute), the former Queensland Radium Institute, the UQ Medical Faculty Board, and more recently on the Queensland Health Radiation Advisory Council, and the Professional Services Review Panel of the Commonwealth Department of Health. In 2007, I was fortunate to be a member of a group of General Practitioner reviewing consultants to the 4th Edition of Professor John Murtagh’s textbook “General Practice”. The improvement of medical record and clinical information systems has remained a keen interest, and this has included improvement of the referral process between community General Practice and Public Hospital Outpatient Services. The SpotOnHealth HealthPathways project, while not intended to be a textbook, or to be obligatory to use, or to tell General Practitioners how to do their job, gives an up-to-date Specialist and peer-reviewed guideline resource for good patient care. Our team hopes you will find SpotOnHealth HealthPathways to be of assistance in your important work.