Meet Daniel Carter, our new Director of Aboriginal Health

I am a Ngarrindjeri/Wergaia man who grew up just next to Monash Health in Notting Hill.

My background is in Public Health with over ten years in Aboriginal health and community engagement roles at local government and NGOs.

I have just moved over from the Department of Health and Human Services, where I was implementing the Korin Korin Balit Djak Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing plan in the Southern Metro region.

The Director of Aboriginal Health is a new role developed to oversee Aboriginal Health at Monash Health that I’m stepping into, and I am really excited to bring my knowledge and passion into the position.

I have previous experience working with Aboriginal organisations in the Monash catchment from a DHHS perspective and this role will really go a long way to best practice service reform and developing stronger partnerships with our Aboriginal organisations in the area.

There is an amazing Aboriginal Health team already in place at Monash Health and a lot of my work going forward will be building on this.

Going forward I’d like to see Monash Health leading the way in Aboriginal patient care, reducing early discharge rates, reducing readmissions, improving connected pathways into Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and responding to the needs of Aboriginal community.

Meet Pam and Lacey

Meet Pam Maroney, Occupational Therapist in our Adult Mental Health Program at the Doveton Community Care Unit (CCU), and their pet dog Lacey.

What is your role at Monash Health and what does it entail?

I’m occupational therapist (OT) and work at a residential rehabilitation facility helping people with mental illnesses get back on their feet and return to living independently in the community.

What has your journey been like at Monash Health?

I started working at Monash Health 15 years ago, and have always worked in various mental health programs and settings.

Along the way Monash Health has supported me to attend various training and workshops, which has allowed me to learn valuable skills, improve my knowledge, and enhance my ability to work as an OT in mental health.

Tell us about Lacey and how she became a part of the Adult Mental Health Program Team.

After trialling a “bring your dog to work day,” where a staff member would bring their dog to work for the day and allow the clients to care for their dog, staff observed that clients were more engaged when the dog was available for the whole day and when they had some responsibility for caring for it.  After many discussions, we were given approval to obtain a rescue puppy as a pet dog to live on-site at the Doveton Community Care Unit. In September 2014 eight week old Lacey arrived!

Based on our research, the impact that Lacey has had on our staff and clients at the Doveton CCU include:

  • Providing opportunities for both staff and client to exercise more
  • Providing clients with comfort, companionship and opportunities to improve social skills
  • Promotes feelings of happiness amongst staff and clients
  • Helps clients engage in meaningful roles and occupations, and Lacey creates a relaxing environment for staff to work in.

We’re also able to take Lacey to visit some of the other mental health programs in Dandenong, and she has the opportunity to play with other staff and clients and practice doing her tricks, which always seems to brighten everybody’s day.

This week is Mental Health Week at Monash Health. What are the biggest mental health challenges facing our community? What steps can we take to improve our mental health and wellbeing both at home and in the workplace?

I believe the biggest challenge our clients face is social isolation. There are no longer drop-in centres, structured programs or services where people with mental illnesses can meet as a group. It can be argued that those experiencing mental illnesses need to re-integrate with mainstream services, however, many of these services have higher costs that our clients cannot afford, or feel that they don’t fit in.

Fitting in is very important in order to feel connected with others; so having a place where people with similar shared experiences can congregate, as well as receive education and support would be ideal.

In terms of improving our own mental health and wellbeing, it’s important that we too stay connected with supportive friends and family, maintain good physical health through healthy eating and exercise, and engage in our own meaningful occupations that provide purpose, satisfaction and joy.

What is the most rewarding part of your role?

Just the smallest things, like a client laughing or smiling, or seeing them enjoying themselves. Many of our clients have had difficult journeys before they arrive at our facility, so seeing them experience joy in their lives is very rewarding for me.

If you weren’t working in your current role what would you be doing?

I always thought that I wanted to be a pilot, but then realised that I get travel sickness so not sure that would be the best career for me! I love my job and the people I get to work with (both staff and clients) and so I can honestly say that I would continue being an OT. It truly is a very satisfying and rewarding job!

What is something that your team doesn’t know about you?

Having worked at Doveton CCU for many years, there is probably not much that my colleagues don’t already know about me…!

Meet Abdul Ihdayhid

Meet Abdul Ihdayhid, Cardiologist and Interventional Structural Heart Disease Fellow at Monash Health.

What is your role at Monash Health and what does it entail?

I’m currently the Interventional Structural Heart Disease Fellow, and also a PhD candidate at Monash University.

I work with an excellent team of structural heart disease specialists including A/Prof Robert Gooley, Dr Liam McCormick, Dr Siobhan Lockwood and our program coordinator Maree Lawrence.

Our team treats patients with severe valvular heart disease using minimally invasive techniques. Traditionally, these patients were treated with open heart surgery and required a long period of recovery. Over the past decade, MonashHeart has been at the forefront of clinical research and innovation in managing valvular heart disease. One of the most common procedures we perform is replacing the aortic valve. We can now do this safely under local anaesthetic and mild sedation with patients often able return home within a few days.

I’m also on call to treat patients with acute myocardial infarction (heart attack). We are one of the busiest centers in Australia, treating over 400 cases of acute myocardial infarction each year. We provide a 24-hour service and I work with a team of highly skilled cardiologists, nurses, technicians and radiographers to perform minimally invasive coronary intervention to urgently treat these patients and unblock their arteries. These are some of the sickest and most challenging patients that we treat and the ability to provide patients with immediate and substantial clinical improvement is an aspect of my work that I find considerably rewarding.

You recently won the Best Moderated Poster Award for Cardiac CT for your abstract titled ‘‘Prognostic value and incremental benefit of ischaemic myocardial burden subtended by non-invasive fractional flow reserve (FFRCT) significant stenoses’ at the 2019 European Society of Cardiology. Tell us more about this work and the impact it will have on cardiac patients?

MoanshHeart is recognised as a world leader in research and innovation in the field of cardiac CT. We perform nearly 4000 cardiac CT scans a year investigating patients for coronary artery disease. Cardiac CT is an excellent tool to identify the presence and severity of a coronary artery disease. However, what’s more important than the severity of the plaque narrowing is the degree of impairment to coronary blood flow.  Typically, the measurement of coronary blood flow is performed during an invasive coronary angiogram and requires the placement of a specialized wire down the artery. This is associated with potential side effects, discomfort to the patient and cost to the health system.

MonashHeart has been leading the development of methods to measure coronary blood flow non-invasively using cardiac CT. This technique is called CT Fractional Flow Reserve and works by using the patient’s original CT scan to generate a 3D model of the heart and then using computer analysis and applying complex engineering principles to simulate blood flow through the arteries. By using cardiac CT to assess the degree of plaque narrowing in addition to its effect on blood flow, we hope to reduce the need for further stress testing and in some cases unnecessary invasive procedures.

I recently presented my research at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Paris. This project forms part of my PhD which is under the supervision of A/Prof Brian Ko. The research was an international collaboration led by MonashHeart and involved centers in North America, Europe and Japan. We reported for the first time a novel method to quantify the amount of heart muscle supplied by a coronary artery on cardiac CT. When we combined this technique with a measurement of coronary blood flow, we were able to improve the accuracy of cardiac CT in identifying patients at high risk of future adverse cardiac events.

This research has generated significant interest and provides the foundation for future studies to refine the technique and investigate its application in clinical practice.

What makes Monash Heart a leading cardiac service in Australia and worldwide?

MonashHeart is one of the largest providers of cardiac services in Australia with a complex and a diverse case-mix.  There is a significant focus on teaching and education for all levels of staff and this translates to a commitment to provide the highest standard of patient care across all disciplines of cardiology. MonashHeart is also a national and international leader in cardiovascular research. Despite a heavy clinical load, there is a commitment and support across the department for clinical research as we recognise its importance both to our patients and the broader medical community.

Monash Health with MonashHeart and Monash University are also leading the development of the Victorian Heart Hospital. This will be Australia’s first purpose built specialist cardiac hospital and will create an exciting opportunity to have an integrated center of excellence focusing on all aspects of clinical cardiology, research and education.

What is the most rewarding part of your role?

One of the great privileges of working as a Cardiologist is the ability to alter the course of disease and make a tangible impact on the quality of life of our patients. Many patients with aortic stenosis are debilitated by their symptoms and are too high risk for open heart surgery. To see these patients a few weeks after a minimally invasive valve replacement enjoying their new lease on life and being able perform the activities they love is certainly one of the most rewarding aspects of my job.

Meet Lauren Alley

Meet Lauren Alley, Speech Pathologist in our Youth and Family Team at Monash Health Community.

What is your role at Monash Health and what does it entail?

My official title is a Speech Pathologist within the Youth and Family team, however I find it easiest to explain my role to my clients by using the term ‘Communication Specialist/ Therapist’. I choose to use this term as I’ve found that many young people associate ‘Speech Pathologists’ with young children.

In my role as a ‘Communication Specialist’, I assist my clients -often adolescents with social and emotional and/or behavioural difficulties, including mental illness- to develop their communicative confidence in the areas that are most impactful for them.

This may entail assisting a client to find the correct words to confidently express themselves and negotiate their communicative exchanges with their peers and family members (expressive language), or conversely, understand, interpret and appropriately respond to these communicative exchanges (receptive language).

For some clients it’s simply being able to make a phone call without stuttering. Whatever the goal may be, my role is to assist a young person to feel confident and properly equipped to engage in their social surroundings.

What has your journey been like at Monash Health?

I have been in this role for 14 months now, working as a Speech Pathologist for the Youth and Family team three days a week, and with the Child and Family Team two days a week. I am incredibly grateful to work across both teams, as it’s allowed me the opportunity to see Speech Pathology implemented across the continuum of care, from early intervention to early adulthood.

This experience has given me a greater appreciation of the impact developmental trauma can have on a child’s social and emotional development, and subsequently their communicative behaviours in early adulthood, as well as a better understanding of a client and family’s journey of care through the health system.

What motivated you to join the Monash Health Community Youth Team?

Prior to applying for this role, I had spent some time volunteering at community run youth mentoring programs and camps, designed specifically for young people who had been affected by trauma and/or abuse.

This experience opened my eyes to the great need for further advocacy, partnership and genuine care for this vulnerable population. When the position at the Monash Youth and Family Team became available, I was excited by an opportunity to combine my love of Speech Pathology with my passion for seeing young people equipped to regain their sense of self and purpose.

What are the main challenges facing young people in our community?

A fractured sense of identity and belonging I believe are the main challenges facing our young people today. Whether this has been born from a traumatic event or series of events in childhood, or from simply trying to navigate genuine connectedness in a society driven by online profiles and personas, I believe the question of ‘who am I?’ has become increasingly difficult for many young people to answer.

As a result, we see young people with a distorted self-concept and poor self-esteem, increased anxiety and depression, and at times, an unhealthy pursuit of anything that may afford them this lost sense of identify and belonging. And for some of my clients this includes avoiding society and social exchanges altogether.

What is the most rewarding part of your role?

It’s a joy to be able to assist my clients to challenge their negative self-concepts, specifically in the area of their communicative competence. To see a client achieve a communication goal they previously believed was out of reach, such as making a phone call without stuttering, and to subsequently see their perception of themselves and what they are capable of gradually change, is incredibly rewarding. Seeing a young person grow is the best part of my job.

Tell us more about the Monash Youth and Family Team.

The Monash Health Youth and Family Team consists of a team of multidisciplinary clinicians including Exercise Physiologists, Sexual Health Nurses, a Dietitian, Music Therapist, Social Worker and Psychologist, who are all passionate about improving the health outcomes of young people in our community.

Our team operates out of the ‘Youth Health Hub’ at the Monash Health Community site in Dandenong, with programs running each Tuesday and Thursday, during both school and after school hours. Young people who attend our program have the opportunity to engage in both individual and group programs with our clinicians, while also receiving assistance to access other community and health services.

Our Youth Team also conducts outreach health programs and secondary consults to schools and youth services in the local community, to promote health education and literacy among young people, as well as strength the therapeutic relationship between Monash Health and our wider community.

If you weren’t working in your current role what would you be doing?

I love travelling and experiencing new cultures, so if I weren’t working as a Speech Pathologist with Monash I’d love the opportunity to complete an internship in a rural community overseas.

What is something that your team doesn’t know about you?

While traveling through South America in 2017 with my sister, I spent three days sleeping in the Amazon Jungle where I spotted an anaconda in a watering hole I was about to swim in!

Meet Marcus Bowler

Meet Marcus Bowler, Physiotherapist and Clinical Lead of the Pain Service at Monash Health Community.

What is your role at Monash Health and what does it entail?

My role is to guide the clinical and operational requirements of the Pain Service, which provides pain management to patients with chronic pain.

What has your journey been like at Monash Health?

I’ve worked in this role at Monash Health for the past 10 years. When I first started, I worked one day a week in a half-day clinic, receiving 100 referrals a year to assess and treat patients over the age of 65 with chronic pain.

Since then, I have expanded the service by amalgamating a number of services to offer education, assessment and multiple treatment programs.

The clinic now runs four days a week and we see adult patients of all ages, receiving over 100 referrals a month.

Sunday 8 September is World Physical Therapy Day and the theme this year is chronic pain. What are the main challenges that patients with chronic pain encounter, and how is physical therapy used to manage their condition?

The main challenge for patients that seek treatment for chronic pain is the understanding that pain is not proportionally related to tissue damage, but rather the sensitivity of our nervous system, which is influenced by our experiences, beliefs, context and other wellbeing factors.

However, the majority of chronic pain presentations are related to musculoskeletal conditions, such as lower back pain or arthritis, which Physiotherapists are uniquely placed to assess and treat.

Physiotherapists can facilitate recovery through a holistic approach, which attempts to down-regulate their client’s nervous system and promote movement.

What are some of the common myths surrounding chronic pain?

A common myth is that chronic pain can be treated by a single modulatory approach, and hence it is the case that you just need to find the health professional that has the answer for you.

What advice do you have for people experiencing chronic pain?

For successful pain management you need a team of health professionals that you trust to guide you, and to know that your pain will improve.

What project or initiative is your team currently working on?

The pain team is highly innovative in its approach. This year we have developed the Pain Avoidance and Meaning Model to help patients understand how their pain developed.

We have also established a close working relationship with the Acute Pain Service to create Clinical Nurse Consultants, a nurses clinic to review and monitor patients.

As a team, we discuss the traumatic events that our patients have experienced during case conference. We are currently recording the level of trauma that our newly assessed patients report so that we can develop a response for our patients and improve the wellbeing of our staff.

What is the most rewarding part of your role?

I feel that it’s a privilege to help our patients better understand their pain. We do that as a team through our PACE sessions, a five hour education program that patients attend prior to assessment in clinic.

We run these sessions throughout the year across Cranbourne, Dandenong, Mordialloc and Pakenham.

If you weren’t working in your current role what would you be doing?

Before becoming a Physiotherapist I trained as an Electrical Engineer, so maybe I would be an Engineer.

What is something that your team doesn’t know about you?

I grew my ponytail when I was a physiotherapy student as I had little money and was sleeping on the floor for free in a friend’s council flat.

Tell us about your participation in the upcoming Pain Revolution Rural Outreach Tour in 2020.

I’ll be participating in the Rural Outreach Tour in Gippsland next March to raise funds to support Pain Revolution, a mission to help Australians access community-based pain education through the Local Pain Educator Program. The tour will raise awareness about chronic pain in local communities throughout regional Victoria.

Meet Jodi Lynch

Meet Jodi Lynch, Clinical Services Manager of Neurology at Monash Health.

What is your role at Monash Health and what does it entail?

As Clinical Services Manager, my role is to oversee operational aspects of the Neurology unit to ensure that the planning, delivery and evaluation of services result in improved healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.

This includes managing both the operations process – planning, service development, performance improvement, and human resource management – as well as operations strategy. I like to think of it as helping to build and sustain the infrastructure, systems and resources to enable clinicians to deliver high quality and safe care.

A large component of my role is also managing data. I am the Hospital Coordinator for the Australian Stroke Clinical Registry, which is quite a big task, given we have more than 1,700 admissions each year across the service.

I also manage our local stroke reperfusion registry, which monitors service specific performance metrics and outcomes for stroke patients receiving treatment at Monash Health.

What has your journey been like at Monash Health?

I’ve been at Monash Health for nearly four years and have had some great opportunities during that time. I initially started as the Quality Coordinator for Jessie McPherson Private Hospital, then the Specialty Medicine, Cancer and Critical Care Program, before moving into my current role just over 12 months ago.

National Stroke Week is 2-8 September. The theme this year is ‘Be a F.A.S.T hero!’ What are the F.A.S.T signs of stroke and how can we recognise them?

National Stroke Week is an important event that raises awareness regarding the signs of stroke. Stroke should be treated as a medical emergency as we know that a fast response helps reduce the risk of serious outcome.

The F.A.S.T test is an easy way to remember the most commons signs of stroke, which include:

Face: check their face. Has their mouth dropped?

Arms: can they lift both arms?

Speech: is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?

Time: is critical. If you see any of these signs call 000 straight away.

What is your team doing to raise awareness about stroke?

Every year our team gets behind National Stroke Week to help raise awareness about stroke and highlight the great work at Monash Health. Jodie, our stroke nurse consultant, and the stroke champion group have done a fantastic job of organising this year’s activities, which have included daily guest speakers presenting information on the patient experience, stroke management and prevention, and current stroke research activities. You may have also seen our very own F.A.S.T Heroes this week!

On Saturday 7 September, our team will be hosting a bake sale at the Springvale Bunnings Warehouse from 8.00am to 4.00pm. This year we hope to raise funds for resources to improve stroke care and education and development, as well as raise money for the National Stroke Foundation, so we’re grateful for any contributions towards this important cause.

What have been some of the team’s biggest achievements?

It has been a really busy time across the neurology service. Some of the biggest achievements include:

  • Monash Medical Centre was awarded as the second designated statewide provider of endovascular clot retrieval (ECR) services, which has resulted in the stroke and neurointerventional radiology teams achieving some amazing patient outcomes, including treating the first paediatric stroke ECR case in Victoria.
  • The opening of the state-of-the-art angiography suite
  • Professor Henry Ma’s internationally-recognised stroke research outcomes involving clot busting medication.
  • Our world-first trial using stem cells to treat stroke
  • Hosting our first neurology research open house event
  • Providing one of the largest neurology outpatient services for epilepsy, stroke, movement disorders and other cerebrovascular diseases, including scientific research into the causes, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders.
  • A large project to transition from a private outpatient clinic model to a fully public service – this has been a huge change process and our neurology admin team have done an amazing job managing this transition.

What major/new project or initiative is your team currently working on?

We are about to embark on a large-scale project to review the entire stroke pathway from presentation to diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and discharge. We have experienced significant growth across the stroke service, which has put a lot of pressure on our current resources.

We service one of the largest catchment areas in the state and also support seven regional and rural hospitals through the Victorian Stroke Telemedicine network, so it’s important that we effectively plan for future demand, given the large population increase and high incidence of stroke in the south-east corridor.

Stroke treatment and care requires a huge team effort from multiple disciplines across the health service, and this project will work collaboratively with our teams and patients to ensure Monash Health remains responsive to the rapidly evolving treatment of acute stroke, reinforce our statewide role as a leader in specialist stroke services, and ensure we continue to provide the highest levels of care.

What is the most rewarding part of your role?

Knowing that people presenting to Monash Health with a stroke or neurological disorder will receive world-class care from a multidisciplinary team of experts. It really is a privilege to be part of a team which provides some of the best patient outcomes in the state.

If you weren’t working in your current role what would you be doing?

Probably something in the field of organisational psychology, which is something I would like to continue pursuing one day.

What is something that your team doesn’t know about you?
Hmm…well they may not know that I am also studying interior design and that I am quite passionate about home DIY!

Meet Maria Kouspos

Meet Maria Kouspos, Speech Pathologist at Monash Health.

Can you tell us about your role at Monash health, the program you work in and what a normal day looks like for you?

I am a speech pathologist that works in various outpatient clinics as well as the inpatient setting. I work in the Developmental Paediatrics clinic, Healthy Koori Kids clinic, Victorian Foetal Alcohol Spectrum (VicFAS) clinic, and the inpatient Special Care Nursery setting.

Every day looks different as each clinic runs on a different day. Typically, on the day that I am working in the inpatient setting I would see babies and children that have a feeding or swallowing difficulties.

Depending on the day, I will attend either the Developmental Paediatrics Clinic, Healthy Koori Kids clinic or Victorian Foetal Alcohol Spectrum (VicFAS) clinic. All these clinics are multidisciplinary teams that consists of Paediatricians, Psychologists, Neuropsychologists, Occupational Therapist, Speech Pathologist and Oral Hygienists.

Generally the children that attend the clinic have a developmental concern. My role in the team is to assess and provide recommendations about their communication skills. This includes, speaking, listening and social skills development.

What major project or initiative is your team currently working on?

At the moment the new VicFAS Clinic has commenced. It involves intensive neurodevelopmental assessment of children between ages 4 to 12 that have possibly been exposed to prenatal alcohol.

I am also involved in assisting Monash Health become communication accessible. The aim is to enable people who have communication difficulties to communicate and interact successfully with all staff members at Monash Health.

I’m a strong believer that all members of the community have a right to be treated with dignity and respect, and people with a communication impairment should be able to communicate successfully no matter what their communication method is. This may include using words, pictures, gestures or a communication device.

How did you first become involved in speech pathology? What has your journey to Monash Health looked like?

I have been a speech pathologist for 18 years and have always worked in paediatrics. I first started at Monash Health in 2009 in the Developmental Paediatrics Clinic.

Can you tell us about the overall role speech pathologists play at Monash Health?

Speech pathologists play an extremely important role at Monash Health. We work in a range of areas across the life span. For example, we work with the premature infant that has feeding difficulties, the pre-schooler that has difficulties with language development, the school age child that has learning difficulties, the adolescent that has Autism Spectrum Disorder and the adult that has had a stroke.

What is the most rewarding part of your role?

Being part of teams that help families understand their child and provide individualised recommendations that assist the child in the present and the future.

This year’s theme for Speech Pathology Week is “Communicating with confidence.” Can you tell us what this means to you?

“Communicating with confidence” means that all members of our community have a right to communicate their needs, wants and desires whether they have a communication difficulty or not. There needs to be more awareness of this hidden disability.

Are there any special moments in your career that stand out in particular?

It’s always special and exciting when a child starts to communicate their basic and functional needs using a range of strategies that I have implemented with the family, such as Key Word Sign, pictures and of course verbal communication.

 

Dr Jane Tracy recognised for lifetime achievements

Congratulations to Dr Jane Tracy from our Centre for Developmental Disability Health Victoria (CDDHV) who was inducted into the Lifetime Achievement Honour Roll at the 2019 Victorian Disability Awards earlier this week.

Victoria’s Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers, The Hon. Luke Donnellan, presented Dr Tracy with her award.

“Dr Tracy’s dedication to improving the lives of people with disability is remarkable. It’s people like her who make a tangible difference to our community. I congratulate her on her induction to the Lifetime Achievement Honour Roll,” said Mr Donnellan.

Dr Tracy has worked in the CDDHV team for the past 27 years and is well-respected for her incredible and tireless contributions to the health and disability sectors in this time.

The CDDHV, which has been part of Monash Health since 2015, provides a state-wide clinical service to support GP referrals, education, research service innovation, advocacy and community education. All activities focus on improving the health and quality of life of adults with intellectual and associated developmental disabilities including autism and cerebral palsy.

In her current role as Director of the CDDHV, Dr Tracy has led a passionate team in a number of projects. Most recently, the team has piloted a Complex Disability Liaison Service to support mainstream health services to better understand, care for and support people with intellectual disability and complex needs while in hospital.

When asked about her highlights from the past 27 years, Dr Tracy’s long list of achievements and successes includes:

  • Contributing to medical student education by sharing the insights, knowledge and understanding she has gained through her lifetime of work in the health and disability sectors, to help equip future doctors to work with people with disabilities in their careers
  • Working with clinicians from many different disciplines and the Department of Health and Human Services to develop many professional development opportunities and online resources for General Practitioners
  • Contributing, along with her CDDH colleagues, to the ‘Developmental Disability: Managing Guidelines’, one of a suite of books about medication and management available to all GPs and many other medical practitioners in Australia

While Dr Tracy’s professional successes have been a source of pride, she also counts her love of the job and her wonderful colleagues as highlights.

“I have been so very fortunate in my career to work in an area in which I felt I could make a difference, and to work with wonderful colleagues from both the health and disability sectors, some of whom I have known for over 25 years,” Dr Tracy said.

“I’ve also had the privilege to work with and be mentored by some inspiring and outstanding leaders and contributors, including Dr Phillip Graves, A/Prof Bob Davis, Ms June McDonald, Dr Mary Burbidge, Prof Dinah Reddihough and many, many others.”

Congratulations again to Dr Tracy – Monash Health is incredibly proud of the contributions she has made to the lives of many.

Meet Emma Morros

Meet Emma Morros, Registered Nurse and Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Super User at Monash Health.

What is your role at Monash Health and what does it entail?

I’m a Registered Nurse and currently work in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Monash Children’s Hospital (MCH) and the Special Care Nursery (SCN) at MCH, Dandenong Hospital, Casey Hospital and Jessie McPherson Private Hospital.

What has your journey been like at Monash Health?

I completed my Grad year at Dandenong Hospital in 2007, and quickly discovered after just one rotation in the Special Care Nursery that this was an area I loved working in.

After my grad year I continued to work in the SCN for seven years. I then moved to Monash Medical Centre in 2014 to undertake a Post Graduate in Neonatal Intensive Care and worked in Monash Newborn NICU for the next four years.

Last year I moved to the nurse bank and am currently working in the nurse pool.

What made you want to work on the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) program?

I wanted to work in the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) program to gain a more in-depth knowledge of the system and feel more confident when the EMR goes live.

What motivated you to become a Super User?

I became a Super User because I wanted to help support our staff during the implementation of the EMR.

I also work at another hospital that implemented an EMR and I remember feeling quite stressed and overwhelmed, and the Super Users were a great support during this time.

What challenges have you encountered in the lead up to EMR Go-Live?

I found that communication is an area where challenges can arise. With a diverse workforce and different levels of computer literacy among our staff, anxiety and fear of change can be a challenge.

Being involved in log on events and other activities to prepare for the EMR has helped to alleviate some of these concerns and demonstrated that clear communication has never been more important.

What impact will the EMR have on our staff and how will it affect the care we provide to our patients?

I believe the EMR will have a positive impact on staff and assist us in providing better care to our patients by improving communication between the multidisciplinary teams.

What is the most rewarding part of your role?

Helping other staff members to navigate and resolve any issues they have with the EMR.

If you weren’t working in your current role what would you be doing?

I would probably try something different but still in the area of nursing. A change is as good as a holiday they say!

What is something that your team doesn’t know about you?

I would like to travel around Australia in an RV one day.

 

Meet Emma West

Meet Emma West, Electronic Medical Record (EMR) People and Change Manager at Monash Health.

What is your role at Monash Health and what does it entail?

My role as EMR People and Change Manager is to help prepare and support our employees as they transition to the Monash Health Electronic Medical Record (EMR).

My team has been coordinating familiarisation activities across all of our sites to help prepare everyone for the new digital workflows.

Over the past six months, we have run over 160 EMR interactive sessions across different areas and over 100 ward walkthroughs. The walkthroughs gave everyone the opportunity to practise the new workflows in their physical environment, by bringing together the EMR and related devices.

A lot of time has been spent testing to ensure we have a product that meets the needs of our patients, their families and Monash Health. When our employees start to use the EMR and gain confidence, we will see the full benefit of the EMR in our daily operations.

When the EMR goes live my role will be to coordinate our Super Users and others to provide support to our employees across the organisation.

What has your journey been like at Monash Health?

I have worked at Monash Health for the past 15 years, and have been very fortunate to have had so many opportunities over this time.

I began my career as a Physiotherapist, and then joined the Re-Design Team where I supported various improvement projects across the organisation.

In my next role as a Senior Advisor in the Innovation and Improvement team I worked with the Emergency Department as part of the Transforming Care initiative before moving into my current role.

What made you want to work on the EMR Program?

I was ready for the next challenge and working on the EMR is a great opportunity to be a part of one of the most significant changes to our organisation.

This is one of the largest roll-outs of the EMR in Australia. What are the biggest challenges you have encountered along the way?

The roll-out of the EMR is a significant step towards a digital hospital, however some areas will not use the EMR for all aspects of their daily work. We have worked closely with clinicians in these areas to ensure the hybrid workflows implemented will improve care provided while minimising the risk to our patients.

Our team is small, so it has been challenging to support employees across multiple sites in preparation for the transition to the EMR. That’s why we’ve been busy recruiting Super Users to assist in our engagement and familiarisation activities.

How will the EMR enhance patient safety and care at Monash Health?

The EMR will transform the way we provide care to our community through improving communication between clinicians and supporting them to make decisions that are based on evidence. It will also advance our capabilities as a teaching facility which will provide benefits to the longer term health and wellbeing of our community.

When will the EMR go live at Monash Health?

Our first Go-Live is in just four days at Dandenong Hospital!

The EMR will Go-Live at the Cranbourne Centre on 26 August, Monash Medical Centre, Monash Children’s Hospital and Jessie McPherson Private Hospital in October, followed by Casey Hospital, Moorabbin Hospital and the Kingston Centre in November.

What is the most rewarding part of your role?

The people I work with – both within the EMR Program and across the organisation. I am lucky to work with a team that is passionate and committed to working together to achieve the common goal of making the EMR a reality.

The EMR has been a long time coming for Monash Health and seeing it come to life is very exciting!

If you weren’t working in your current role what would you be doing?

Right now…sitting on my favourite beach at Anglesea!

What is something that your team doesn’t know about you?

I’m a pretty open book so there’s not much my team doesn’t know, but I ruptured my ACL skiing two years ago and am about to confront my fear!