Mar

18

2019

Online Courses from the University of Melbourne

The Mobile Learning Unit at the University of Melbourne offers Continuing Professional Development (CPD) online courses for healthcare practitioners.

Click the title to learn more about the courses below.

A passion to share specialist knowledge and skills in the treatment of migraines has driven University of Melbourne Professor Tissa Wijeratne’s to create his new venture, Mastering Migraine Management. The online course provides healthcare professionals with the latest clinical advances to improve patient lives.

Migraine is the leading cause of disability in Australia, according to a study published in The Lancet Neurology last year.

The study found the number of patients affected by debilitating headaches has substantially increased globally in the past 25 years, and it is imperative clinicians with neurological expertise can meet this growing need.

“We have approximately 500 neurologists practicing in Australia, and there are more than five million headache sufferers and this number is growing year on year,” Prof Wijeratne said.

“Headaches are worse than any other condition, when it comes to disability, and people often suffer in silence,” he said.

As the Chair of the Global Policy and Advocacy Committee for the World Federation of Neurology, Prof Wijeratne believes educating primary healthcare physicians in the latest evidence-based therapies for migraine management represents the best solution to meet patient needs.

“General practitioners play a pivotal role in helping many of these patients to regain quality of life and it’s important, as experts in the field, we share our knowledge and passion for the treatment of migraines,” Prof Wijeratne said.

Mastering Migraine Management is a highly interactive RACGP accredited e-learning course, due to be released in June, designed for busy healthcare professionals to upskill in their own time and at their own pace.

The course covers the latest strategies for the diagnosis of headaches, highlights “red flag” symptoms and differential diagnoses, and provides pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments for managing patients experiencing headaches.

The course is accessible across any smart device including a mobile phone, tablet, or computer and learning units are structured logically to build a solid foundation of practical knowledge which can be immediately assimilated into daily practice.

“Practicing medicine is a wonderful opportunity as you can change the lives of many other human beings and you can do it for a long time,” he said.

“When you give, you value every moment, and medicine, for me, was really the best way to help many people and have a positive influence on improving lives.”

Prof Wijeratne is inspiring others to give back for future generations and collaborated with a team of young dynamic neurologists and neurology advanced trainees in the preparation of Mastering Migraine Management.

“We practice medicine now based on the groundbreaking work of others, and now I want to do my part and inspire others to give back to improve patient lives,” he said.

Prof Wijeratne also plans to develop an online e-learning course aimed to educate patients experiencing debilitating headaches.

“I would like to give patients a toolkit where they understand they can have a very full life and migraines can become a very tiny part of their life.”

Click here to download a brochure.

Click here for more information on Mastering Migraine Management.

Or contact the Mobile Learning Unit at: [email protected]

Do you need help managing obese patients?

Any medical practitioner who has tried to treat a patient struggling to lose weight knows the problem. Nearly anyone can lose weight, and they can do it without help. But almost everyone puts it back on again.

The statistics are now familiar. Nearly two-thirds of Australian adults and one-quarter of children and adolescents are overweight or obese. And these rates continue to rise, resulting in complex health issues and costing the economy billions.

Endocrinologist Dr Priya Sumithran from the University of Melbourne is an expert in the management of obesity and coordinator of a new online course. It is designed to train health practitioners assess and treat patients who are wanting help with obesity.

“Obesity is a complex, chronic condition,” she says.

“The body has a way of trying to keep our weight stable. When we lose weight there are lots of biological changes that try and help us put the weight back on. So, your body’s helping you if you’re living through a famine, but if you’re deliberately trying to lose weight it’s very difficult.”

“It sounds like the advice [to patients] changes a lot in the media. But the underlying principle is that you have to eat less than your body burns, and you need to do it in a safe way. That doesn’t change,” says Dr Sumithran.

From the clinician’s perspective though, it is not as simple as it sounds. Treating an obese patient who is trying to fall pregnant is different to managing one who is a type 2 diabetic. And if the patient is very old, or very young, the advice may differ again.

Consisting of eight learning units, 19 case studies and assessments, the Management of Obesity course is suitable for general practitioners, doctors in training, dietitians, allied health professionals and students. It has been developed by a group of seven physicians at the University of Melbourne’s Department of Medicine who specialise in obesity research and clinical practice.

“All of us work together. One of us has a PhD in weight management in elderly people, one of us focuses on pregnancy, we all have our specialist area,” says Dr Sumithran.

The most well-known contributor is Professor Joseph Proietto, a household name in obesity management and research, who established one of the first obesity clinics in Australia.

“People come from all over the country, and even internationally, to observe Prof Proietto working in the clinic. With this course being offered online, now anyone can have access to that expertise,” says Dr Sumithran.

An evidence-based approach is used to help practitioners assess patients and set appropriate goals, explain body weight regulation, and understand the roles of different types of diets, exercise, psychological factors, pharmacotherapy, and bariatric surgery in obesity management.

The Management of Obesity course is CPD-accredited and will be available from November. Students will be able to access the 10-hour course on any desktop or mobile device with iOS, Android or Windows systems.

Click here to download a brochure.

Click here for more information on the Management of Obesity.

Or contact the Mobile Learning Unit at: [email protected]

Immunisations are one of the most resourceful inventions in public health. Since their creation in the late 1700s, they have transformed our views on mortality. Global diseases like polio and smallpox and have been almost completely eradicated through the development of vaccinations.

With the World Health Organization listing vaccination hesitancy as one of the top ten health threats for 2019, it is vital that health practitioners are confident in their knowledge of immunisation.

A new online course from The University of Melbourne’s Mobile Learning Unit will approach immunisation from a global and local lens. Course director Tracy Murphy chose a mobile-based learning platform to help time-poor nurses develop a working knowledge of immunisations. The course also entails ten hours of clinical placement.

The course will equip nurses to administer vaccines for adults and children on the National Immunisation Program. It is aligned with the National Immunisation Education Framework.

Students will learn about the vaccines used on the national immunisation program, the recommended usage and the human immune system.

“The course will help prepare nurses to independently administer vaccinations in accordance with national guidelines,” said Tracy Murphy, course coordinator.

The evidence-based course will help practitioners consider the legal and ethical framework for delivering immunisation, deal with adverse events and understand organizational requirements of an immunisation service. Once completed, the course will enable nurses to practice as a nurse immuniser in Victoria. Nurses from other states can check if the course will be recognised as prior learning with their local state or territory health department.

Students will be able to access the course on any desktop or mobile device with iOS, Android or Windows systems.

Click here to download a brochure.

Click here for more information on Immunisation (Nurse Immuniser).

Or contact the Mobile Learning Unit at: [email protected]

In Maningrida, Arnhem Land, a remote Indigenous community, the University of Melbourne’s Associate Professor Dr Elif Ekinci first became acutely aware of the enormity of diabetes as a disease and confirmed her career pathway dedicated to improving the lives of people with diabetes.

She saw very young people develop diabetes, and many die from diabetes-related complications, as part of the John Flynn Placement Program she completed during her medical training at the Melbourne Medical School.

“Diabetes affects Indigenous Australians very drastically and dramatically. A lot of these deaths perhaps could have been prevented, these were young people, in their 30s and 40s,” Associate Professor Ekinci said.

Diabetes is the fastest-growing chronic condition in Australia, where one person every five minutes is diagnosed with diabetes, and it is increasing in prevalence faster than any other chronic disease, including heart disease and cancer.

To address this issue , Associate Professor Ekinci has embarked on a new venture, Diabetes Academy – What’s New in Diabetes, to equip health care professionals with up to date knowledge to effectively manage the increasing number of patients with diabetes and improve their outcomes.

Diabetes Academy – What’s New in Diabetes is an interactive CPD accredited course focused only on the important recent changes and best practice principles in diabetes management.

Modules cover the latest medications (GLP1 drugs, SGLT2 inhibitors and DPP4 inhibitors) and technologies (insulin pump therapy and continuous blood glucose monitoring), managing pre-existing diabetes through pregnancy, gestational diabetes, and strategies for optimising lipid control and blood pressure management.

Not content with just transferring best practice and knowledge to healthcare professionals, Associate Professor Ekinci plans to develop a complementary online education program for people living with diabetes.

“If GPs know the latest information, this will translate to patients, and the next step for us is to look at developing a course aimed specifically at enhancing patient education.”

“By the time I’m finished my career I would like to think we’ve done a lot for diabetes in terms of prevention, complications and perhaps even cure this disease,” she said.

Click here to download a brochure.

Click here to learn more about Diabetes Academy – What’s New In Diabetes.

Or contact the Mobile Learning Unit at: [email protected]

The world’s population is ageing and common chronic diseases affecting older people, such as osteoporosis and sarcopenia, place a significant burden on the individual as well as the healthcare system.

Sarcopenia was only recently included in the International Standard Classification of Diseases (ICD-10-Clinical Modification).

Osteosarcopenia, a combination of osteoporosis and sarcopenia, is characterised by a synchronic loss of bone mineral density and muscle mass, strength, and function which represents a huge threat to a loss of independence for older people.

Although healthcare professionals may be aware of the importance of fall prevention in older people, the newness of sarcopenia and osteosarcopenia means these conditions are rarely diagnosed and risks identified for falls and fractures.

This highly interactive course, Osteosarcopenia: Preventing falls and fractures, was developed in collaboration with the University of Melbourne’s Mobile Learning Unit, and e-learning modules are accessible across any smart device, including a mobile phone, tablet, or computer.

Aimed at primary healthcare physicians and allied health professionals, this course includes six tutorials for obtaining knowledge and skills, readily assimilated into daily clinical practice, in osteoporosis, sarcopenia and osteosarcopenia.

Topics covered include bone and muscle biology, pathophysiology of osteoporosis and sarcopenia, risk factors and clinical assessment, diagnostic methods and treatment options.

There are 12 interactive cases studies and the course can be progressed or suspended, when necessary, to balance learning with other commitments.

Click here to download a brochure.

Click here to learn more.

Or contact the Mobile Learning Unit at: [email protected]


 

Learn more via HealthPathways:

For a list of all localised pathways see:

Mid and North Coast Localised Pathways

Username: manchealth
Password: conn3ct3d

For further information about HealthPathways email [email protected] or [email protected].

Our regional partners

  • Local Health District partners in our footprint: Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD) & Northern New South Wales Local Health District (NNSWLHD)
  • Aboriginal Medical Services (AMS)
  • The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP)
  • Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM)
  • Rural Doctors Network (RDN)
  • Rural Clinical Schools & Regional Training Hubs
  • General Practitioners
  • Registrars and International Medical Graduates
  • North Coast Allied Health Association (NCAHA)
  • Local Councils
    Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA)
  • Universities including: Charles Sturt University (CSU), University of New South Wales (UNSW), Southern Cross University (SCU)

Aged Care Disaster Management Planning

Strategic Priority Area: One team

North Coast is identified as the region most likely to be impacted by climate change in Australia and also forecasted greatest growth in those 65+.

Healthy North Coast takes a lead role in ensuring the older population and the sector that supports them are prepared for, can respond to and recover from disasters and other emergencies.

We have led eight regional disaster management capacity building workshops, bringing together SES, community organisations and the aged care sector.

We have also developed disaster preparedness tip sheets for both residential and community aged care providers.

Voluntary Assisted Dying

Strategic Priority Area: One team

In May 2022, the NSW Parliament passed the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2022. Effective from Tuesday, 28 November 2023, eligible people have the choice to access voluntary assisted dying. 

Healthy North Coast has developed a webpage for both health professionals and consumers, with links to available information and resources.

Living with Dementia resources

Strategic Priority Area: No one is left behind

Healthy North Coast has worked with people living with dementia, their families and local service providers to develop an information booklet that will help them connect with local and national supports along their journey.

The booklet includes commonly asked questions for people to ask their GP and/or specialist.

The resource is available in digital and printed copies, with more than 5,000 distributed across the region. An e-version is available to clinicians via the Dementia and Cognitive Impairment HealthPathway.

Deteriorating Resident Triage Tool Pilot

Strategic Priority Area: One team

The Deteriorating Resident Response Tool (DRRT) has been developed to guide RN’s in Residential Aged Care homes (RACHs) to better understand, anticipate and make clinical decisions responding to the deteriorating health of residents.

The objective of the DRRT is to give RACH staff clear information to triage and provide appropriate care for a range of residents’ health conditions, and, in turn, prevent unnecessary presentations to ED.

The tool has been designed together with a specialist geriatrician, consulting with stakeholders such as Residential Aged Care Managers, NSW Ambulance, GPs, and experts from Mid and North Coast LHDs.

The pilot commences in March with four participating RACHs. Evaluation measures will include effectiveness in building RN confidence and reported reduction in unnecessary hospitalisations. Findings will inform a future planned, region-wide implementation.

North Coast Care Finders Program

Strategic Priority Area: No one is left behind

The Care Finders program is a free region-wide service to support vulnerable older people who have no-one else to help them, to learn about, apply for and set up support services.

Care finders can help people understand what aged care services are available, set up an assessment, and find and choose services. They also help people with access to other supports in the community, both accessing services for the first time and changing or finding new services and supports.

On the North Coast, Healthy North Coast has commissioned four organisations to provide this important service: EACH, Carexcell, Lifetime Connect and Footprints.

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Psychological services in residential aged care homes

Strategic Priority Area: Improving Lives Now

Healthy North Coast commissions two service providers to deliver psychological therapies and supports for older people with, or at risk of developing, a mental illness and who are living in residential aged care homes (RACHs).

The aim of the program is to both provide direct support to residents and their families and carers, as well as upskill the RACH workforce to respond to the needs of residents presenting with mental health concerns.

Social prescribing (Healthy Me Healthy Community)

Strategic Priority Area: Securing a Healthier Future

Delivered by Feros Care, the Healthy Me, Healthy Community program aims to build individual and community connections to reduce loneliness and improve wellbeing in Port Macquarie.

The program helps people to connect with community, activities, supports and services that address their broader social determinants of health, as an alternative or supplement to a clinical approach.

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Digital Health in Residential Aged Care

Strategic Priority Area: Improving Lives Now

Timely access to primary health care professionals, whether through face-to-face consultation or telehealth, is recognised as an issue for many Residential Aged Care Homes (RACHs), that in some cases can lead to potentially preventable hospitalisations. RACHs require adequate telehealth facilities to support access to virtual consultations for their residents.

Project goals

  • Assist participating RACHs to have appropriate telehealth facilities and equipment to enable their residents to virtually consult when needed with their primary health care professionals, specialists and other clinicians. 
  • Provide training to participating RACH staff to support them to have the capabilities to assist their residents in accessing virtual consultation services.
  • Encourage increased use of My Health Record by RACHs, to improve the availability and secure transfer of resident’s health care information between RACHs, primary care and acute care settings.
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Greater Choice at Home Palliative Care Program

Strategic Priority Area: Improving Lives Now

Aims to provide people who have life limiting conditions the opportunity to exercise choice and receive high quality care at home, harnessing improved and better coordinated supports and services that meet their individual needs.

Program objectives:

  • Improve access to palliative care at home and support end-of-life care systems and services (in primary health care and community care)
  • To enable the right care at the right time and in the right place (to reduce unnecessary hospitalisation)
  • Generate and use data to support continuous improvement of services across sectors
  • Use available technologies to support flexible and responsive palliative care at home, including in the after-hours.

These objectives will contribute to achieving the following intended overarching outcomes of:

  • Improved capacity and responsiveness of services to meet local needs and priorities
  • Improved patient access to quality palliative care services in the home
  • Improved coordination of care for patients across health care providers and integration of palliative care services in their region.

Education & training funding elibility

Funding is open to all primary care providers within disaster affected communities across the Healthy North Coast footprint.

Workforce Locum support and R&R funding criteria

  • Available to primary care services in disaster impacted communities within the Healthy North Coast footprint.
  • Available to support short-term workforce coverage, allowing clinicians to rest and recover.
  • Workforce-support funding in total is capped for each site, over a 12-month period:
    • $10k for GPs and/or
    • $5K for nursing and/or
    • $5k administration support and/or
    • $5K allied/pharmacy and other.
  • Funding is not to be used to fill gaps in staffing that have not been able to recruit to and not to replace existing staff.
  • Healthy North Coast will assess requirements and approve available funding directly with the service requesting support.
  • Priority will be given to sites that have immediate, short-term workforce support needs.
  • Requests will be reviewed and supported on a case-by-case basis.
  • Program funding administered via RCTI Agreement (Recipient Created Tax Invoice) to be paid monthly, or on completion of the placement (whichever comes first).
  • Practices will be required to complete a request for payment form monthly, or on completion of the placement (whichever occurs first).

Wellbeing Flexible Funding Criteria & Eligibility

  • Open to all primary care providers within disaster affected communities across the Healthy North Coast footprint.
  • Activity must be purposeful, with the aim of increasing the wellbeing of your team.
  • Requests will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, with funding allocated based on team size.*
  • Following approval by Healthy North Coast, funding will be administered via RCTI Agreement (Recipient Created Tax Invoice) upon providing proof of expenses.
  • Funding cannot be used for the purchase of alcohol, or any other goods or services where the vendor cannot quote their Australian Business Number.
  • Planned activities must occur prior to 30th June 2024.
  • Funding will not be available for retrospective activities.
*Team Size
(Total staff and contractors)
Funding Available
Small (1-5)$500-$1500
Medium (6-20)$1500-$4000
Large (>20)$4000-$5000