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Innovative approaches to technology-based healthcare in the spotlight

Two unique programs have been awarded joint winners of the Supporting Patients Through Technology Award by the PHN.

The Moove & Groove Program and Hunter Primary Care's Shared Health Appointments Program cater for the needs of two key patient cohorts within the primary care sector.

The annual Primary Care Quality and Innovation Awards celebrate leadership and originality in health care resulting in better outcomes in the community.

The Moove & Groove Program

The Moove & Groove Program enables staff in Residential Aged Care Facilities to provide audio and visual engagements to residents in Residential Aged Care based on their personal preferences. Using innovative technology, the program creates connections with residents to improve the overall health and mental health outcomes.

Moove & Groove is a targeted early intervention program and/or low intensity services for residents in Aged Care Facilities at risk of developing mental illness or higher-level mental health care needs. Using established innovative psychological approaches, the program specifically equips staff with the technology to engage and positively impact residents living with dementia.

The program uses wireless headphones, transmitters, and a website application to collect preferences of individual residents. Staff can then click on the links to music, listening or reminiscing video to create engagement.

An Impact Summary for the initial engagement across 20 homes indicates the benefit to the quality of life of both staff and residents through engagement. Key results included:

  • 94 per cent of responses show the program is improving the quality of life of residents
  • 84per cent of responses report an improvement in the quality of life of staff
  • 88 per cent of responses show an improvement in connectedness between residents, staff and families
  • 86 per cent of responses report that staff working environment is more positive

Hunter Primary Care

Hunter Primary Care’s Shared Health Appointments (SHAs) support First Nations people experiencing chronic disease to develop sustainable lifestyle goals in a virtual group setting. SHAs recognise the importance of yarning sessions for First Nations people, and that peer support is often a missing link when trying to manage chronic conditions.

Clients have access to an Exercise Physiologist, Dietitian, Occupational Therapist, Social Worker, Registered Nurses, and Aboriginal Health Workers. The interdisciplinary team have created practical “life skills” sessions which includes cooking classes and shopping basics, exercising at home, managing stress, sleep, motivation, and prioritising.

COVID-19 saw the delivery of this program pivot from face-to-face to online, and the team also recognised the vulnerability of social isolation and how the pandemic hindered clients accessing healthcare. A Social Outreach Worker position was created to focus on support for those experiencing social isolation and who wished to participate in the virtual SHAs. Elders are trained in the use IT technology, as well as how to improve their IT literacy and confidence. These skills drive social interactions and encourages engagement with community telehealth with other health professionals.

The groups allow First Nations clients to yarn and share their story in a confidential and culturally safe way. The Hunter Primary Care model has been recognised by NSW Health as part of their Virtual Care Strategy, exemplifying the value of leadership in the virtual care field.

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