CREM Director wins 2016 Regional Achiever Award

South West Regional Achiever - Tim BakerCREM is delighted to announce that our director, Dr Timothy Baker, has been awarded the  South West Regional Achiever Award, 2016.  This award is a great honour and reflects the contribution, not only of Dr Baker personally but of many other people and organisations who contribute to rural emergency medicine in our region.  The staff of CREM research issues of importance and help spread new ideas to clinicians in small towns. Warrnambool and Portland emergency departments, and the surrounding Urgent Care Centres continue to incorporate new models of care to provide the best outcomes for their patients.

CREM appreciates the ongoing funding and commitment of Alcoa Australia, the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, and Deakin University to the South West Region.  CREM would like to thank the sponsors of this award, South West TAFE and Deakin University, for recognising and honouring those who work for their communities in the South West Region of Victoria.  Dr Baker would like to congratulate the other finalists and nominees in this category, who have all contributed greatly to the local communities, making our region such a wonderful place to live.  Thanks to Prime 7, The Weekly Times and the Bank Of Melbourne, the major sponsors of these awards.

CREM to run an interprofessional learning course for rural paramedics, doctors, and nurses

The CREM team has received funds from the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine to develop an inter-professional short course focussed on the management of trauma patients in rural areas.  Although rural and metropolitan clinicians may be required to manage similar patient presentations, rural practice presents unique challenges related to resourcing and clinical exposure not often encountered by medical professionals working in larger towns and cities.  In rural areas, there is a higher likelihood of nurses, GPs or paramedics working in isolation and being required to manage critical patients with fewer resources.  With this in mind, we think there is a great advantage in bringing together clinicians from different backgrounds and providing them with the opportunity to learn from, with and about each other.  Often, the difference between a case that is managed well and one where multiple errors occur is the way in which the team interacts.  The way in which a team interacts is often dependent on the background, experience and attitude of each person in that team.  By developing a short course based on the principles of inter-professional education, our aim is provide rural clinicians with the tools to adapt to, contribute to, and lead within multi-disciplinary teams.

We aim to run a pilot course in November 2016 in order to refine the facilitation and debriefing skills of the CREM teaching staff, and to run the first course in January 2017.  The course format will include an online component and 2 day workshop utilising team training activities and patient scenarios using high-fidelity simulation.  Scenarios will include pre-hospital and in-hospital cases providing participants with the opportunity to develop patient management skills in an environment they may be unfamiliar with.

Providing a lifeline for rural doctors

Rural doctors often have specific training for rural emergency medicine. What they lack for difficult cases is immediate access to onsite specialist advice. Unfortunately, telemedicine programs are often designed to meet the needs of specialists rather than rural doctors and their patients.

This editorial by the Director of CREM, Tim Baker, outlines the view of advice lines and telemedicine programs from the perspective of the rural doctor making the call, and makes a plea for a more coordinated approach.

Access article on publisher’s site

Baker T. Providing a lifeline for rural doctors. Medical Journal of Australia -1 Nov 23 2015, Oct 5;203(7):277.

EmbedED Art Exhibition 14th Nov – 21st Dec

Join us for the grand opening of the EmbedED exhibition with GUY BEN-ARY on Saturday 15th November at 6pm

Like artists embedded with the military, Karen Richards, Gareth Colliton and Andrea Radley joined the South West Healthcare Emergency Department for three months to observe staff and patients then make art in response to what they experienced.

Guy Ben-Ary is a Perth based artist and researcher at the University of Western Australia. Recognised internationally as a major artist and innovator working across science and media arts. Guy specialises in biotechnological artwork, which aims to enrich our understanding of what it means to be alive.

Experience it yourself at 38 Kelp Street Warrnambool open Thursday to Sunday 12-5pm (Scope Galleries website)

Download invitation for printing


Point of Care Troponin (POCT) Brief

February 2012

The Department of Health with South West Healthcare Warrnambool support have engaged on a six month pilot study followed by evaluation to trial Point of Care Troponin ( POCT) testing in emergency departments or urgent care centres in seven health services. Heywood, Portland, Moyne, Warrnambool, Camperdown, Terang and Timboon are the pilot sites.
POCT testing hopes to improve outcomes for patients by:

  • Faster results
  • Faster treatment
  • Better patient flow

The overall aim is to introduce an acute coronary syndrome pathway to Southwest Victoria and evaluate its impact by improving access to evidence-based acute and follow-up cardiac care through the provision of:

  • Agreed clinical pathway for chest pain
  • Introduce POCT testing
  • Improved access to a specialist cardiology advice line
  • Education for medical and nursing staff
  • Adherence to cardiac guidelines
  • Cardiac nurse facilitator

Project Lead:  Dr. Tim Baker
Project Coordination:  Integrated Cardiovascular Clinical network. Dr. Phil Tideman as Clinical Director and Rosy Tirimacco as the Network Operations and Research Manager.
Clinical Support:  Geelong Hospital Cardiology Dr. Sandy Black.
Project Support:  Victorian Cardiac Clinical Network

Margaret Bull. Cardiac Clinical Facilitator

Small Hospitals Emergency Database (SHED) project results for the first quarter of 2011

April 2011

The first quarter SHED project results are currently being extracted for the 6 participating Emergency Departments. Between January and March close to 5000 people presented to an Emergency Department and saw a clinician. Overall the patient gender breakdown was fairly even, and weekdays saw higher patient volumes than weekends.  When we have extracted a full years’ worth of data we will be able to determine trends in ED presentation. Over the next month the project team will be visiting participating hospitals to feed back the first quarter findings to the ED staff. We would like to thank the hospitals and staff for their continuing participation and we look forward to our next visit.

Small Hospitals Emergency Database (SHED) project begins data collection

February 2011

The SHED project is going full steam ahead with its data collection phase underway having started in January 2011. This phase of the project captures 12 months of emergency department data across six rural hospital locations. The data entered into the system will be used to accurately describe what happens in small rural emergency departments. We have had a high level of enthusiasm from participating hospital emergency departments and they are all entering their data with a high level of data accuracy.

Small Hospitals Emergency Database (SHED) project has employed 6 research assistants

December 2010

Six new casual research assistants have been hired to support the SHED project at each of the participating hospital locations. The research assistant role is central to the success of the data gathering phase of the project. Our research assistants will be helping hospital emergency department staff to understand the project requirements for data entry accuracy, along with training and providing support. CREM are pleased to announce and welcome our latest recruits: Nicola Taylor (Portland), Jenny Foster (Heywood), Margaret Tesselaar (Timboon),   Grant Holmes (Camperdown), Carolyn Crowe (Moyne) and Heather Hicks (Terang).