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February 2021

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Best Care guidance helps clinicians and consumers to make joint decisions about care.

Guide ensures best care for patients

Safer Care Victoria has released a best care guide for Victorian healthcare clinicians and consumers.

Best Care guidance provides high-quality, evidence-based advice on specific elective surgical procedures which should only be considered under certain circumstances or at certain time intervals.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, National Cabinet agreed to temporarily suspend all non-urgent elective surgery.

These restrictions enabled health services to conserve personal protective equipment, minimise infection risk to staff and patients and ensure ICU capacity for COVID-19 care.

With many patients managing extended waits as a result of their care being deferred, there was a need to prioritise higher value surgical options and to ensure the best possible outcomes of care for all Victorians in doing so.

With the resumption of surgery across Victoria, the Best Care guidance was developed to educate and empower Victorian consumers while providing healthcare clinicians from primary health care through to acute services with information about what is considered best care.

The guidance encourages clinicians and consumers to make joint decisions about healthcare pathways by providing facts, detailing the risks associated with particular surgeries and alternatives to surgery.

These procedures may still be performed where healthcare needs meet certain indications for surgery – as identified in the guidance – or if an exemption has been sought to perform the procedure at a local health service level.

Clinicians and consumers can consider the clinical evidence, the individual risks and benefits of the procedure, the health outcomes that matter to the consumer and the alternative care options available.

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