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October 2016

People looking at ipad jpeg
Vietnamese patient Le with interpreter Mai Dinh and the Western Health speech pathologist Courtney Pocock.

Better care with funding for new health projects

The State Government is investing in 15 ground-breaking projects that will give patients across Victoria better access to higher-quality health care.

Visiting Western Health’s Sunshine Hospital, Minister for Health Jill Hennessy announced the first round of projects receiving funding from the Government’s new $10 million Better Care Victoria Innovation Fund.

Better Care Victoria, launched in March and led by an independent board chaired by former AMA President Dr Douglas Travis, will drive innovation across the health system to improve patient care and treatment.

The $10 million Better Care Victoria fund will support projects that improve the efficiency and productivity of the health system, improve patient outcomes and reduce waiting times.

At Western Health, more than $270,000 will go towards cutting-edge technology to support nurses to effectively communicate with non-English-speaking patients when an interpreter is not available.

The CALD Assist iPad app – developed in partnership with the CSIRO – uses written, audio, pictorial and video representations of phrases to facilitate a two-way conversation between health care workers and non-English speaking patients.

The speech pathology team from Western Health developed the basis for the app four years ago and the new funding will enable it to be adapted for nursing interactions as well as allied health and be developed for use by other health services.

Western Health serves one of the most culturally-diverse communities in Australia with more than 100 patients a day requiring interpreter services.

This innovative technology will mean more CALD patients can be seen sooner – without having to wait for an interpreter – helping to reduce wait times at the hospital.

Better Care Victoria was a key recommendation from the Travis Review, the most comprehensive audit ever undertaken into the capacity of Victoria’s hospitals.

‘We know we need to do things differently if we want to continue to drive improvement across our health system – and Better Care Victoria will help us do just that,’ Ms Hennessy said.

‘Through the Better Care Victoria fund we’re drawing on our best and brightest clinical minds to find new, more effective ways to treat more patients, sooner.’