Working together for a purpose:
ollaboration is a defining feature of the SouthHealth Campus. In collaborative practice,patients benefit from a team of health-careproviders (physicians, nurses and otherprofessionals) with a common goal: workingwith them to help solve their health problems.
“No matter where or what a patient is cared for,meeting their needs becomes the priority of an entirehealth-care team,” explains Jacqueline Albers, the managerof the Campus’s Allied Health Services, which includesoccupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language pathologists, social workers and psychologists alongwith pyschometrists, audiologists, therapy assistants,seating technicians and spiritual care providers.
“Each team member has a different perspective on
the patient and all of these pieces come together to create a
superior standard of care,” Albers says.
One example of collaborative practice is the RapidAccess Unit. The unit is based on a model from theUnited Kingdom and is designed to accept referralsfrom community doctors for patients with acute medicalconcerns or chronic conditions.
“We’re an inpatient unit designed for stays of four
to 48 hours,” explains unit manager Debbie Cadger.
“We are attempting to shorten or eliminate Emergency De-
partment visits, reduce overall length of stays in the
hospital, improve patient satisfaction, and strengthen
the link between family doctors in the community and
health-care workers in acute care.”
The unit’s goal is to give patients the care they need
before they become critically ill. When a patient is admitted,
a multi-disciplinary assessment is conducted and a
treatment plan is built based on what could be affecting
the patient’s condition.
“Our goal is not just to fix patients up and send them
home,” Albers says. “We take a broader look at their life-
style as a whole. An occupational therapist, social worker
and physiotherapist would all do an initial assessment to
determine if there is something else at play. For example,
the social worker might discover that the patient has recent-
ly lost their medical benefits and as a result their nutrition
is declining or they can’t afford their insulin.”
If it’s true that two heads are better than one, it stands
to reason that an entire team of health-care professionals
will function at a level much higher than the sum of its
Our culture is
COLLABORATIVEJacqueline Albers of Allied Heath Services