Also on this page:
* Eastern Health named the 2014 Premier's (Metropolitan) Health Service of the year
* BookWise oncology scheduling
* Box Hill Hospital open for business
* Eastern Health Consumer Participation Award winner
* Victorian Cancer Clinicians Communication Program


Lung Cancer Redesign

Eastern Health has been successful in obtaining a grant from DHHS and NEMICS to participate in the Victorian Lung Cancer Redesign Program (VLCSRP).

The project will define the problems contributing to delays in the current Eastern Health lung cancer pathway.  A lung cancer care model will be designed, piloted and evaluated at Eastern Health in partnership with respiratory clinicians, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, thoracic surgeons, GPs, consumers and other multidisciplinary team members.

Lung cancer patients will benefit from an improved patient experience, access to clinics and diagnostic tests, improved communication between team members and with patients and family members and access to multidisciplinary holistic care.

Patient Entertainment System

A site visit was undertaken recently to the new Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre – Peter MacCallum wards to see the Rauland Patient Entertainment System (PES) in action.

Bernadette Zappa, supportive care project officer at Eastern Health coordinated the site visit to enable representatives from Cancer Council Victoria and Eastern Health to understand the capabilities of the system for future application at the Box Hill Hospital Oncology ward.

Box Hill Hospital has new Patient Entertainment Systems (PES).  PES are ceiling mounted flat screens that provide access to phone, entertainment (TV/movies/internet), meal ordering and patient education. The “Patient Education” platform allows access to information that has been uploaded by the health service and can include video, audio and web based information.  PES has a menu function that enables patients and families to select what education or information they wish to view.

Eastern Health intend to make available cancer supportive care education and information  through PES as part of the supportive care program.

October 2015

Eastern Health Cancer Services Plan 2015 - 2020 Launched

The Eastern Health Cancer Services Plan 2015-2020 was officially launched on 26th October at a function attended by key contributors to the plan as well as cancer services staff, consumers and other network partners.  The plan focuses on strengthening our current service through service improvement initiatives such as strengthening our workforce, realigning service delivery to areas of population demand, ensuring a multidisciplinary focus, and providing a comprehensive service through formal partnerships with other health care providers. In total 55 initiatives were developed based around 6 major themes.

View the Eastern Health Cancer Services Plan 2015-2020

From L to R: Alan Lilly (CEO), Phil Parente, Kate Whyman, David Plunkett, Deanna O'Donnell, Luellen Thek

September 2015

Supportive care screening i-learn training modules

Two supportive care screening e-learning programs have been developed collaboratively by the Supportive Care Project Officers - Bernadette Zappa and Judy Allen with Scott Readett Lead Instructional Designer from Organisational Development and Workforce Planning.

Module 1 – 'Introduction to supportive care screening' was developed in 2013 with 60 staff having completed Module one to date.
Module 2 – 'How to complete a supportive care screen' was completed in August 2015.  This module includes an assessment and supervised supportive care screen to reinforce learnings.

The training modules are available for Eastern Health staff.  For further information, contact Bernadette Zappa or Ph 9895 7405

Anthia Galanis and Judy Allen completing a supportive care screen

VCCCP courses 

A full program of VCCCP courses has been offered at Eastern Health during 2015, which has been well subscribed  with excellent feedback from staff.  A lovely quote from a recent participant attending the August Eliciting and Responding to Emotional Cues:

“I just wanted to let you know that I learnt more in today's workshop than I have learnt in any 4 hour time period at uni or work!!   Observing other clinicians in the role plays and hearing the feedback was just as valuable as receiving feedback on my own role play. 

I'm really excited to start practicing the skills from the workshop in my day to day practice and I feel much more confident to have those 'difficult' discussions that I would usually avoid.  This is just the beginning of exploring another area of personal development which I certainly haven't paid enough attention to thus far in my career! 
Many thanks again for this fantastic opportunity. “

For further information, contact Bernadette Zappa or Judy Allen or Ph 9955 7405
Attendance attracts 4.5 RCNA Continuing Nurse Education (CNE) points as part of RCNA's Life Long Learning Program (3LP)

Lymphoedema service

The Eastern Health lymphoedema service is hosting information sessions, at both Box Hill Hospital and Yarra Ranges Health, aimed at those who have or are at risk of developing lymphoedema.

Information sessions are held weekly and bookings are essential.  Read the flyer or for more details Ph: 8706 9676

July 2015

Oncology Pharmacy now open at Box Hill Hospital

As of 1st July 2015 the new Oncology Pharmacy Service  is open to patients and staff. The new dispensary is co-located with the Day Oncology and Medical Unit (DOMU) and Oncology Outpatient Clinics. The new dispensary reduces the ‘transit time’ for oncology patients to collect their medication (instead of attending the Outpatients Pharmacy). It also means that oncology prescriptions are always dispensed by pharmacists with expertise in these therapies. It will also improve communication between Pharmacy and the DOMU teams. The Level 4 Pharmacy is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 12.30pm and from 1.30pm to 5.00pm (closed for lunch from 12.30-1.30pm).

Optimising the capability of the allied health workforce within cancer rehabilitation

Eastern Health is participating in the cancer prehabilitation project initiated by the Department of Health and Human Services Health Systems and Workforce Unit to aid the development and implementation of cancer prehabilitation within allied health for the breast and prostate tumour streams.

Cancer prehabilitation can be defined as a process on the continuum of care that occurs between the time of cancer diagnosis and the start of treatment.

Project aims

  • Identify work practices of allied health practitioners within cancer prehabilitation across three selected tumour streams.
  • Describe the roles of allied health professionals involved in cancer prehabilitation.
  • Develop evidence based interventions to support allied health practitioners in providing prehabilitation within the three tumour streams

February 2015

A new era and practice for Eastern Health cancer patients

Cancer affects one in three people up to the age of 75 and is the leading cause of death in Victoria. Eastern Health treats over 12,000 cancer patients each year. Cancer care involves a range of services including screening, diagnosis, treatment, surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, rehabilitation, supportive care, palliative and end of life care.

Last Friday Eastern Health’s newest addition to cancer care was launched with the Official Opening of the Cancer Multi Disciplinary Meeting (MDM) Room on level 4, Box Hill Hospital. An MDM is a unique place where specialist and complex audio-visual equipment, purpose designed and fitted furniture and work benches and room layout accommodate and facilitate expert discussions and debates to determine the best care and treatment of a cancer patient.

Over $200,000 was raised by Eastern Health’s Foundation from individual donors, partners in Eastern Health’s cancer care, trusts, foundations and community groups. The launch took the form of an authentic MDM discussion where an anonymous patient’s real cancer case was discussed. Guests experienced Associate Professor Philip Parente working with radiologist Dr Mineesh Datta from Medical Imaging Associates, EH Pathologist Dr Patrick Hosking and key oncology staff Luellen Thek and Yolanda Ebanks examining pathology slides, medical imaging records as well as historical medical notes and discussed a plan of care and treatment for this patient.

“Eastern Health’s MDM Room will enable a minimum of 400 separate meetings to be held each year to discuss cancer patients and their unique conditions, with over 3000 patients being discussed across 14 different tumour streams. Over 300 clinicians across all disciplines are involved in these meetings”, said Associate Philip Parente. “What a great initiative for our patients and a great and generous response from all our donors”, he said.

Katherine Simons, Manager NEMICs and major donor to the MDM Room congratulated Eastern Health for its foresight in establishing its own MDM Room and said “It is the Rolls Royce of all MDM’s in Victoria and as such is likely to play a significant role in the ongoing development and practice of expert cancer care”.

The new MDM room at Box Hill Hospital

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Eastern Health named 2014 Premier's (Metropolitan) Health Service of the year
BookWise Oncology Scheduling goes live 
October 2014

Eastern Health named the 2014 Premier’s (Metropolitan) Health Service of the year

The 2014 Victorian Public Healthcare Awards were presented at a gala ceremony on 13 October. Awards were presented for outstanding achievement by the State's health sector across a number of categories including patient-centred care, healthcare innovation and health leadership.  The Judging Panel took into account the results of the Victorian People Matter Survey in addition to clinical, operational, quality, strategic and financial outcomes.

To be named Premier’s (Metropolitan) Health Service of the Year 2014  is such a fantastic outcome for more than 9500 staff and volunteers across Eastern Health and reflects the continuing high levels of care and service for people and communities in the east.

This is a proud moment in Eastern Health’s history and it is also the first time that a Health Service has received this prestigious award and recognition in two successive years.

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 BookWise Oncology Scheduling – Go Live

The Day Oncology Units at Maroondah Hospital and Yarra Ranges Health have gone live this week with the Bookwise Oncology Scheduling system.  Box Hill Hospital Day Oncology and Medical Unit went live on 23rd October.

The BookWise Consultants travelled from the United Kingdom to complete the installation and implementation activities, including training of primary users such as Nursing, Clerical, Pharmacist and Management staff.

Nursing staff as part of training entered all of Eastern Health’s 3 Units all future patient data (over 800 records).  The BookWise scheduling system is being utilised by Day Oncology, Pharmacy, Medical Infusion, Eastern@Home  and Ward 4.1 Oncology ward Box Hill staff.

The benefits to the Day Oncology Units are:

  • Consistent approach in scheduling patient appointments
  • Ability to view all units appointments and nurse schedules
  • Ability to generate standard reports automatically
  • Significant time savings in obtaining  and reporting on patient, treatment and nurse data

Julia Dale, Project Officer for the Bookwise implementation has prepared the staff and organisation with exceptional attention to detail to ensure a smooth implementation of a major initiative that has been in the planning for a number of years.

Jane Johnson ANUM,
Maroondah Day Oncology Unit

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Box Hill HospitalDay Oncology Medical Unit, Oncology Ward and Cancer Specialist Clinics open for business

30th September was the official move day into the new Oncology Ward and Day Oncology Medical Unit at Box Hill Hospital.

Ward staff completed the transfer of patients into the new building within 50 minutes, thanks to a well-planned and managed transition.  DOMU is adapting well to their new, much large environment, which now includes medical infusions and 4 new nursing staff.

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 May 2014

Eastern Health consumer participation award winner

And the winner is...Bernadette Zappa.  This award is to recognize a team or individual who has demonstrated a commitment to engaging with consumers to improve the safety and quality of healthcare.
Bernadette Zappa is Project Officer for Supportive Care Screening Project for Northern Metropolitan Integrated Cancer Services. Bernadette has actively included consumers in her project, seeking their assistance with reviewing brochures, being members of her working group and is currently recruiting consumers to assist with patients surveys.
Our congratulations Bern!

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January 2014

Victorian Cancer Clinicians Communication Program (VCCCP) – Discussing Death & Dying workshop

Congratulations to facilitators Michael Chapman and Judy Allen from Eastern Health and actor Janet Watson-Kruse for running the first Discussing Death and Dying workshop in Victoria in July 2013.  Feedback from participants was excellent, demonstrating a real need for training in this area.  Feedback from the suite of VCCCP training sessions run at Eastern Health has been very positive with all staff reporting increased confidence in their communication skills.

The VCCCP runs workshops to develop clinician’s communications skills so that cancer issues can be effectively discussed with patients, family and friends.  The programs are evidence-based and workshops are tailored to the group’s needs. Professional trained actors are used to ensure that participants can practice their communication skills in a safe environment that resembles a real-life situation.

These workshops are free, held over half a day and delivered in the workplace by trained facilitators.

Registration for these workshops is now open at NEMICS Health Services:

For Eastern Health please contact Bernadette Zappa or Judy Allen or Ph 9955 7405

For Austin Health please contact Juanita Hardy

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