Infections and Immunology Health Network
Dr James Flexman, Lead
Our network is concerned with the delivery of patient-centred, sustainable and effective clinical services across all facets of care involved in infections and immunology.
- Welcome to new members our Executive Advisory Group
- Antimicrobial Awareness Week, 18–24 November 2013
- Pre Employment Health Assessment Form Working Group
- Anaphylaxis Model of Care now available
- Further progress on the mid-term reviews of the HIV, STI and Hepatitis C Model of Care Implementation plans and National Hepatitis B Strategy
- Updates to Hepatitis C treatment and management
- Get the Facts: website offers sexual health information for youth people
- WA Multi-Resistant Organism (WAMRO) Expert Advisory Group
We would like to welcome the following new members to our Executive Advisory Group:
- Paul Hersey, CEO of Perth South Coastal Medicare Local
- Darren Armitage, Population Health and Community Development Manager, Kimberley-Pilbara Medicare Local
This is an exciting opportunity for our health network to work in collaboration and partnership with Medicare Locals.
Paul and Darren will bring greater expertise and links with primary health planning and policy direction, leading to improved outcomes for their communities.
During Antibiotic Awareness Week 2013, from 18–24 November, hospitals and other health care settings will be the focus of a campaign to increase antibiotic awareness and the use of antimicrobials.
With increasing recognition of antimicrobial resistance there is a greater emphasis on the use of antimicrobials and their impact.
The Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) program is a national campaign aimed at decreasing the inappropriate use of Antimicrobials and is supported through a National Antimicrobial Stewardship Initiative.
Further details on this initiative can be found at Antimicrobial Stewardship Initiative | Safety and Quality.
A recent paper from the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare titled Australian One Health Antimicrobial Resistance Colloquium Background paper July 2013 further highlights this important issue. This paper proposes the establishment of a comprehensive National Antimicrobial Resistance Prevention and Containment Strategy for Australia.
The Infections and Immunology Health Network recently reconvened this working group to review the Pre-Employment Health Assessment (PEHA) N10 form available on the Health Corporate Network (HCN) website.
This form collects pre-employment infection control and occupational health and safety data from prospective employees. The working group will review the form following the successful trial of the PEHA form across South Metropolitan Health Service and subsequent use within some sections of WA Health.
The working group consists of representatives from all health services, Health Corporate Network, PathWest and Royal Street and is looking to refine the PEHA form against current operational directives and pre-employment guidelines.
Following a review and consultation over the next several months it is intended the form will be recommended for use as a standardised statewide pre-employment data collection tool.
Following extensive consultation and revision, the final draft of the Anaphylaxis Model of Care for WA has been completed. The model draws upon local, State and international best-practice evidence in caring for people at risk of an anaphylaxis episode.
The model describes the preferred interventions for patients along each stage of the disease, from primary prevention through to ongoing care and anaphylaxis management. We will keep you informed about the progress of the Anaphylaxis Model of Care.
Further progress on the mid-term reviews of the HIV, STI and Hepatitis C Model of Care implementation plans and National Hepatitis B Strategy
The mid-term reviews for the Hepatitis C, HIV and STI Models of Care Implementation Plan have been completed and are available online. This has included the implementation plan for the National Hepatitis B Strategy.
The reviews were a combination of stakeholder surveys and consultations, plus desk-top reviews. Against a range of key performance indicators, several action areas around disease management, tertiary prevention and clinical services management were identified.
The second phase of the implementation plan will address the needs of high needs populations, and to consider the social and emotional impacts associated with managing the Hepatitis C Virus.
Read these reviews here from the Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus website.
New internationally approved treatment programs are being closely watched for their positive impacts on patient health outcomes. For instance, a new triple therapy treatment program has been approved for genotype I Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) patients.
Clinical trials have indicated that a new treatment that does not include interferon (IFN) for patients with HCV genotype 3 provides a cure rate similar to treatment with interferon-based therapy. There are fewer side effects with 12 weeks of this treatment. Further trial evidence suggests that extension of treatment to 16 weeks may provide improved cure rates.
The US is hoping that this new drug will be approved by the end of 2013. However, it may take a few years before it can be used in Australia.
This shows exciting progress in the ongoing treatment and care for patients with HCV.
The Sexual Health and Blood-borne Virus Program, Department of Health WA has developed the Get the Facts website (external site) to address sexual health and relationship issues for young people.
The website provides a range of information to help young people understand and deal with issues including:
- how to have safer sex (external site)
- relationships (external site), including how to get over a broken heart (external site)
- condoms and contraception (external site)
- puberty (external site)
- getting tattoos and piercings (external site).
Parents, carers and health professionals may find this a useful tool to help have these discussions with young people, or to simply point them in the right direction for accurate and reliable information on these issues.
The WA Multi-Resistant Organism (WAMRO) Expert Advisory Group was convened in 2011 to provide advice on monitoring, prevention and control of multi-resistant organisms (MROs) from a state-wide perspective.
The group was established following a large vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) outbreak in 2010, with this item remaining high on the agenda. WAMRO provides this expert advice to all public and private healthcare facilities across the continuum of care including, but not limited to acute care, residential care and primary care.
One of the key issues that WAMRO is exploring is the emergence of new MROs, and establishing infection prevention strategies for the WA healthcare community.
One example is the so-called carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) that are resistant to even the most powerful antibiotics available.
Laboratory capacity to detect CRE in WA has been strengthened and management guidelines for use by healthcare providers have recently been developed.
How to join our network
Anyone interested in improving the way health services are delivered in Western Australia can now join the Infections and Immunology Health Network. As a member you will receive all of our news and updates and be informed of opportunities to be involved.