Summary Writer: Dennis Neuen
Script Writer: Elizabeth Campbell
Editor: Charlotte Hespe
Interviewee: Charlotte Hespe
Associate Professor Charlotte Hespe talks about the current issues with communication between hospitals and general practice, as well as strategies to improve it in the future.
Charlotte Hespe is a GP Clinician and Practice Owner of a general practice in Inner City, Sydney, where she has worked for the last 20 years. Charlotte is a GP Supervisor and the practice is a fully accredited practice that functions as a teaching Practice for both Medical students and GP Registrars. Charlotte also works as Associate Professor, Head of General Practice and GP Research for The University of Notre Dame, Australia, School of Medicine, Sydney. She is current Faculty Chair for NSW/ACT and Vice President, RACGP. She is immediate past Chair for Central and Eastern Sydney PHN and is currently a director on the Board (EIS Health). Charlotte holds an FAICD qualification and has extensive experience in corporate Governance with 17 years’ experience as Chair in several Boards with a Primary health care focus.
She is currently completing a PhD looking at the implementation of best practice for CVD prevention in the Primary care setting using a Quality Improvement model for change.
With Associate Professor Charlotte Hespe, Head of General Practice at the University of Notre Dame Sydney
On the wards, clinical handover occurs regularly with every change in personnel and shift. Within the same system, all health staff including doctors, nursing and allied health staff communicate in handover on a day-to-day basis to ensure safe and efficient transitions in care for their patients.
However, many people forget that when a patient leaves hospital there must be effective clinical handover between systems. This largely comes in the form of discharge summaries, referral letters and phone calls. This communication is not just a summary of a patient’s admission in hospital, but they are a vital form of clinical handover from the hospital to the primary care system.
Since medicine is a field which is often well-delineated into silos and ‘systems’, specialists and their teams tend to operate in a narrow (and oft sub-specialised) spectrum. At times, this can result in poor communication and fragmented care. So how do we improve communication between hospitals, secondary care, community care and general practice?
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