Flinders Medical Centre Foundation
Flinders Medical Centre Foundation

Rural Health



Neil Della Award for Rural Care

Going Bush? Don't Miss a Beat With This New Diagnostic Heart Tool


Neil Della Award for Rural Care
First Published: Enews - July 2011

Congratulations to Lara Motta on being awarded the FMC Foundation's Neil Della Honours Scholarship for her project 'Improving Pathology Testing for Diabetes Care in the Victorian Mallee Track'.

Her research, which is taking place in the Flinders Community Point-of-Care Services (CPS) unit within the Flinders University Rural Clinical School, is looking at improving pathology testing for diabetes on-site in a rural clinical setting.

"Having grown up in a rural area in Far North QLD, I take pride in knowing that the results of my research project could significantly improve the lives of diabetes patients in rural Australia," Lara said.

The scholarship provides fee support for an undergraduate student undertaking a BSc honours research degree at the Flinders Medical Centre. It is given in memory of Neil Della, a highly respected Ophthalmologist and researcher who was an active and much respected member of the FMC Foundation Research Committee.


Going Bush? Don't Miss a Beat With This New Diagnostic Heart Tool
First Published: Media Release - July 2010

South Australian business leaders can soon rest easy when they travel to remote areas of Australia, thanks to a remote electronic heart attack decision-making tool currently being developed at Flinders Medical Centre.

They will lean more about the tool during the next inspirational lunch on 26 July, at Adelaide Casino.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD), the term used to describe all conditions and diseases of the heart and blood vessels, is Australia’s number one killer, responsible for 48,000 deaths a year.

Despite the advances in treatment of heart attacks, less than 10 per cent of Australians receive ideal care due to delays in presenting to a doctor because of their remote location or the lack of training of the GPs and young Physicians.

The electronic tool developed at Flinders provides rapid assessment of the risk of the patient that appears to be having heart attack and provides immediate, best practise recommendations to any health service, regardless of their location in a rural, regional or metropolitan area.

Once developed the system will provide doctors with real-time decision-making support and features a package of care that includes: better patient documentation; assessment of patient risks and benefits; and clinical guideline recommendations for patients presenting with chest pains and a possible heart attack.

“We have just completed Stage 1 of the project and we are about to start Stage 2, which is to raise funds so that we can trial the tool in hospitals across Australia, in order to see how effective the tool is and if it actually helps to improve patient outcomes in everyday clinical situations,” said Dr Chew.

The electronic system has been developed as a non-commercial project of the Heart Foundation of Australia, the College of Emergency Physicians, the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand and Flinders Medical Centre Cardiology research teams.

“With one Australian suffering a heart attack every 11 minutes, there is a pressing need for strategies that improve the decision-making process, so that patients that present with chest pain or appear to be having a heart attack can be assessed quickly and efficiently, in order to provide the highest standard of care; this is vital in remote locations where advice from a specialist cardiologist is not often available,” adds Dr Chew.

All media are invited to attend this event and Dr Chew will be available for interview upon request, please contact the FMC Foundation Office on 08 8204 65016 to arrange.

Hosted by Channel 7’s Jane Doyle and supported by Adelaide Casino, this presentation is part of a series of Inspirational Luncheons to help Flinders Medical Centre Foundation inform local business leaders of the groundbreaking work that is being conducted at Flinders.

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