LODDON Mallee Murray Medicare Local is working hard to increase bowel screening rates.
Practice support consultant Linda Crawford hosted a workshop this week to highlight initiatives implemented as part of the General Practices Supporting Screening for Bowel Cancer project.
"Close to 30 people came," she said.
"We had 15 practice staff that represent the 12 general practices involved in the project and we also had an additional 14 or so visitors representing the Department of Health, Networking Health Victoria, the evaluation team and consultants who have just been engaged to start the evaluation of the project.
"Loddon Mallee Murray Medicare Local implemented this project back in October 2013 and the project seeks to increase participation in bowel cancer screening through engaging quite intensely with general practice with the realisation that GPs have a very influential role in encouraging eligible patients to take up a bowel cancer screening kit."
Ms Crawford said the workshop was an opportunity to celebrate results, identify current challenges, and set goals for the remainder of the project.
“Practice managers, practice nurses, and health workers will be brought together to explore ways to adopt new initiatives in their practices, engage further with clinical staff, and increase bowel cancer screening conversations with their patients”, she said.
Key strategies of the project include embedding a population health approach into practice workflows and, within the clinic setting, motivating eligible people to raise bowel cancer screening with their GP.
The project has been funded by the Department of Health via Networking Health Victoria and subcontracted to Loddon Mallee Murray Medicare Local.
GPs have a very influential role in encouraging eligible patients to take up a bowel cancer screening kit.
Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer affecting Victorian men and women and there is strong evidence that when bowel cancer is detected early, more than 90 per cent of cancers are treatable.
Loddon Mallee Murray Medicare Local is one of 61 Medicare Locals set up by the federal government to co-ordinate primary health care delivery, tackle local health needs and fill identified service delivery gaps.
The not-for-profit organisation support services to primary health care programs and professionals across the Loddon Mallee Murray region.
For more information on the Bowel Cancer Screening Project contact Loddon Mallee Murray Medicare on 4408 5612.