Health Promoting Practices
A voluntary framework for health promotion by dental and allied health practices is under development through the Health Promoting Practices (HPP) project, with the Chief Allied Health Advisor.
Current health promotion practices
A number of health professionals already undertake many of the activities promoted through the HPP project. Creating a formal framework will recognise these efforts and encourage greater uptake of health promotion activities.
From practitioner-led to patient-centred care
Conceptually, the HPP project builds on the shift from practitioner-led to patient-centred healthcare. To ensure the best possible health outcomes, people are increasingly encouraged to:
- take control of their own health
- participate in a collaborative relationship with their healthcare provider.
Health professionals can play a larger role in reducing the incidence of preventable diseases by providing the necessary information about risk factors and healthy behaviours.
Patient engagement opportunities
Patient engagement is recognised as a core driver of a high-performing health system. The HPP project aims to take advantage of patients attending health clinics as an opportunity to engage with people in health promotion activities.
People can choose to take action to ‘self-manage’ their health by adopting recommended habits (or health-promoting practices).
The HPP project is developing a guide and resources to:
- support health-promoting practices
- provide key health promotion messages
- promote a preventive approach to health conditions
- encourage patients to take a more active role in maintaining their health.
Cultural awareness and differing levels of health literacy are key considerations.
Dental and physiotherapy practices are the initial HPP project sites because they offer unique opportunities for health promotion. Oral health and movement or function are increasingly recognised as related to general health and wellbeing.
The vision is to expand the HPP project into other health services and disciplines following the pilot.
Allied Health: Making Service Decisions for the Future
A framework and web-based tool (the ReADiT) to support decision making in staffing resource allocation within allied health services is also under development. It will assist in achieving the most effective service setting, profile and focus of allied health services.
The Department of Health & Human Services has engaged Monash Health and Ballarat Health Services to lead development of this resource.
It is anticipated that the framework will focus initially on the therapy disciplines within allied health. It will encompass bed-based and community services. Future needs of consumers and communities.
Future needs of consumers and communities
The needs of Victorian consumers and communities are changing.
The growing burden of chronic disease, an ageing population and changes to health technologies will increasingly have an impact on our health resources. Allied health is leading the way to make sure we are using our resources to meet future needs and our workforce is sustainable.
Broad consultation with the health sector has been undertaken to identify and prioritise the most important factors for decision-makers who are considering the allocation of allied health services. The ReADiT has been piloted for useability and validity and is undergoing further refinement.