The second stage of the Improving Care for Older People (ICOP) program operated in Victoria from 2010 to 2013. Across Victoria, 35 public health services participated in the initiative, including all metropolitan health services. As part of the program, they were required to undertake initiatives to minimise the risk of functional decline in older patients and improve the provision of care in four areas:

  • Evidence-based environmental improvements
  • Organisation-wide policy development that provides a framework for improving care for older people across the organisation
  • Embedding the evidence base contained within The Toolkit to inform models of care to minimise functional decline for older people, with a focus on acute settings
  • Professional development activities to support workforce capacity building to better respond to the needs of older people in hospital settings

Outlined is a snapshot of the types of initiatives taken by health services relating to communication.

Health Service

Requirement Addressed and Project Summary

Alfred Health

Models of care and Professional development – Hard of Hearing project at Caulfield Hospital involving introduction of assistive listening devices; staff education on their use, on communication strategies and on troubleshooting with hearing equipment

Monash Health

Environmental improvements - Introduction of Patient journey boards across all clinical settings

Peninsula Health

Models of care - Introduction of:

  • Clinical handover ISBAR (Identify, Situation, Background, Assessment and Recommendation) to Clinical handover
  • DailyRapid Rounds;
  • Rounding in sub-acute
  • Interdisciplinary Care Program
  • Consumer Advisory Group

South West Healthcare

Policy development - Development and implementation of effective communication between staff and patients with Sensory Loss policy. Developed in collaboration with Speech Pathology department, incorporating Improving Care for Older Persons (IC4OP) principles

Models of care – Communication: Introduction of communication equipment for use across organisation (e.g. Bellman Maxi amplifier, cue cards); sensory information included on admission assessment documentation; use of magnets to alert staff to hearing or vision impairment

Professional development - Education on communication provided - education around hearing impairment and communication provided by an external source to each of the clinical units; each clinical unit given an education session on the Bellman Maxi and the cue cards following their introduction