The Australian Government is providing $1.3 million to Beechworth Health Service to roll out and evaluate a tool that improves care planning for older Australians across what matters to them, medications, mobility and mental health.
The Indigo 4Ms tool – which was co-designed with local communities and health and aged care stakeholders – will be rolled out to six rural health services across north-east Victoria, along with training to primary care clinicians on how to use it.
The tool provides structure to the care of older people, ensuring that health care professionals:
- understand and act on a person’s values, priorities, goals and care preferences
- screen for high-risk medications and prescribe medicines effectively
- support patients to stay mobile and take part in physical activity that suits their ability
- assess and ensure adequate hydration, nutrition and sleep
- screen, assess and manage vision, hearing, incontinence, cognitive decline and depression.
This funding will translate community-led design into practice to benefit Australians living in rural and remote communities in north-east Victoria.
Beechworth Health Service was previously funded $400,000 under the Primary Care Rural Innovative Multidisciplinary Model program to co-design a healthcare solution to meet the needs of local communities and health professionals.
The grant is part of a $24.7 million, four-year Australian Government investment under the Innovative Models of Care Program. The program trials new ways of delivering multidisciplinary primary care in rural and remote communities, to then evaluate whether they lead to better health outcomes.
Applications for further Innovative Models of Care grants will open in mid-2023 and late 2023.
This funding builds on $5.5 million already invested to fund innovative models of primary care in rural communities in New South Wales and Western Australia.
Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:
“If we are to tackle the challenges that older Australians in rural and remote communities face, we must deliver health care that considers their individual needs.
“The Innovative Models of Care Program will help us find effective ways to deliver primary health care to people who live in rural and remote areas to address distance and access issues, as well as workforce shortages.
“The Indigo 4Ms tool has great potential in helping ensure that older Australians get coordinated and effective health care, without service duplication and without having to tell their medical history multiple times. I look forward to seeing the results of the evaluation once it is rolled out.”
Quotes attributable to Senator White:
“Working with local communities to co-design better health care tools helps us to deliver the primary health care services that rural and regional communities in Victoria want and need.
“Australians living in rural and regional Victoria deserve access to quality primary health care services that matter to them, such as medications, mobility and mental health.
"The Indigo 4Ms tool makes accessing these services easier by reducing the impact of distance on rural and regional Australians access to health care services.”