Update: Top Holiday Health Risks, Radiology Helping Sports Injuries and Pharmacies Contributing to My Health Record

We highlight the Top Holiday Health Risks, how Radiology has Helped a tennis athlete with sports injuries and Pharmacies as the biggest Contributors to My Health Record.

Top Holiday Health Risks Your Doctors Help With

How Radiology Can Help Sports Injuries

Pharmacies: Biggest Contributor to My Health Record

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Top Holiday Health Risks Your Doctors Help With

Emergency departments at Western Sydney Local Health District such as in Westmead, revealed the yearly top holiday health risks for patient consultations. Key health problems include: Mental health, traumas and assaults, alcohol-related presentations from intoxication, heart attacks and insect, spider or snake bites.

Mental Health

For some people, Christmas can be a time where personal stress and mental health experiences can trigger feelings of sadness and loneliness. Therefore, it is extremely important to remember to take care of yourself and those around you who may be vulnerable to it.

The Salvation Army estimates that more than 2 million Australians will feel some kind of isolation during the festive period. They further elaborate, hardship and loneliness hit the hardest during the Christmas period. For them, it is their busiest time of year, with more than 300,000 coming to them for support.

Some of the common reasons for support may include the relocation to a city far from one's relatives, a messy relationship or marital break-up, or other isolation from one's family and friends.

The emphasis on sharing good times during the festive season can add to the stress of everyone, even more so to those susceptible to loneliness or depression.

Below are some suggestions on how people could tackle these stressful situations, such as:

  • Planning & Information Finding; for some this may involve Christmas shopping, for others it can involve planning fun activities or budgeting for their expenses in the new year. Preparing yourself and making a plan will help you to be aware of your own situation and shortcomings as well as to avoid any last-minute stress.
  • Realistic Expectations; this is a HUGE opportunity to manage one's stress. By setting the right expectations you may be able to avoid any negative triggers that usually come with the holiday stress or that are sensitive topics to you. You can set expectations with work, family & friend reunions or financial expenses for activities and gifts, whatever suits your situation and will be helpful. For others who are expecting the holidays by themselves, set the right expectation to enjoy your time and avoid areas of external triggers.
  • Drink Responsibly; this is also a HUGE opportunity to manage holiday stress. Everyone wants to enjoy toasting the new year and sharing tasty drinks with friends to relax and unwind. But alcohol has direct negative implications for some. Sometimes alcohol can fuel arguments between people but other times people may enjoy their night positively, but experience the negativity from the hangover for days on end afterwards.
  • Stay Healthy in the Downtime; Please do not forget to enjoy the public holiday time off away from your usual daily routines. For some, this can be an opportunity to catch up on house chores and admin. For others, you may want to relax to the fullest, catch up on sleep, hobbies or even get back into a healthy workout routine. Whatever you may feel like you need and normally do not have a lot of time for, Public Holidays can be a great opportunity to catch up.

Stressed businesswoman sitting in front of computer in the office

It is worth nothing, your group of friendships tend to change every seven years or so. Openly communicating with your friends about what is important to you may help to strengthen your relationship. This means that certain negative triggers in this category of friendships, may happen at any time during the year and not just during the holidays.

Trauma and Assault

A report published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) showed the number of consultations caused by assaults increased by around one third between the winter and summer months. Events such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve generally result in spikes in these numbers, with issues being reported around people fighting, sustaining injuries and in worst cases also domestic abuse between family members or partners.

Chair of the RACGP Specific Interests Abuse and Violence network commented that as families spend more time together during holiday periods, there will be more use of alcohol and potentially drugs and medication. These negative triggers combined with holiday stress may result in messy conflicts for some.

General Practitioners are often able to be the first point of help for patients going through a difficult holiday period. GPs can talk to the patients in a way that acknowledges they know Christmas is not a good time for everybody and that they are there with support for those who think they need it.

Sad little girl listening her parents having an argument in a kitchen

Alcohol-Related Problems

A lot of us can relate, even when you intend to drink responsibly, it can be difficult to stick to this plan because getting drunk is often an accepted norm part of groups of people who get together for a fun occasion. There is often social pressure to drink and the holiday setting makes it easier to drink larger amounts.

However, there are a broad range of short and long-term harms associated with regular alcohol use. Regular drinking can cause a range of health, social and economic problems even if the person does not drink to the amount of officially being drunk each time.

Group of happy young people drink wine  at party disco restaurant

There are alcohol guidelines recommending no more than four standard drinks on any one day, and no more than 10 in a week. The aim is to know the areas where alcohol consumption is causing harm to one's life.

It is estimated 25% of Australians would drink more than four standard drinks on an occasion, although this number was also reported to be decreasing.

What do you think about holiday stress? And what tips have you got to manage Mental Health, Assaults and Alcohol-related problems that Australians show know? We would love to hear from Doctors who are passionate about helping their patients through the holiday season.

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How Radiology Can Help Sports Injuries

A new media release from The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists has illustrated a case where Radiology helped to extend a tennis athlete's career after a series of long-term injuries.

The media release has illustrated a case where one of New Zealand's athletes, Marina Erakovic, relied on radiologists to help her with injuries and who were able to extend her career to represent New Zealand on a high performing level in tennis.

Gym doctor with a patient checking her ankle

Marina, while retired from professional tennis in December 2018 following a series of long-term career injuries, said radiologists played a huge role in supporting her.

From the age of 14, Marina estimates she got stress fractures every two years. One year she even had to play through extreme pain in her knee at Wimbledon.

Her initial scans showed there was not a serious injury and that she could continue playing, but the pain still remained leading to increasing frustrations.

But when a radiologist reviewed the images, they found a small stress fracture on the inside of her patella. The expertise of radiologists in this case played a huge role in helping her career.

Radiologists provided accurate diagnoses and informed her of the recovery, training plans and schedule to enable her to get back on court as soon as possible. Talking to the media at the time, Marina felt extremely proud to have been able to represent her country and was thankful to have had such a fantastic team of medical support.

Happy doctor at the gym talking to a patient

Dr Quentin Reeves, a clinical radiologist specialising in musculoskeletal imaging, said that it was not just athletes that benefit from radiology. Most people will have experienced a sports-related injury at some point in their lives where Radiology can be a benefit to their recovery.

Radiologists play a key role in reviewing images to determine the nature of the injury and the exact location on a detailed report, which later helps with recommending treatment options and a suitable length of recovery to get patients active again.

Injured man at the gym feeling pain in his ankle

Luckily, Australia has top-notch medical imaging providers covering major cities and regional areas.

In New South Wales, Castlereagh Imaging has long been the preferred medical imaging supplier for athletes and coaches. Through the NSW Institute of Sport, they provide radiology services with exclusive rates on some of the services.

What are your thoughts about Radiologists being able to provide suitable support for sports injuries in athletes? We would love to hear from you.

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Pharmacies: Biggest Contributor to My Health Record

The Australian Digital Health Agency published updated statistics with detailed activity on My Health Record. Pharmacies were the biggest contributor to My Health Record's success.

The Agency’s My Health Record statistics will be published regularly to provide more transparency around how the system is being used by consumers and healthcare providers.

Key Findings

Pharmacies are currently the biggest contributors to My Health Record, uploading over 4 million documents every month. Compared to General Practitioners, who add between 2 and 3 million documents every month.

There has been a 140% growth of healthcare providers sharing and collaborating on patient information, with both viewing and uploading information being equal.

GPs are the highest users of the system, accessing documents uploaded by other GPs and healthcare providers to help them in clinical decision-making.

The number of My Health Records containing Medicare or Clinical documents has more than doubled since January, with now more than 12.5 million documents - typically following an interaction with a healthcare provider.

Over 1.6 billion documents have been uploaded, including around 40 million clinical documents and 90 million medicine documents. More than 679 million of these have been uploaded just in the last nine months alone.

Around 90% of public hospitals, general practices and pharmacies are now registered to use My Health Record, and around 70 per cent of those actively uploading or viewing documents.

There are also over 6+ million records with immunisation information and more than 1.2+ million records with organ donor register information.

Highlights

90% of pharmacies and GPs are now registered and the number is up to 94% of public hospital beds.

How healthcare providers are using MHR

Source: MyHealth Record Statistics

Every month, around 4 to 5 million documents are uploaded to the system by pharmacists, while the number is between 2 and 3 million for GPs and even lower for hospitals, with just over 1 million documents.

Documents uploaded to MHR

Source: MyHealth Record Statistics

Pharmacists have been praised as champions of My Health Record, with the CEO of the Agency Tim Kelsey mentioning in September that there has been an “unbelievable energy” in the way pharmacies embraced the system.

What are your thoughts about the usage of My Health Record and the benefits that come with it? We would love to hear from you.

Job Vacancies

Gorilla Jobs can assist you with exploring a variety of job opportunities across our large network of clients looking for qualified staff. Our experienced consultants in the Doctor, Medical Imaging and Pharmacy divisions look forward to helping you.

Speak to one of our Senior Consultants today and find out how they can help you with your career in 2020.

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