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Collaborative initiative set to improve aged care

Catholic Healthcare is excited to embark on a first-of-its-kind initiative with Mundipharma Pty Limited, a leader in chronic pain medication. Pain Advocacy Nurse in Aged Care, for Education and Assessment – PANACEA.
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Mundipharma Pty Ltd program facilitators, Lisa McDowell, Catholic Healthcare’s Sonali Pinto, Mundipharma Judith McIvor and Justin Tan

The PANACEA project - Pain Advocacy Nurse in Aged Care, for Education & Assessment is a Mundipharma led initiative which will review and assess Catholic Healthcare’s residential aged care services, in-line with the Australian Pain Society, Pain in residential aged care: Management strategies best practice guidelines.

“As people age, the incidence and prevalence of pain increases, and it can be difficult to assess the cause of pain and its severity in older people, particularly people living with dementia. It is an area of concern for aged care organisations, registered nurses and care staff who are providing care and support for the elderly”, says Anne Maree Hodgson, General Manager Residential Care.

As part of this initiative, Catholic Healthcare now has 14 registered nurses who were recently up-skilled as pain coordinators, in order to provide support across our residential aged care services. The program aims to ensure there is common language used around chronic pain and an efficient flow of information between carers and healthcare professionals.

The expected outcomes of the quality improvement program are to improve care for residents experiencing pain, enhance training and education for staff and increase empowerment of staff, including care workers, in regards to chronic pain management.

“We are excited to be a part of this great initiative, particularly since this is the first collaborative quality improvement initiative between Mundipharma and an aged care organisation. We are constantly looking for ways we can improve our processes to care for our residents and upskill our staff,” says Ms Hodgson.

The program will explore six major themes around pain management strategies; pain identification, treatment strategies, pain management education, service resources and operational processes.

This initiative will ensure registered nurses are supported and upskilled as ‘pain coordinators’ with access to best practice guidelines, information and resources. The project will produce evidence-based data on the approach and management of chronic pain within Catholic Healthcare’s residential aged care services and analyse the current policies and procedures in keeping with best practice principles.

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