Introduction of an allied health assistant (AHA) role across oncology and lymphoedema services at Monash Health

Mrs Lucy Whelan1, Mrs Anne Maree Cox1

1Monash Health, , Australia

Abstract:

Background

The role of an AHA was introduced across bed-based and outpatient oncology and lymphoedema services at Moorabbin Hospital in May 2017 (0.5 EFT).

Aims/Hypothesis

To evaluate the role the AHA EFT has played in service delivery.

Methods

Measure of Occasions of Service comparable to same time pre-AHA EFT, measure of competencies performed by AHA, survey of perceptual changes in relevant Allied Health Professional staff.

Results

The AHA role has proven to provide significant support to clinicians, such that they can redirect time to more meaningful patient related tasks, by:

  • Aiding in more efficient service delivery by assisting with treatments, performing routine measurements and education, and supporting stock ordering.
  • AHA cleaning and organising lymphoedema compression garments general workspace cleanliness/tidiness, checking/restocking equipment and patient education material stock levels.
  • Increased provision of exercise-based interventions across oncology bed-based service, delivered via group-based exercise program and 1:1 therapy.

Furthermore, a more resilient workforce is evident, with an ability to better cover extended periods or unexpected leave

Conclusions/Discussion

As a result of the above benefits, the AHA role in the Monash Health Lymphoedema/Oncology space will continue and sees the AHA scope of practice at Monash Health further expand. The use of AHA, allows improved utilisation of Allied Health Professional expert skills in this important area of practice.

Biography: 

Lucy Whelan is a Physiotherapist by background with a Masters Degree in Public Health and a career spanning over 15 years in Australia and the United Kingdom. She is currently forging the path for the Allied Health Assistant and Support workforce at Monash Health. She is passionate about quality driven improvement and appropriate governance for all. In order to align with their Allied Health colleagues and further expand and grow the roles of Allied Health Assistants, some large pieces of work are underway around Credentialing, Scope of Practice, Clinical Supervision, Professional Development, Referral/Delegation tools, Priority Tools and Students.