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Journals and me: a long-term relationship

Having access to current editions and back catalogues of medical journals is critical for effective literature review, ongoing education and professional development, and is a mainstay of medical research. Through CKN, Queensland Health maintains one of the most comprehensive online medical libraries in Australia, and includes subscriptions to popular and widely used journals, such as Australian Medical Journal, The Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, British Medical Journal and JAMA, as well as journals of relevance to Queensland Health’s comprehensive Coronavirus pandemic response.

CKN spoke with Dr David Pincus, consultant paediatrician and Honorary Adjunct Professor at Bond University, who reflected on how life with journals has changed over the past 40 years.

Medications don’t cure everything - with HANDI clinicians can prescribe non-drug options

Nearly half of the thousands of clinical trials conducted each year are for non-drug treatments. And yet effective non-drug methods are less well-known, less well-promoted, and less well-used than their pharmaceutical cousins. For the past six years the RACGP have been committed to developing an evidence-based handbook for non-drug treatments that mirrors the pharmacopoeias used in daily practice - the Handbook of Non-Drug interventions (HANDI).

CKN spoke with the key driver behind the handbook, Bond University’s Professor Paul Glasziou, and asked him to tell us about how HANDI is filling a gap in patient care and making effective non-drug treatments more visible and easier to use.

Could long, high dose courses of antibiotics be the answer to common infections or lead to more AMR problems?

Many women suffer from urinary tract infection (UTI) symptoms for years, but standard tests don't often provide a diagnosis and standard treatments don't help. But recent research into the detection of infections suggest that some tests are out of date and that treatment recommendations could be leading to increased antimicrobial resistance (AMR) problems. 

Queensland’s Allied Health departments are leading the way in knowledge translation with AH-TRIP (Allied Health-Translating Research into Practice)

A challenge often faced by clinicians is how to best address complex clinical problems within the health care setting. These problems may look simple at face value, for example, improving mobility amongst older inpatients, but they are often complex, including several components and requiring multiple groups or teams to change their behaviours.

Townsville flooding - "The health response has been quite remarkable"

Recent flooding in North and North West Queensland has focused attention on the dangerous soil-borne bacteria and disease organisms that floodwaters harbour, posing serious health risks in affected regions. Indeed there has been two confirmed deaths and several people admitted to hospital as a result of melioidosis in the wake of flooding. CKN spoke with Townsville’s Public Health Unit acting director, Dr Julie Mudd, about the health effects that recent flooding have had on the region, and how her team in Townsville have responded to the crisis.

Clinician Profile - Dr Tony Rahman, Director of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at The Prince Charles Hospital

CKN recently spoke with Dr Tony Rahman, Director of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at The Prince Charles Hospital, and heard about some of the innovative programs being run by his team.

Clinician Profile – Dr Renee Cremen, Rural Doctor of the Year for 2018

Surrounded by cane fields, Babinda is a small sugar town located on the Bruce Highway around 60 kilometres south of Cairns. Up until now its claim to fame has been as the wettest town in Australia (with an astonishing 4.3m of rain per year). Now it can proudly say that one of its own has been awarded with the prestigious title of “Rural Doctor of the Year Award” for 2018.

Clinician Profile – Peter Jones, Australia’s first epilepsy Nurse Practitioner

In Australia, around 250,000 people are currently diagnosed with epilepsy – that’s over one per cent of the population so chances are most people know someone with the condition. While epilepsy is common it is widely misunderstood. For example, the majority of people relate epilepsy to convulsive seizures, but it can take many forms and affects people very differently. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder and seizures are caused by a disruption of the electrical activity in the brain.

Clinician Profile – Anna Nolan, Parkinson’s Disease Nurse Navigator

Living with a complex chronic disease can leave patients feeling alone and bewildered as they try to find their way through the healthcare system. For a very individual “boutique” condition like Parkinson’s disease, a patient’s journey can be made even harder because each person is forging their own unique way. There are broad paths of similarity as the disease progresses, but patients can’t predict which symptoms they will get, and when they will get them. 

Clinician Profile – Dr Steve Flecknoe-Brown: Wide Bay’s evidence warrior

Evidence-based practice is in the DNA of the Clinical Knowledge Network. Embracing this approach – the integration of clinical expertise, patient values, and the best available evidence to deliver improved patient outcomes – is critical for every clinician in the state.

Today we speak with one of the champions of evidence-based practice, Dr Steve Flecknoe-Brown (FRACP, FRCPA, FRSM), District Director of Clinical Training in the Wide Bay HHS.