AHPA is one of a group of organisations* that have come together to focus on consumer use of health services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Continuity of Care Collaboration (CCC) is an Australian-first collaboration of peak bodies, industry and healthcare organisations combining to stress the importance of people continuing to monitor their health and maintain their regular care. The group represents stakeholders across the healthcare system, including physicians, nurses, allied health professionals and patient organisations.
The CCC formed due to mounting concerns that Australians are not maintaining their regular healthcare visits for existing chronic conditions and/or putting off seeing their health practitioners or getting a test, investigation or immunisation because of fears of contracting COVID-19 or burdening the health system. Laboratory testing and visits to health practitioners significantly decreased as a result of the pandemic. This means that people are not getting the test results and expert care required to diagnose or manage health conditions.
The CCC believes patient safety and continuity of care has never been more important, particularly for those patients who have chronic and complex diseases or conditions, vulnerable populations, the elderly and immunocompromised.
The aim of the CCC is to communicate to all Australians the importance of keeping a close watch on their ongoing health care and maintenance, and to not allow the ongoing COVID-19 crisis to prevent crucial healthcare interactions such as seeing a general practitioner, allied health professional, pharmacist or having important tests. The CCC is also advocating for preventative health during the COVID-19 pandemic to minimise the post COVID-19 community health legacy.
The CCC has run targeted communications campaigns including an open letter to all Australians and the ‘Don’t wait mate’ video. The CCC campaign recently won the ‘Best Public Health Initiative’ category at the 2020 Prime Awards, which recognise excellence in communications in the healthcare, pharmaceutical and life sciences industry.
Continuity of care consists of seven key areas:
- Chronic disease management
- Cancer Screening
- Adherence to Medicines
- Acute Care Management
- Pathology testing.
*There are now more than 30 members of the Continuity of Care Collaboration. Founding members include: Pathology Awareness Australia, Australian Diabetes Society, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Medicines Australia, National Rural Health Alliance, Consumer Health Forum, Australian Primary Health Nurses Association, Heart Foundation, Allied Health Professions Australia, Prostate Cancer Foundation Australia, Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, Jean Hailes Foundation, Royal College of Pathologist of Australasia, Australian Patient Association, Patient Voice Initiative