Map of Medicine gives GPs a boost

Last updated 08:00 15/12/2012

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MidCentral Health doctors have a new diagnostic tool at their fingertips - the Map of Medicine.

The programme was launched in Palmerston North this week at an event attended by more than 100 clinicians from across primary and secondary care.

The Map of Medicine is a British software tool that is gaining increasing recognition internationally. It contains pathways for hundreds of conditions that work like online flowcharts, guiding clinicians as to what the best treatment for patients is at various stages of their care.

So far 10 pathways have been established by MidCentral DHB and Central PHO tailored to the situation in the region.

"This project has really created a buzz locally," said PHO Clinical Board chairman Dr Dave Ayling. "We have primary healthcare and secondary clinicians earnestly and passionately at the one table working through some difficult pathway issues to get the best possible results for our patients and community.

"The map supports this work in a very effective way, enabling the local content to be moulded into the international best practice backdrop. We have cut through what would otherwise be months or even years of work to get 10 pathways nailed down in a few months."

Project director Shirley-Anne Gardiner said she was amazed by what has been achieved by the project team in the past three months.

"I have been on a real high working on this project, and seeing the clinicians getting so engaged and passionate about something that will make a significant positive difference to their work."

The goal is to complete a further 30 pathways in the next 12 months.

Dr Tim Crowe is one of the general practitioners who will use the system.

"The map is definitely a major step forward for us in general practice and the specialists at the hospital, he said.

"It will make referral criteria much clearer and support GP teams with suggestions of what we should do at the various points in patient care.

"The great thing is that it's available on the practice system with a mouse click, and GPs can work through with the patient in the room what international best practice suggests. General practice in the MidCentral District is very fortunate to have this system".

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- Manawatu Standard

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