Meeting local health service objectives

Meeting local health service objectives

Orbost Regional Health (ORH) held its annual general meeting on November 20 when its performance over the past 12 months was presented.

Chief executive officer, Meryn Pease, said she was proud to present this year’s quality account.

“This is our way of reporting to the community annually on how we have performed in relation to the quality of care and safety of services we provide and how we meet the standards required for our multi-purpose service,” she said.

Ms Pease said the Strategic Plan 2017/2022 sets four strategic objectives for: consumers (meeting the health needs of the community); quality and safety (ensuring consumers receive safe and effective healthcare); people (attracting, developing and engaging a motivated healthcare workforce); and business (efficient and sustainable healthcare delivered for the best value).

She presented statistics that revealed how busy the year had been right across the services including the medical clinic, dental, district nursing, hospital admissions, urgent care presentations, meals and allied health visits.

ORH has also had a busy year on the accreditations front.

“We have been through five separate accreditation surveys this year,” Ms Pease said.

“This is no mean feat. The common theme and feedback from surveyors across all the surveys was the outstanding culture of improvement demonstrated by staff.”

Also among the many positive happenings over the year was a pop-up shop initiative, which was a first for ORH and provided a mechanism to engage with the community and share the quality account report.

Ms Pease said consumer stories have reflected the service’s person-centred approach.

“Every person has individual needs that our staff aim to meet and the stories kindly shared by our consumers reflect their experience at ORH,” she said.

A family violence outreach service has been established to meet the need in the community.

“Cindy McKelvie is our outreach worker who has continued to provide support for victims of family violence,” Ms Pease said.

This includes practical and emotional assistance and crisis support.

“Our staff are continually looking for ways to improve the quality and safety of the care we offer,” Ms Pease said.

“From the basics such as hand washing, through to the more complex issues such as managing and preventing falls and pressure injuries in our frail and aged residents, and our catering and environmental teams are focussed on patient safety by achieving the food safety and cleaning standards.”

Staff influenza immunisation rate was at its highest in 2017-18 with 84 per cent of staff immunised.

ORH implemented I-care during the year, an electronic system for the management of resident assessment, management plans and documentation.

“This has been a very successful process,” Ms Pease said.


“At ORH we have a process whereby any surplus funds are re-invested the following year into essential capital and infrastructure replacement,” Ms Pease said.

“Over the year we spent $415,000 on equipment and building construction works.”

These works included:

* Completion of Lochiel House refurbishment (two en suites, vinyl floor coverings, new furniture) $126,000.

* Construction of a new simulation training room $46,000.

* Minor projects such as the shared garden space outside the boardroom.

* Replacement of the combi oven ($16,000) and replaced the hot water service in the kitchen $23,000.

* Replacement of the steriliser in the central sterilising room, $55,000, and fit out totalling $78,000.* Replacement of three vehicles in the ORH fleet $105,000.

* Replaced 45 of 115 computers and two photocopiers $17,000. Three top challenges have been set for ORH for the coming 12 months – implementing the National Disability Insurance Scheme, providing contemporary facilities to accommodate and support residents with dementia who wander, and delivering a sustainable medical workforce.

“The new National Disability Insurance Scheme Rollout to Orbost in January 2019 will place us in a competitive market with private disability providers,” Ms Pease said.

The major challenge remains to deliver a sustainable medical workforce.

“This is a continued focus for ORH,” Ms Pease said.


“I am pleased to announce that Dr Jyothi Vardhi will commence on January 14, 2019,” Ms Pease said.

“Jyothi is a fellow of the Australasian College of General Practice. His wife Lohi is also a doctor, who has to complete some more training before she can work at ORH.

“We hope Lohi will commence as a new doctor with us in 2020.

“I would also like to acknowledge Dr Anthea Tan who has worked with us for 10 years.

“This is against the national trend across rural Australia where doctors tend to work for shorter periods of time in the one service.

“Anthea’ s achievement is exceptional and she is to be congratulated.”

Ms Pease also acknowledged and congratulated ORH’ s dedicated board directors, executive, managers, staff, doctors and volunteers for “the achievements and improvements they have made to deliver exceptional services for our community”.

She said many of them had been highlighted in the report 2017-18 Quality and Safety Report, which she recommends as “a good read”.

The report is available on the ORH website as well as at front reception and waiting rooms throughout ORH.


Guest speaker at this year’s ORH annual general meeting was East Gippsland Shire senior economic development officer, Stephen Kleinitz.

Mr Kleinitz presented on tourism in East Gippsland, providing information about who, what, when and why people visit East Gippsland.

Numbers of visitors to the region, both domestic and international, have steadily increased over the past four years.

Mr Kleinitz said tourism is an amalgam of activities across various industry sectors such as retail, accommodation, cafés and restaurants, cultural and recreational services.

“Of the 16,539 people working in East Gippsland it is estimated that 1759 jobs are supported by tourism,” he said.

“Of the total wages and salaries paid by businesses and organisations to workers in East Gippsland of $1.049 billion, it is estimated that tourism contributes $75.416 million.”

Mr Kleinitz also spoke of tourism structures across the state and East Gippsland region and the businesses, products and experiences that support visitor services including Tourism Australia, Visit Victoria (formerly Tourism Victoria), and Destination Gippsland.

Making up the support structures locally are land managers (Parks Victoria, Gippsland Ports, VicRoads, East Gippsland Shire Council and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning), East Gippsland Marketing, visitors, businesses, Orbost Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Slab Hut Visitor Centre and Business and Tourism East Gippsland.

Mr Kleinitz said in promoting and developing tourism in East Gippsland he hoped visitors would “stay longer, spend more, return regularly, disperse across place and the seasons, have a great time while here as well as keep the place clean and tidy”.

PICTURED: Certificates acknowledging years of service were presented at Orbost Regional Health’s annual general meeting by board of directors representative, Peter van den Oever, and chief executive officer, Meryn Pease. Among those acknowledged were Lee-Anne Marshall (40 years) (centre).