Three women behind a lectern, smiling broadly.

Clinical Nurse Specialist Kristine Jurd, Nurse Unit Manager Natalie Schmude and Clinical Nurse Educator Kristy Long at their ACI presentation.

MNCCI SMARTE team graduates and cancer patients benefit

Jan 17, 2024

Three members of the Mid North Coast Cancer Institute (MNCCI) at Port Macquarie have been awarded Graduate Certificates in Clinical Redesign for a project they believe will improve outcomes for cancer patients in the Hastings-Macleay Clinical Network.

Nurse Unit Manager Natalie Schmude, Clinical Nurse Educator Kristy Long and Clinical Nurse Specialist Kristine Jurd recently graduated from the Redesign program facilitated by the Agency for Clinical Innovation’s Centre for Healthcare Redesign.

The graduate certificates were conferred through the University of Tasmania.

Natalie, Kristy, and Kristine’s project, named SMARTE, aims to improve access to cancer care for all patients in the Hastings-Macleay Clinical Network by developing an efficient service that reflects patient-centred care while maintaining a sustainable system that builds a positive environment focusing on a positive team culture.

The SMARTE – Start Making Appointments Reflecting Treatment Efficiency – project focused on four solutions to the challenges of meeting growing demand for cancer services in the region:

  • develop a defined treatment pathway and model of care (MOC)
  • empower cancer patients to transition out of MNCCI
  • establish a satellite clinic at Kempsey District Hospital
  • improve treatment room scheduling.

“SMARTE promotes best patient outcomes and improved staff satisfaction by providing cancer care closer to home,” Ms Schmude said.

“The project’s key learnings included following the clinical redesign methodology.

“The team placed a large importance on maintaining ‘what’s in it for me’ and patient-centred care was at the forefront of the project.

“Having an enthusiastic project team that valued open honest and transparent communication enabled us to understand the needs of our community and staff.

“We look forward to sustaining the gains and continuing to provide ongoing patient-centred cancer care to our community.

“And we are very luck to work with an amazing team at MNCCI and we thank them all for their support.”

The Graduate Certificate in Clinical Redesign program gives NSW Health staff the opportunity to learn and apply skills in project management, improvement science and implementation science.

As an outcome of the program, project teams complete a service improvement project, which improves the quality of care  delivered to patients, and learn a set of skills that will be invaluable in their healthcare career.

Senior Health Planner from TSA Management Carla Edwards provided a keynote at the graduation event while ACI Evidence Director Kim Sutherland presented certificates to the graduates.

More than 800 participants have graduated from the Redesign Program, implementing over 400 projects in the past 14 years. The graduates come from a range of Local Health Districts and health services.

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