RNSH SERT Institute Update

by Shelly Dhaliwal 

The last 6 months have been exciting for the Institute, with numerous milestones achieved:

  • The RNS SERT Institute webpage is up and running (www.rnssert.org) and provides an excellent portal for communicating our activities
  • The RNS SERT Institute Committee is working through an action plan in response to discussions and feedback from all surgical departments, including developing some key performance indicators

Some of our planned actions include:

  • Identifying and nominating an academic lead within each surgical department in consultation with the Head of that Department. We hope to drive surgical educational activities on the RNS campus through this identified lead and to provide them with the necessary support, including promoting them and their activities through our webpage
  • Expanding the Fellow positions to include research and teaching as an integrated part of the Fellowship
  • Supporting and strengthening surgical teaching in the newly revised University of Sydney MD program

May 2018 newsletter is now available

Our May 2018 newsletter has been released.  Highlights include updates from the SERT and DASO teams, the Sydney Medical Program and the Postgraduate Research and Training Programs.

RNSH Data Analysis and Surgical Outcomes (DASO) Unit Update.

by Maria Albania

The RNS DASO Unit continues our recruitment progress by welcoming our first data manager Wally Shi. Wally has a degree in BSc. (Biological Science) and joined the Unit after a decade of service to NSW Health Pathology with SSWPS Liverpool, SEALS Prince of Wales, and Pathology West, Westmead. Wally has extensive experience in human resource management, auditing, preparation and presentation of key performance indicators, quality control, quality assurance, training, and workflow review, analysis and improvement. Wally is keen to continue developing strategies to help reduce errors and improve efficiencies of data processes.

The RNS DASO Unit also welcomes Peter Moritz, Acute Surgical Unit/DASO Unit data manager, who has extensive experience in clinical data systems, data management and analysis. Graduating with a Bachelor of Science (Biomedical Science) from the University of Queensland, Peter went on to study as a medical student within the Queensland Health and gained a valuable insight into the hospital system from a clinical perspective. Prior to joining the DASO Unit, Peter was a Clinical Data Analyst with a corporate healthcare company and developed reports on clinical data for a range of projects, including research investigations and the evaluation of federal government initiatives. Peter’s keen interest in the medical field has also seen him assist in biological research and volunteer with charities that help patients and their families. Peter brings a passion for developing robust data processes to evaluate programs and is always keen to further his knowledge of statistical analysis.

In other exciting news, we have been busy developing Powerforms and KPI data collection and analysis tools for the new Acute Surgical Unit, and a data manager for Interventional Neuroradiology is soon to come on board. A data manager for Cardiothoracic Surgery is also in the process of being recruited.

New Academic Appointment at RNSH

Dr Jonathon Parkinson was a medical student at RNSH, before going on to complete Neurosurgical training across Sydney and Newcastle. During this time, he also completed a PhD in the Cancer Genetics Laboratory at the Kolling Institute, examining the molecular biology of glioma. Following his Neurosurgical training, Jonathon undertook a fellowship in complex spinal surgery at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary, Alberta. On his return to Australia, he took up his current appointments as a VMO at Royal North Shore, North Shore Private and Sydney Adventist Hospitals. Jonathon’s main areas of clinical and research interest are in complex spinal surgery and neurooncology, with the latter seeing him on the Management Committee of the Co-operative Trials Group in Neuro-oncology (COGNO) Australasia’s dominant neuro-oncology society. He also has a keen interest in medical student, registrar and fellow education across both clinical and academic areas. Dr Parkinson has arranged for a RACS Foundation Skills for Surgical Educators (FSSE) course to be run at RNSH on Saturday 28th October 2017. This is a compulsory but highly regarded course for all surgeons who are in contact with surgical trainees. For more information about attending this or future courses please contact Jonathon at jparkinson@med.usyd.edu.au.

Surgical Academia – Congratulations Dr Marcus Handmer

Dr Marcus Handmer

Surgical Academia is the engagement of surgeons beyond merely managing patients. It includes teaching, education, research and mentoring activities. It also involves surgeons taking leadership in the administration and decision-making of the hospital. This new section of the SERT newsletter recognises achievements of surgeons within and beyond their clinical practice.

We will like to congratulate Dr Marcus Handmer, a Urology registrar on the Northern rotation for winning the second prize in Bongiorno’s essay competition for his essay titled ‘Practical prescriptions for hospitals – improvement without reinvention.’ You can read the full essay here.

Please let Shelly know if you would like to showcase your department’s achievements through the SERT Institute.

Director of Surgical Skills Training Update

by Dr Anubhav Mittal

Clinical Skills Centre, RNSH

The Skills Centre has continued to deliver high-quality skills training under the direction of Dr A. Mittal and with the help of Ms Jenny Ludeman and her staff. The latest successful course was a home-grown advanced Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary laparoscopic course using cadaveric specimen which was well attended by national and international candidates. The Skills Module of the Masters of Surgery program to be held on 26-28th October 2017 will be the next major course that will be run by Professor Hugh and Dr Mittal.

Two new Academic Surgeon positions to be advertised through the SERT Institute

Two academic lead roles relating to the ‘Masters of Surgery’ program and to ‘Postgraduate Research and Training’ will be advertised shortly (0.2FTE each). The SERT Institute will send out an Expression of Interest once these positions are on e-Recruit. Please submit an application if either of these two roles interest you.
The successful candidates will need to demonstrate surgical practice integrated with teaching and research. There are no clinical privileges associated with this appointment other than what a candidate already has or can be separately negotiated with a clinical department.

Data Analysis and Surgical Outcomes (DASO) Unit Update

by Maria Albania

The DASO Unit has already started making progress by increasing the number of resources for data management and audit support within the Division of Surgery. Two data manager positions are currently in the approval process to be recruited through the DASO Unit.

The NSLHD is committed to supporting existing and additional data management and audit services in the Division of Surgery & Anaesthesia at RNSH. The DASO Unit also has access to ongoing funding for distribution to departments across the division for the purpose of supporting surgical data management and audit activities.
To apply for resources for data support for your department please address each of the criteria below in a short application letter to the DASO unit:

  1. Surgical data/audit tasks & processes – outline both current and proposed data/audit processes to be undertaken in your department
  2. Current resources – describe what data management/support resources are currently available to your department
  3. Data capture & database systems – outline which systems and software packages are currently or will be used to capture clinical data in your department
  4. Reporting & analysis – outline how the data for your department will be analysed and reported and the intended use/purpose of the data
  5. Level of clinician engagement – detail the department’s expectation of how clinicians will be engaged in data and audit processes. Specifically please nominate a clinician who will be the data and audit champion for your department
  6. Requested resources – provide an estimate of the data management workload and personnel you might require

For more information please contact Maria Albania, DASO Unit Manager at Maria.Albania@health.nsw.gov.au or 02 9926 4560.

New Academic Appointment at RNSH

Dr Jonathon Parkinson

Dr Jonathon Parkinson was a medical student at RNSH, before going on to complete Neurosurgical training across Sydney and Newcastle. During this time, he also completed a PhD in the Cancer Genetics Laboratory at the Kolling Institute, examining the molecular biology of glioma.

Following his Neurosurgical training, Jonathon undertook a fellowship in complex spinal surgery at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary, Alberta. On his return to Australia, he took up his current appointments as a VMO at Royal North Shore, North Shore Private and Sydney Adventist Hospitals.
Jonathon’s main areas of clinical and research interest are in complex spinal surgery and neuro-oncology, with the latter seeing him on the Management Committee of the Co-operative Trials Group in Neuro-oncology (COGNO), Australasia’s dominant neuro-oncology society. He also has a keen interest in medical student, registrar and fellow education across both clinical and academic areas.

Dr Parkinson has arranged for a RACS Foundation Skills for Surgical Educators (FSSE) course to be run at RNSH on Saturday 28th October 2017. This is a compulsory but highly regarded course for all surgeons who are in contact with surgical trainees. For more information about attending this or future courses please contact Jonathon at jparkinson@med.usyd.edu.au

RNSH SERT Institute Update

by Shelly Dhaliwal

The RNS SERT Institute is undertaking an extensive consultation of all surgical departments to help inform our work-plan. We are asking for feedback in the following 4 areas:

  • What are your top 3 priorities (non-data related) in terms of surgical research, training, and education?
  • What are the top 3 challenges your department faces at RNSH (non-data related), preferably with examples?
  • What barriers, if any, do you or members of your department come cross when you attempt to conduct research, undertake clinical trials or teach surgery?
  • What would you like to see on the RNS SERT Institute website (currently being developed)?

We have received excellent feedback from several surgical departments already. Common themes include support in preparing research and ethics applications; being able to attract research funding; and increasing research output and publications in peer-reviewed journals. We are studying the submissions closely and have many ideas on how to address the points raised (with funding to match)!
Submissions initially closed on 15 September but the deadline has been extended to 15 October. If you have any questions, please contact Shelly on 9926 4526 or via shelly.dhaliwal@health.nsw.gov.au. One-on-one follow-up meetings with each Surgical Head (or delegates) are being arranged to discuss all submissions. The Institute is also designing a website and will be offering dedicated space to each surgical department in order to showcase their achievements.
Finally, a small RNS SERT Institute Committee has been set up and will be meeting three-monthly to help progress our goals.