Friday, September 26, 2014

Acronyms and nuns


We find jargon and the use of acronyms very challenging. Recently I was in a meeting with doctors and they were talking about the important role NUMS play in medical education. Only, I thought they said 'nuns' and was terribly confused. It was a useful reminder of the difficulty acronyms pose for consumers in the health system.

Here's a recent collection that has been flying around our committees.

ACTPASACT Patient Administration System 
ADONAssistant Director of Nursing 
ANUAustralian National University 
APFPMAsia Pacific Federation of Project Management 
ATSIAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 
B&IBusiness and Infrastructure 
CACHSCancer, Ambulatory and Community Health 
CALDCulturally and Linguistically Diverse 
CCCritical Care 
CHCACTCalvary Health Care ACT 
CHHSCanberra Hospital and Health Services 
CSSClinical Support Services 
CTComputed Tomography 
DDGDeputy Director-General 
DGDirector-General 
DHPDental Health Program 
DONDirector of Nursing 
DRGsDiagnosis Related Groups system 
ECExecutive Council 
EDC
ED
Executive Directors Council
Emergency Department or Executive Director 
EHCRE-Health and Clinical Records 
ENTEar, Nose and Throat 
GPGeneral Practitioner 
HAIHealthcare Associated Infections 
HCCAHealth Care Consumers' Association 
HIPHealth Infrastructure Program 
IARMInternal Audit and Risk Management 
ICTInformation and Communication Technology 
ICUIntensive Care Unit 
IDCIn Dwelling Catheter 
IHIIndividual Health Care Identifier (National)
ILCIndependent Living Centre 
JMOJunior Medical Officer 
LCMHCLittle Company of Mary Health Care 
LHNLocal Hospital Network 
MHJHADSMental Health, Justice Health & Alcohol & Drug Service 
MOSUMedical Officer Support Unit 
MRIMagnetic Resonance Imaging 
MROMulti-Resistant Organisms 
NATANational Association of Testing Authority 
NBHFNgunnawal Bush Healing Farm 
NICUNeonatal Intensive Care Unit 
NICUCAMNeonatal Intensive Care Web Camera Project 
NSQHSSNational Safety and Quality Health Service Standards 
NSWNew South Wales 
PCEHRPersonnally Controlled Electronic Health Record 
PETPositron Emission Tomography 
PGRPolicy and Government Relations 
PHPopulation Health 
PIBPerformance Information Branch
PMIPatient Master Index 
PSSBPeople, Strategy & Services Branch 
QIQuality Improvement 
QSBQuality and Safety Branch 
RACCRehabilitation, Aged & Community Care 
RCPAThe Royal College of Pathologists of Australia 
RISPACSRadiation Information and Picture Archive and Communication System 
SCPService and Capital Planning 
SDUStaff Development Unit 
SIDSSudden Infant Death Syndrome 
SOHSurgery and Oral Health 
SOPStandard Operating Procedure 
TCHCanberra Hospital 
WYCWomen’s, Youth and Children 

Darlene Cox
Executive Director

Monday, September 8, 2014

Health Literacy for All

This work was completed as part of the consumer-led Health Literacy for All project that ran from June 2011 to June 2014. This project was an initiative of the Health Care Consumers Association (HCCA) of the ACT and was funded by a Health Promotion grant from the ACT Government.

HCCA has more than thirty years of experience in increasing consumer access to information about the health system. With the increasing complexity of our health system, it has become even more important for consumers to have access to opportunities to develop their knowledge of the health system. It is also important that these opportunities are ‘consumer-led’, that is, that they provide access to information that consumers themselves have said they need to know.

The Health Literacy for All project was designed around a community development model. The program particularly sought to provide assistance to disadvantaged and marginalised health consumers. It sought to promote consumer participation in the health system by providing opportunities for consumers to improve their knowledge of support, community and health services. It also sought to increase consumers’ ability to advocate for themselves and family in health contexts. This involved helping consumers to identify their own needs so that they would be able to interact more effectively with health professionals.


The topics for the modules are based on consumer requests, and the content of the modules was developed in consultation with consumers who participated in health literacy workshops. More than 250 consumers and 170 health care professionals participated in 40 workshops over a three year period. 

In the coming weeks the material we developed and use in our community information sessions will be uploaded to the HCCA website