Public health

ADC 2018 conference: Diabetes centres of excellence a boon for all

Becoming recognised as a top tier diabetes centre has been a boon for staff morale and provided a new tool for attracting funding, says the director of Australia’s newest diabetes centre of excellence.

The accreditation is awarded for a period of four years by the National Association of Diabetes Centres, recognising a centre’s leadership role across clinical care, education, service advocacy and policy leadership.

Last year Royal Melbourne Hospital’s department of diabetes and endocrinology became the fifth to gain the title, joining units at Princess Margaret (Perth), Canberra Hospital (Canberra), Royal Prince Alfred (Sydney), Monash Health (Melbourne) all awarded in 2015.

Speaking at the Australasian Diabetes Congress 2018, the department’s director Associate Professor Spiros Fourlanos said he had wanted the centre to engage with the benchmarking process ito ensure it was keeping up with comparable centres.

“Part of the impetus to do this for me is about benchmarking, we are at the stage where we need to start formally auditing activities and then comparing them with our peers and that process will help us all to lift the standard as a group of centres across Australia,” he told the limbic.

Achieving the recognition was a boost for the whole team, but the process to get there, a process of collating evidence which took about four months, was itself a useful exercise in reflection.

“For us, it was mainly confirmation of what we were doing but I think it does provide impetus in regards to streamlining our department and really focussing what our key goals are.

“It’s a period of introspection and reflection to allow you to understand what your service is delivering across those five arms. That then paves the way for better integration and streamlining of clinical care, education and research within your department.

“It’s time of celebration and a process that improves self-esteem and ultimately I think it’s very powerful in regards to lobbying local hospital executive, funders, government, philanthropists, and ultimately lifting the standard of diabetes care through enhancing these centres across Australia.”

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