The goal of NCPHN’s Exercise as Medicine program is to normalise the use of exercise as an evidence-based intervention in the management of chronic health conditions. The program aims to pilot a process of contracting general practices and providing funding for both activity and for the achievement of approved physical ability for participating patients. Practice teams will also be testing the use of a health app called CarePro and the patient version called The Diary CarePro to track patient progress.
The Exercise as Medicine program will focus on patients with painful knee or hip osteoarthritis, COPD and CCF. Exercise is also well known as an evidence-based health intervention for prevention and management of many more conditions. There are a number of ways to help patients exercise more, many of which are free. We hope to see practice teams tailor the exercise support to individual needs.
Interest in the Exercise as Medicine program released earlier this year was very strong, with 14 practices expressing interest. Many of the applications were high quality. All applications were evaluated against clear criteria by an evaluation panel which included Clinical Council representatives.
Five practices have been successful in gaining contracts in the Exercise as Medicine program:
- Mullumbimby Medical Centre
- Banora Shopping Village Medical Centre
- Lake Cathie Medical Centre
- Northside Health
- Werin Aboriginal Medical Centre
The practice staff and NCPHN’s Quality Improvement Support Officers attended orientation workshops in the week beginning 13 May 2019.
Over the next few weeks the practices will be familiarising themselves with the data collection tool and the software. A ‘Go Live’ date has been scheduled for 10 June with practices being asked to commence registration of at least four patients by the end of June.
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