Project ECHO Persistent Pain sessions helping health care providers to better treat patients

Media Release

Western Victoria PHN (WVPHN) has partnered with Transport Accident Commission (TAC), WorkSafe Victoria and a pain specialist who consults at the pain clinic at Barwon Health to deliver a new localised education and information program for primary care professionals to improve care to patients with persistent pain.

The Project ECHO Persistent Pain series is an innovative program that involves a series of live video conference sessions. This new program will support primary care in regions where there is limited access to specialist pain clinicians or pain services. It will also build capacity of clinicians to provide greater coordinated support where patients live.

In each fortnightly session, primary care clinicians dial into an online multidisciplinary panel of pain specialists and experts, made up from representatives from the partner agencies, to learn about various aspects of pain in a brief lecture-style session.

Each session is facilitated by a multidisciplinary team of pain specialists and experts, includes a brief lecture covering pain-related topics and is broadcast to registered participants throughout western Victoria.

WVPHN CEO Dr Leanne Beagley says the program is an excellent example of how digital health resources can break down the geographical barriers that often prevent the right care reaching those with limited access to health services.

“With many patients who suffer from ongoing pain living rurally or beyond access to persistent pain services, we needed to find a way to reach them and provide more GPs with the knowledge and resources to help these patients,” said Dr Beagley.

“The Project ECHO Persistent Pain series is a great collaborative effort to ensure that we continue to equip health professionals with contemporary information that helps improve the health outcomes of our community.”

WorkSafe Victoria Executive Director of Insights and Innovation, Marion Nagle, is excited for WorkSafe to be piloting and trialing new ways of working with both specialist and primary health providers to optimise care for injured workers.

“This collaboration will support the recovery of injured workers who experience persistent pain,” said Ms Nagle. “By creating virtual communities, we can support the provision of best practice to health care professionals who are geographically separated from multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary services, such as pain specialists.”

“It is our hope that no matter a worker’s location in the region, they will have access to the best care on offer.”

For more information for health care professionals, please visit the Project ECHO pages on our website.