May 30, 2023

We Are Northern: This is the Outpatient Administration Coordinator team

Outpatient Clinics at Northern Health play a critical role in providing timely and efficient care to consumers in the northern suburbs.

The impact of COVID-19 has put a significant strain on the demand for specialist appointments, but with the introduction of the Outpatient Administration Coordinator (OAC) role in 2022, Outpatient Clinics have been able to continue to provide administrative support to consumers, administration and clinical staff.

The role of the OAC is to work collaboratively with specialty clinicians and to support the department, by assessing the demand on Outpatients Clinics and ensuring patients receive the care they need in a timely and efficient manner.

There are 10 OACs who work across three campuses, the Northern Hospital Epping, Broadmeadows Hospital and Craigieburn Centre. They all work closely with the Administration Officers, Referral and Intake team, Clinics Leads and Consultants and support over 30 specialties.

“It was daunting, but also very exciting to be one of the first Outpatient Administration Coordinators to develop and progress the role. Twelve months in, I am loving the role and enjoy the team I work with,” said one of the first OAC, Maegan Myers.

Vickie Hutchison, OAC, says the new role has been one of the most revolutionary additions they have had in the Outpatients Clinics.

“It has both significantly reduced the volume of clerical work that I, as a Clinical Lead was having to do, allowing me to concentrate on my role and efficiently manage my portfolios in a timely manner. Working with such a competent team is alike a breath of fresh air – they always strive for a positive outcome,” she said.

The OAC team perform various tasks, and these include:

  • Support Northern Health consultants with the transition from telehealth to onsite consultations, following COVID-19
  • Ensure a smooth transition from single to triple modality of care, face to face, Telehealth, TeleVideo
  • Engage with each Head of Unit on a monthly basis to provide transparency in service delivery, ranging from: number of referrals received, clinic availability including past and upcoming demands and waitlist data
  • Management and coordination of specialty specific mailboxes for ease of correspondence and communication

Kelly Luca, Outpatient Administration Manager, said, “I appreciate every member of the OAC team for showing relentless effort in getting this role to a business-as-usual state. The success we have experienced in the last 12 months would not have been possible without their contribution towards developing this role and working as a team.”

Kathryn Bartho, Outpatient Services Operations Director, says it is exciting to see the success of the role, which was born out of discussing the challenges in the clinics.

“It has been refreshing to receive a lot of positive feedback from stakeholders such as Head of Units and consultants on the implementation of these roles, with most reflecting back as I don’t know how we managed before without them,” she said.

In 2023, the team are excited to continue to improve patient access to Northern Health services and work with clinic leads and consultants to ensure smooth and operational running of clinics and reduce patient waitlist numbers.

Pictured (L-R): Rachel Whelan, Maegan Myers, Nikki Amar, Michelle Jenkinson, Megan Robinson-Drummond, Kubra Sonmez, Rachele Gumabon, Ally Gibbs