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Collaboration Leads Australian Health System to Study Northwell Best Practices in Patient Care


A group of clinicians and administrators from Australia-based Epworth HealthCare have begun implementing what they learned after spending two weeks in New York studying the inner workings of Northwell Health facilities, part of an innovative strategic alliance agreement between the two health care providers.

Epworth HealthCare is Victoria's largest non-profit health system with 6,500 employees and 2,400 Visiting Medical Officers across 10 hospitals serving the Melbourne metropolitan area and some regionals in the State of Victoria. Northwell's corporate university, the Center for Learning and Innovation, recently hosted six Epworth representatives, exposing them to a wide array of best practices from New York's largest health care system, including Northwell's Patient Safety Institute, one of the largest patient simulation centers in the US.

"This was an incredible opportunity for all Epworth staff involved," said Simon Benedict, human resources director at Epworth HealthCare. "Northwell educated us in many different aspects of health care and I know that these learnings will be translated back at Epworth, ultimately improving the care that we provide to our patients. The experience was truly collaborative and our team was able to share Epworth best practices in return."

The immersion program also included tours of Northwell's Center for Emergency Medical Services and innovative TeleHealth operation, both based in Syosset.

The exchange program is part of a broader plan between the two organizations to share information and learn from each other – and it is already paying dividends. Northwell's culture of employee education as well as the health system's pain management, home care, rehabilitation services and radiation oncology programs are among the areas that Epworth employees evaluated and are considering adapting.

"Our trip to Northwell has allowed us to return to Epworth with some exciting ideas about how we can improve the care we provide as well as a fresh perspective on how we as an organization can adapt to the changing health care landscape and continue to provide high quality care to all of our patients," said Anna Imbesi, RN, an associate nurse unit manager for Epworth HealthCare.

A similar exchange of Northwell employees visiting their Australian health system counterparts could happen later this year or in early 2018, said Kevin McGeachy, senior vice president of strategic alliances at Northwell Health. "This is the beginning of what may be a deeper collaboration," he said. "It was a good first step for us. I hope we can continue to work together, whether that's on the research side or on clinical programs."

The relationship began when Northwell President and CEO Michael J. Dowling and then-Epworth CEO Alan Kinkade struck up a conversation at a health care conference. The two companies signed a strategic affiliation agreement in 2016 with a focus on leadership development, medical education, infection protocols, care management and exploring new business ventures.

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About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State's largest health care provider and private employer, with 22 hospitals and over 550 outpatient facilities. We care for more than two million people annually in the metro New York area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 62,000 employees – 15,000+ nurses and about 3,900 physicians, including more than 2,800 members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We're making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institute. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine and the School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. And we offer health insurance through CareConnect. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit

About Epworth
Epworth HealthCare is Victoria's largest not-for-profit private health care group, renowned for excellence in diagnosis, treatment, care and rehabilitation. Epworth is an innovator in Australia's health system, embracing the latest in evidence-based medicine to pioneer treatments and services for our patients. Epworth's purpose is to improve the health, wellbeing and experience of every patient by integrating clinical practice with education and research and our vision is to consistently deliver excellent patient-centered care with compassion and dignity.

Jason Molinet
[email protected]

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