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February/March 2017 edition

DAME Newsletter - February/March 2017

From Principal Medical Officer, Dr Michael Drane

Hi everyone.
I appreciate how busy you all are, so I’ve tried to keep this month’s newsletter short. First up you’ll find information about our ongoing Medical Records System (MRS) enhancements (see below). Thanks to your feedback you’ll see progressive improvements as we continue to refine what is a complex system. I’m pleased to report that turnaround times have improved and I am receiving more positive feedback than complaints, which is encouraging.

One of the benefits of the system is that it enables us to manage surveillance more closely. Applicants who are under surveillance will not necessarily be required to have a full medical at each episode of surveillance. A DAME, GP or specialist’s report may be all that is needed, and DAMEs can be involved in handling that ongoing surveillance. For some conditions a full review remains appropriate, and these should be undertaken as usual. I’m hopeful you have already begun to see some less onerous surveillance requirements in the assessments.

Please remember that changes in medical conditions must be reported to CASA within five working days, using MRS (check out our online MRS training module for guidance on how to do this).

Before I sign off, don’t forget that exercise ECGs must be done to a prescribed standard, and reported by a cardiologist. For more information, please see our Clinical Practice Guideline on ECGs. It can be inconvenient and expensive for applicants if the requirements are not met the first time around and the tests have to be repeated. Stress echocardiography is better still, if available at a reasonable cost.

Remember the South Australian ASAM meeting (not ASMA, as I said last month!) on 8 April.


Enhancements to MRS – May 2017

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to give us feedback about MRS. We are always keen to improve our systems and processes. As a result of your comments and suggestions we will be releasing a number of key enhancements in May.

These include the following.

  • The ability to save input as you go when you are mapping a problem – this will allow you to leave and return to the ‘findings’ page without losing any of the mapping you have already completed.
  • Auto-mapping of 33 common findings to problems such as asthma, kidney stones, vision standards not being met and stress ECG required where CRI > 14. These findings will be auto-mapped in the first instance, however you will still be able to change or delete if you think another problem is more fitting for a particular applicant.
  • A complete overhaul of the visual acuity section of the DAME examination. Specific tables will display depending on the type of correction selected, and only those visual acuity values required by the standard will need to be entered. In addition, the system will automatically import the eye examination data from a Designated Aviation Ophthalmologist or Credentialed Optometrist into the DAME examination report if it has been completed within 90 days of the DAME examination.
  • The system will flag the need for a stress ECG when an applicant’s CRI score is above 14.
  • The FAST total will be displayed on the examiner summary page and on the PDF summary page when the total is 3 or above. A link to the Clinical Practice Guidelines for alcohol will also display.
  • The system will allow for more medicals to be issued by DAME assessors (DAME2).
  • Where a DAME changes an answer provided by an applicant it will be mandatory to provide a comment explaining why the change was made. 

Submitting reports to AvMed

Please note all reports that need to be submitted with a medical must be uploaded through MRS. This will be flagged to our assessors as new information. Once reports are uploaded into MRS you do not also need to email them to AvMed or Clinical Governance – doing so can result in double-handling.

Stay up to date

For other handy hints and information, and to ensure you are up to date with the latest MRS developments, please keep reading our DAME newsletters. You can access previous versions here.