ASCIA’s involvement in the National Allergy Council Shared Care project includes:
- Advocacy to increase access to care, including food and drug challenges, to improve diagnosis and management of allergic conditions.
- Education, training and mentorship of health professionals, to improve knowledge and experience in managing allergic conditions.
Current areas of focus for ASCIA are:
- ASCIA workforce surveys for Full and Associate Medical ASCIA members will be conducted from December 2023 to February 2024. The data from these surveys will be used to advocate for improved access to allergy/immunology education, training and services, include in ASCIA submissions for MBS item numbers for food and drug challenges, and identify regions with significant waiting times for patient appointments.
- An ASCIA education and training survey https://www.allergy.org.au/hp is currently being conducting that is directed towards institutions and results will be used to make recommendations about what anaphylaxis and training should be included in health professional courses and ways to deliver the training.
- ASCIA e-training courses for health professionals https://etraininghp.ascia.org.au/ continue to be well utilised, and reports from mandated 2023 feedback surveys will guide course updates in 2024. A report from 2022 surveys has already been developed and is available at https://www.allergy.org.au/ascia-reports
- ASCIA website resources https://www.allergy.org.au/ are highly utilised by health professionals, patients and carers, attracting more than 3 million pageviews and 2 million visits from 1.5 million users (unique visitors) each year. ASCIA is constantly updating its website and online resources, to improve content, access and the user experience, and this will be a major focus in 2024.
- ASCIA communications include monthly e-newsletters https://www.allergy.org.au/about-ascia/updates/archive/listing, regular website information updates https://www.allergy.org.au/about-ascia/info-updates and social media posts based on the newsletter content. In 2024 ASCIA will be developing a communications plan to increase the reach of its communications to health professionals.
- ASCIA online meetings https://www.allergy.org.au/conferences/online-meetings have expanded in 2023, and will continue to expand in 2024, to improve case based learning, which has the potential to be expanded for other health professionals.
- The ASCIA Food Allergy and Adverse Food Reactions Courses for Dietitians https://www.allergy.org.au/members/dietitians has been held twice in 2023, in March (Melbourne) and November (Sydney). The next course is scheduled for May 2024 in Adelaide, South Australia.
- The ASCIA 2023 Conference https://www.allergy.org.au/conferences/ascia-annual-conference was held in early September in Sydney, and included significantly more content that is targeted to improve knowledge in managing allergic disease for a range of health professionals. The ASCIA 2024 Conference will continue to include more sessions for a range of health professionals.
ASCIA members and staff also participated in the National Allergy Council Shared Care meetings on Friday 10 November 2023 and Saturday 11 November 2023 in Sydney.
The previous ASCIA Update for the Shared Care project is available at https://www.allergy.org.au/about-ascia/info-updates/ascia-progress-report-nac-shared-care-for-allergy-project