North Shore Times : June 5th 2014
YOUR PLACE, YOUR PAPER Thursday, June 5, 2014 2014CANONMEDIAAWARDSCOMMUNITYNEWSPAPEROF THEYEAR App lets patients speak By SARAH ARGYLE MEDICAL emergencies are stressful enough without language barriers getting in the way. So when the opportunity arose for Dr Janet Liang to break down those barriers she jumped at the chance. The doctor has developed a new app aimed at improving the way patients with limited English and medical staff communicate with each other. Liang is an intensive care specialist at North Shore Hospital and has spent the last few years perfecting Listen Please. The app is avail- able in the five main non-English languages in the Waitemata district – Samoan, Tongan, Cantonese, Korean and Mandarin. She says the ‘where do you feel pain?’ while patients can also communicate with medical staff.’’ Liang says the app is easy to use, visually driven and unlike other apps has illustrations and photos to improve communication. ‘‘As it is a stand alone app it does Aucklandin particular is amulticultural society. I amChinesemyself but I can’t speak enough Chinese to communicate to patients who only speak Chinese. app is inspired by her observations about how to communicate with patients who don’t understand a lot of English. It’s not compassionate to perform medical treatment without someone fully understanding what will happen next, she says. ‘‘This app is in aid of making life better for people.’’ Liang says translators do a fan- tastic job but it is unrealistic to expect them to be available all the time. ‘‘The app allows clinicians to ask simple questions that would be covered in a standard consultation such as ‘are you in any pain?’ or ❛ -Dr Janet Liang By KATASHA McCULLOUGH A makeover is on the way for the Mairangi Bay beachfront. The Hibiscus and Bays Local Board has come up with three options for the land and will put them to the public this month. The board’s preferred option is to shift the road from the coastline to the rear of the reserve. not need internet access to work and I see it being useful in both hospital and primary care settings. ‘‘Auckland in particular is a multicultural society. I am Chinese myself but I can’t speak enough Chinese to communicate to patients who only speak Chinese.’’ She says the app is going to be a great tool for clinicians and patients alike but it will never take place of informed consent. ‘‘Context is very important and this app can never replace an indepth conver- sation with a patient.’’ Liang won the Health Informatics New Zealand Clinician’s Challenge prize in 2011 with her Listen Please concept. The Clinicians’ Challenge is an opportunity for clinicians and IT companies to team up, identify and develop information technology solutions for the medical world. Thanks to the win Liang was able to bring Listen Please to life. Go to iTunes to buy the $12.99 app. ❚ See Asian Health SupportService story P2. Communication key:Dr Janet Liang has developed an app to help breakdown communication barriers between patients and doctors. Photo: SARAH ARGYLE Boardcomes up with optionson beachfrontland The other choices are to leave everything the way it is or remove the through road between Sidmouth St and Montrose Tce completely. Chairwoman Julia Parfitt says the board will listen to everyone’s thoughts and take them into account. ‘‘There is quite a wide area of people interested in what’s going on with our beaches and want to have their say.’’ The council bought four proper- ties on the beachfront land so the reserve could be expanded. ‘‘There’s a huge need for reserve land as you’ve got more intensification happening around Mairangi Bay,’’ Parfitt says. Three houses have been removed but one will be occupied until the end of next year. Work will begin in 2016 if the community chooses to shift or remove the road. Parfitt says beachfront car parks will be retained because elderly people in particular like to park and ‘‘look out over the vista’’. The changes are part of the Mai- rangi Bay Beach Reserves Management Plan, which has been developed over the past five years. Parfitt says there are two side issues which will also be addressed. The Mairangi Bay Surf Life Saving Club is due to be renovated and the Watercare pumping station on the site needs to be expanded. Parfitt says the Watercare upgrade will mean ‘‘very little cosmetic difference’’ for the reserve. The board will adopt a final plan in November this year.
June 3rd 2014
June 6th 2014