World Hospital Congress special issue of Australian Health Review features research on value-based, integrated care supported by data and technology

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

‘Australian and international research published today feature how health systems are evolving to meet 21st century demands and expectations when it comes to the care we receive’, according to Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) Chief Executive Alison Verhoeven.

A special World Hospital Congress issue of Australian Health Review (AHR) brings together research under the Congress’s themes of value-based, integrated healthcare supported by data and technology. AHHA and Queensland Health’s Clinical Excellence Division host the 42nd IHF World Hospital Congress 10 to 12 October 2018 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. AHR is AHHA’s peer-reviewed academic journal.

‘Looking at Australian and Dutch experiences with primary care data, researchers from the Australian National University and Radboud University in the Netherlands underscore the importance of primary care data to inform policy and practice and highlight the Dutch experience, with uninterrupted primary care data collected and analysed since 1984, as optimal if we want to measure, develop and improve clinical care.

‘Researchers from Universitas Indonesia and the University of Technology Sydney reported on the implementation of community case management through primary healthcare workers to reduce infant mortality in Indonesian rural districts. In trying to provide the right care, in the right place, by the right provider, the Indonesian experience was viewed as able to enhance the capacity of rural primary healthcare workers and to improve the uptake of life-saving interventions. However, work is still needed to strengthen and fully integrate the primary healthcare workers in maternal and child health services across Indonesia.

‘Closer to home, two Australian studies look at the use of technology to support better value and integration when providing service to specific populations. Researchers from the University of Queensland and Griffith University considered the cost savings of telehealth substitution of face-to-face specialist outpatient consultations to prisoners in Queensland. Researchers from the University of Western Australia and CSIRO compared the costs of teledentistry and traditional dental screening approaches in Australian school children. Both pieces of research found the use of technology has the potential to save significant economic and human resources that can be redirected to improve infrastructure and provide care to underserved populations and regions.

‘Research from the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network and from Queensland demonstrate Australian thought leadership on the themes of the 42nd IHF World Hospital Congress.

‘In reflecting upon the experience of developing key performance indicators (KPIs) for Sydney Children’s Hospital Network, the largest paediatric healthcare entity in Australia, the authors note developing a meaningful suite of KPIs remains a significant challenge for individual organisations and requires courage, an understanding of health informatics, stakeholder engagement, stamina and pragmatism.

‘Looking at the effect of ehealth on hospital practice, researchers from Queensland Health, Queensland University of Technology and the University of Queensland provide an up-to-date assessments of the evidence available on the transition to digital hospitals. Their findings suggest ehealth technologies have the potential to positively affect clinical and financial outcomes. But, these benefits are not guaranteed, and mixed results are reported.

‘This highlights the need for hospitals and policymakers to clearly identify and act on the drivers of successful implementations if ehealth technologies are to facilitate the creation of new, more effective models of patient care in an increasingly complex healthcare environment’, said Ms Verhoeven.

Articles from the World Hospital Congress special issue of the Australian Health Review are free to access online for the month of October via www.publish.csiro.au/au.

For more information on the 42nd IHF World Hospital Congress, visit www.hospitalcongress2018.com.

For more information on the AHHA, visit www.ahha.asn.au.

The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association is the national peak body for public and not-for-profit hospitals, and community and primary healthcare services.

Media enquiries:  Alison Verhoeven, Chief Executive, Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association

0403 282 501