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Friday October 22, 2010

Major Research Project to Improve Care Between Hospital and Community

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A new mullti million dollar University of Queensland research project aims to improve the quality of care for patients moving between hospitals and community-based care.

The Centre for Research Excellence (CRE) in Improving Quality and Safety at the Interface between Primary and Secondary Level Care will be established with more than $2.4m from the National Health & Medical Research Council.

UQ Professor of General Practice, Claire Jackson said the safe, high quality, efficient care as patients transfer from the primary to secondary sector and back again, had long been a concern, particularly for elderly patients and those with complex chronic conditions.

"This CRE will offer the opportunity for a highly experienced and energetic team to investigate the interface between hospital and community, with a specific focus on new models of care at UQ's three Queensland GP Super Clinics," she said.

"The National Health and Hospital Reform Commission report and the National Primary Care Strategy both strongly endorse the need to redesign the health system to ensure access to the right care in the right setting for people across their lifespan."

The CRE will investigate the effectiveness of a model of general practice (Primary Care Amplification) and will be focus on the care of patients with Type 2 diabetes, congestive cardiac failure and palliative care at clinics to be operated by UQ Healthcare at Ipswich, Annerley and Logan and at Inala Primary Care, all in South East Queensland.

"We have selected these patients because their conditions are costly to manage, increasing in prevalence and patient health care needs increase in complexity with duration of disease," Prof Jackson said.

She said a collaborative model of shared care (successfully piloted at the interface between community-based primary care and hospital-based specialist care) would be used to determine its suitability in broader settings, including clinical.

"We will assess the cost effectiveness of usual care (hospital-based specialist level ambulatory care) versus this model."

Researchers will investigate the impact on health outcomes, patient and clinician satisfaction, and economic outcomes of the improved interface between the two sectors.

Media inquiries: Marlene McKendry - 0401 99 6847

Source: The University Of Queensland

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