Study to map adequacy of patient care
A GROUND-BREAKING study is set to determine whether Australian patients are receiving the recommended levels of general practice and hospital care.
The five-year study, to begin in January, will follow similar research conducted in the US which revealed sick Americans receive, on average, just 50% of recommended care.
Funded by the NHMRC to the tune of $8.5 million, the study will examine patient journeys through the health system – beginning with general practice.
It will focus particularly on patient safety and access, with the ultimate aim of identifying inadequacies in care, and areas for improvement. The role of information technology in providing sound health care will also be investigated.
One of five lead investigators working on the project, Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite, from the Institute for Health Innovation at the University of NSW, said the study would map the care of 6000 patients to determine if they received the recommended level.
It will also compare Australian patients’ experiences with that of Americans.
“But the US system is sufficiently different to Australia that [our results] might be better,” he said. “This is practically orientated and we’ll map [patients] back to providers and see if there are valid reasons for reduced care.”