The proposed activities in Research Area 1 recognise that innovation in the design and use of information and communication technologies has an important role in detecting clinical variation, as well as in informing the decisions made by clinicians and patients to improve service delivery and outcomes.
Researchers in this area will work closely with those in Research Area 2 which focusses on the identifying the root causes of variation that lead to avoidable waste, and Research Area 3, which addresses the impact of value-based care interventions as a mechanism to reduce unwarranted variation.
Research Area 1.1: Using shared health information to improve the appropriateness, quality and effectiveness of care
Research Lead Investigator – Professor Johanna Westbrook
- How can shared health information improve appropriate, effective and cost-effective medication management and reduce errors and adverse drug events in acute, community and aged care settings?
- How can shared health information improve appropriate ordering , follow-up of diagnostic tests and consumer engagement?
Medications and diagnostic testing constitute the overall highest volume and cost interventions in community and hospital settings. Driving improvements in information technologies which target improved decision-making regarding these interventions has enormous potential to influence health outcomes of populations, and improve the cost-effectiveness and sustainability of health services.
Research Area 1.2: Big Data and the Quality, Effectiveness and Cost of Care
Research Lead Investigator – Professor Enrico Coiera
- How effective is predictive analytics in identifying and managing high-risk chronic disease patients?
- What impact can analytics have on quality and efficiency of health service and hospital performance e.g. for feedback or benchmarking?
Analytics underpins every aspect of sustainability strategies that require data to monitor systems, detect critical events or at-risk patients. Development of robust, analytic-based tools; open source software; and best-practice implementation models that are context-sensitive, are all critical to achieving sustainable health services and systems.
Research Area 1.3: Telehealth
System Lead Investigator – Professor Len Gray
- How can the use of telehealth improve access, reduce costs and improve outcomes, in particular, in regard to the use of online interactions using images, data, text and real-time voice to inform clinical decision-making and the management of chronic disease?
- What service models can best exploit the evolving, increasingly low-cost infrastructure?
- How can primary care be re-engineered to exploit the various forms of telehealth to improve accessibility, reduce cost and increase patient engagement and self-management?
Implications for the future configuration of primary care practice in Australia in a telehealth-enabled world. Potential to improve patient convenience, engagements, satisfaction and health status at a reduced cost to the health system.