Doctors and people

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Research and development 

The Centre is currently involved in a number of research and development activities.

Centres for Research Excellence (CRE)

The CRE aims to address primary healthcare quality, governance, performance and sustainability issues by investigating improved models in regional governance, e-health, effective multidisciplinary teamwork, performance and accountability. The research team will address these issues within a program of research based on clinical microsystems, two core research streams and capacity building in multidisciplinary settings nationally. The research aims to support Australian primary care as it moves from a series of disparate sectors to an integrated system, able to reliably engage in the reform challenges ahead.

  • NHMRC 2012-15

The aims of the CRE’s research program are:

- to improve the quality and safety of healthcare at the interface between specialist (especially hospital) and community-based primary care for patients with chronic and complex healthcare needs.
- to investigate the impact on health outcomes, patient and clinician satisfaction, and economic outcomes of the improved interface between these two sectors.

Mater Health Services

  • Mater Shared Electronic Health Record (Mater Shared EHR)

The Mater Shared EHR aims to provide a clinical information repository with patient portal and provider portal access for the maternity patients of Mater Health Services (MHS) and its partner organisations.

Over 600 local GP’s have undertaken the Mater Mothers' GP Maternity Shared Care Alignment Program since 2008. The centre is a key player in developing and evaluating the program which aims to ensure that GP’s wishing to share maternity care with Mater Mothers' Hospital have an appropriate level of knowledge relating to maternity care and services and the hospitals guidelines and policies.

  • Health Promotion Policy Benchmarking Study

This study examined Health Promotion Policy in 9 Health Services throughout Australia. The policies were compared and key stakeholders completed a brief questionnaire regarding the implementation of the policy, particularly noting the enablers and barriers. This study was done in partnership with the University of Queensland (currently seeking publication).  

This project is focussing or building health literacy amongst refugee women who are community leaders and the source of primary health advice to their peers. 

  • Refugee health development policy and framework

The centre’s involvement in refugee health issues has been longstanding and has involved collaboration with a wide range of government and non-government agencies. The centre is currently involved in facilitating the development of a policy and framework for refugee health. It is also looking at sustainable models of integrated care to meet the needs of refugee communities.

Program and Service Evaluation 

The centre can provide advice to services and organisations on how to undertake evaluation activities and additionally can provide the service as an independent consultant. The following evaluation activities provide examples of some evaluation activities the centre has been lead.

Suicide Prevention (2011-2012)

The evaluation of the ‘Post discharge care of patients presenting to emergency department with deliberate self-harm or suicide attempt project’ was commissioned by General Practice Queensland to evaluate the impact on access, quality and appropriateness of referrals between Princess Alexander and Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital emergency departments and primary care providers for people presenting with deliberate self-harm or suicide attempt. 

Mater Mothers' Hospital GP Maternity Shared Care Alignment Program (2008-Current)

Over 600 local GP’s have undertaken the Mater Mothers' GP Maternity Shared Care Alignment Program since 2008. The centre is a key player in developing and evaluating the program which aims to ensure that GPs wishing to share maternity care with Mater Mothers' Hospital have an appropriate level of knowledge relating to maternity care and services.

Connecting Healthcare In Communities (CHIC) (2008-2011)

Between 2008 and 2011 our centre was contracted to provide evaluation for seven Connecting Health Care In Communities (CHIC) projects which were funded by Queensland Health through the Southside Partnership Council.

  • Resiliency in Bayside Schools (lead agency SEA-GP)
  • Living Well at Home Program (lead agency DART, MHS)
  • Learn to Live with Chronic Conditions (lead agency DART, MHS)
  • Refugee RAPH (lead agency MUQCPHCI, MHS)
  • Southside Mental Health Collaborative (lead agency BrookRED)
  • No Wrong Doors (lead agency QUHIN)
  • Care Collaborations (lead agency DART Paediatrics, MHS)

Specialist Outpatient Department (SOPD) Project (2010)

The goal of the SOPD project was to develop, implement and evaluate revised models of outpatient service delivery in the SOPD clinics of two tertiary hospitals in Queensland. The purpose was to understand the barriers to the referral processes, to increase access to these clinics, improve overall referral processes and reduce patient waiting times.

Primary Care and Community Service Program Development 

Refugee and Primary Health (RaPH)

This project built a strong partnership between the refugee communities, health services and refugee agencies and aimed to build the capacity of primary health to deliver effective care to people from refugee backgrounds. RaPH project was instrumental in undertaking research, developing refugee health resources, facilitating workshops and contributing to policy development through discussion papers and policy submissions. For extra information about aspects of the RaPH project refer to: 

  • Building Trust Delivery Health Care to newly arrived refugees (grey lit journal article)

  • Addressing the gaps: The health and well being of people from refugee background settling in Queensland. A discussion paper

Refugee Women as Health Leaders Project 

This project is currently building the capacity of women from refugee backgrounds to provide health leadership to their communities. It will culminate in the development of Health Action Plans for each community and will feed into health planning and policy development processes and partnerships.

Data Management and Data Analysis 

The centre can advise on suitable methods for collecting and managing data and can also provide analysis and reporting services for qualitative and quantitative data utilising appropriate methods and software.

The centre has a close working relationship with Mater Research and has frequently worked collaboratively on data analysis issues.

Quality Improvement 

Mater Mothers' Hospital GP Maternity Shared Care Alignment Program

Over 600 local GP’s have undertaken the Mater Mothers' GP Maternity Shared Care Alignment Program since 2008. The centre is a key player in developing and evaluating the program which aims to ensure that GPs wishing to share maternity care with Mater Mothers' Hospital have an appropriate level of knowledge relating to maternity care and services.

Community Consultation and Engagement 

The centre is experienced in engaging and consulting with community stakeholders and groups. The centre is involved in the development of Mater Health Services Consumer Engagement Strategy, has been instrumental in establishing community engagement within refugee populations and it has been contracted to provide community consultation services to a variety of external agencies. The centre sees community consultation and engagement as critical components to projects it leads. Examples include;

  • Mater Health Services Consumer Engagement - Currently the centre is supporting the development of an organisation wide strategic framework for Consumer Engagement. This has involved the refinement of the framework, the establishment of a Consumer Engagement Advisory Committee, the review and development of a Consumer Engagement Policy and Guidelines to assist Mater staff in the process of consumer engagement.  

  • RaPH project facilitated research with peer interviewers to better understand the barriers and enablers to accessing healthcare for refugees from Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq and Burma (Rohingyan) soon after arrival in Australia. The peer interviewers were provided with support and training to assist in facilitating the research. RaPH project facilitated an interactive forum of community and service providers to identify the needs for refugee communities in the management of complex and chronic health needs.

  • The refugee women as health leaders project facilitated a number of forums with communities from Rwanda, Eritrea, Afghanistan and Togo. The outcomes from these consultations have been formulated into community health action plans.

  • Medicare Locals

    • Metro North Brisbane Medicare Local After Hours Needs Assessment Community Consultation (2012)

    • Greater Metro South Brisbane Medicare Local After Hours Needs Assessment Community Consultation (2012)

Client satisfaction 

The centre can assist services and organisations to determine client satisfaction by utilising a range of methods and tools. From online surveying to structured interviews and focus groups, the centre can assist in gaining critical feedback from clients. This information is then analysed and reported in meaningful ways to assist organisations and services.

Developing a sustainable Health Care System 

The centre aims to support this by facilitating and promoting:

  • Improvement in primary and secondary integration and continuity of care, the way that different parts of primary healthcare work together and with hospitals, community care and other health related services to provide comprehensive and continuous care, is a key focus of the unit.

  • Improving access to primary healthcare particularly for vulnerable populations such as refugees and homeless.

  • Supporting primary healthcare system development by developing and evaluating frameworks, infrastructure and capacity as the sector requires e.g. after hours needs assessment for Medicare Locals.

Project Management and Consultancy 

The centre staff are experienced in managing integrated care projects in a wide range of health related fields. The use of widely accepted best practice project management approaches, processes, skills, tools and techniques are essential to effectively managing projects.  A number of our staff have qualifications in Project Management and are well equipped to provide support, input, guidance or even to run a project for you. From developing a new product or service, effecting a change in structure or staffing, acquiring new or modified information systems or implementing a new business process or procedure, we can help. 

Using the common project management cycle of initiating, planning, executing, monitoring/controlling and closing, we can assist in any stage of your project.  Our experience in developing new models of care across the interface spans many areas.

Professional Development Programs 

The centre can assist services and organisations to develop professional development program based on their specific needs. The following provide examples of some programs the Centre has been involved in developing.

Mater Mothers' Hospital GP Maternity Shared Care Alignment Program

Over 600 local GP’s have undertaken the Mater Mothers' GP Maternity Shared Care Alignment Program since 2008. The centre is a key player in developing and evaluating the program which aims to ensure that GP’s wishing to share maternity care with Mater Mothers' Hospital have an appropriate level of knowledge relating to maternity care and services.  

Refugee Health

A DVD is available from the centre “Working with refugees in primary health care”.