One in ten patients harmed in Australian hospitals
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Researchers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) plan to tackle underlying problems in Australia’s health system which harm in one in ten hospital patients each year.
Almost $8.5 million dollars in National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funding has just been announced for the major project by the Health Minister Nicola Roxon.
“A million adverse events occur in general practice each year in Australia,” said Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite, the Director of the Institute for Health Innovation at UNSW.
“Overseas data shows that patients receive recommended care only half of the time,” he says. “We will significantly advance this work by investigating how and why this occurs, with a focus on the roles of teamwork, safe medication use and the application of information technology to support improved decision-making.”
Professor Braithwaite is the lead investigator of the team*, which has received one of eight Program Grants to start in 2009.
Professor Braithwaite says there is a lack of evidence about what works in improving patient safety.
“Quality and safety of care are now at the very top of our national health agenda, but everyone is struggling to solve this complex systems problem. We simply cannot afford to keep doing more of the same.”
UNSW has received the largest amount of any institution for Program Grants starting in 2009, with a total of $26.1 million. This includes an earlier announcement of $17.7 million to advance understanding of HIV and hepatitis C. UNSW affiliate the Garvan Institute received the second largest amount for 2009 Program Grants at $21.7 million.
In addition, seven UNSW researchers received Research Fellowships and Professor Basil Donovan from the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research received a Practitioner Fellowship.
*The research team leaders are internationally recognised for their exceptional leadership in the field of patient safety. They bring together clinical expertise and research and evaluation skills to solve very challenging problems. The team comprises three researchers from UNSW: Professors Jeffrey Braithwaite, Enrico Coiera and Ric Day; as well Professor Johanna Westbrook from the University of Sydney and Professor Bill Runciman from the University of South Australia and the Joanna Briggs Institute.
Contact: Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite 0414 812 579
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