Grants will translate research into best practice patient care
In a bid to spark an increase in the use of research evidence in health care, the Minister for Health and Ageing, Senator Kay Patterson, today announced funding for hospitals and researchers willing to take up the challenge
17 April 2002
Grants will translate research into best practice patient careIn a bid to spark an increase in the use of research evidence in health care, the Minister for Health and Ageing, Senator Kay Patterson, today announced funding for hospitals and researchers willing to take up the challenge.
Grants totalling $521,539 will be used to close the gaps between medical research findings and effective treatment for patients. "The grants, ranging from diabetes in remote communities, to head injury management in emergency departments, cover a whole range of good ideas about how to put the evidence into action, and look at ways to encourage the uptake of proven treatments", Senator Patterson said.
"It is internationally acknowledged that it takes time for the medical evidence about best practice to be adopted in health care settings. Whatever we can do to speed up this process will be of great benefit to patients", Senator Patterson said.
Senator Patterson officially announced the first round of grants today on behalf of the National Institute of Clinical Studies (NICS), a Commonwealth-owned company established to increase the use of research evidence in health care. Funded projects will take from seven to 18 months to be completed.
Senator Patterson said that the goal of NICS is to help health care professionals apply research knowledge that will improve the quality of the care they provide to their patients.
"These grants are designed to help find practical ways to close the gaps between evidence and best practice," Senator Patterson said.
"Other countries such as the UK, USA and Sweden are also grappling with this issue, and I believe Australia's National Institute of Clinical Studies represents a unique response to solving this vexing problem," Senator Patterson said.
The National Institute of Clinical Studies (NICS) First Targeted Grant Round
Summary of funded projects
- Reducing CT scanning after minor head trauma (The Canberra Hospital - Emergency Medicine): Based on the 'Canadian CT head rule', this project seeks to standardise care and reduce unnecessary brain scanning for patients after trivial or minor head trauma. Data collection and an education campaign will be used to adapt the rule to an Australian emergency department setting.
- Decision support systems in acute coronary syndromes (Flinders Medical Centre): This project will evaluate an electronic decision support system for the management of acute coronary syndromes. The system will incorporate best practice guidelines into the workflow of clinicians, while collecting data and providing feedback on their practice patterns and patient outcomes.
- Evaluating interventions to increase physical activity (University of New South Wales - School of Public Health and Community Medicine): This project will review the evidence for the effectiveness of interventions by health professionals to promote physical activity and assess the appropriateness of these 'best practice' principles for general practice in Australia.
- Clinical Medical Librarians in an acute hospital setting (Repatriation General Hospital - Medical Library): This project seeks to improve access to evidence in clinical decision making by investigating and piloting a role for Clinical Medical Librarians in supporting patient care.
- Online access to clinically-focussed evidence at the point of care (University of New South Wales - Centre for Health Informatics): This project will compare the effectiveness of two online evidence-delivery systems in influencing the decisions of hospital clinicians, general practitioners and clinical nurse consultants.
- Diabetes risk management in remote Indigenous communities (James Cook University - Faculty of Medicine): This project seeks to improve the ability of Indigenous health workers in remote communities in north Queensland to work with clients with diabetes to better manage behavioural risk in four areas: smoking, wearing appropriate shoes, walking and improving nutrition.
- Reducing caesarean sections for breech presentation (Central Sydney Area Health Service - Centre for Perinatal Health Services Research): Caesarean sections for breech presentation can be reduced by the use of external cephalic version (ECV), a procedure where breech babies are turned to cephalic presentation prior to labour. This project will distribute and evaluate a brochure suggesting women prompt their obstetric care provider about foetal presentation and ECV, accompanied by educational training for clinicians.
- Reducing cervical spine X-rays after blunt trauma (Royal Brisbane Hospital - Department of Emergency Medicine): This project seeks to standardise care and reduce unnecessary X-rays for alert and stable patients after blunt trauma to the cervical spine by promoting the use of the NEXUS criteria in hospital emergency departments. Data collected will also be used to evaluate the 'Canadian C-spine rule' against the NEXUS criteria.
- Reducing pathology investigations in an acute hospital setting (Royal North Shore Hospital): This project seeks to implement a multifaceted intervention program to reduce ordering of inappropriate pathology investigations by Junior Medical Officers in five Australian hospitals.
Robyn Hall, Department of Health and Ageing (02) 6289 5485