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About the HSRAANZ

Founded in 2001, the Health Services Research Association of Australia & New Zealand (HSRAANZ) supports and promotes the conduct and dissemination of applied research to improve the delivery and organisation of health services in Australia and New Zealand. With a wide range of individual and corporate members from universities, research centres, government departments, independent government agencies, and consumer groups the Association bridges the gap between research and policy, as well as reflecting consumer issues. We also have two special interest groups, focussing on Emerging Researchers and Indigenous Health Services Research, both of which have a prominent role at our main conference. [read more]
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Our latest member profile is Mark F Owusu who is a researcher at the  the School of Health Sciences, University of Canterbury.  Mark's research interests are non-communicable disease management, health systems research and policy, evidence in health services research, implementation science

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    • 06 DEC 16

    New HSRAANZ Executive Committee

    Read about the Association’s new Executive Committtee announced at our AGM on 1 December 2016. And let our Executive Officer, Sarah Green know if you would like to get more actively involved with the work of the Association.

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    • 05 DEC 16
    Screening for important unwarranted variation in clinical practice: a triple-test of processes of care, costs and patient outcomes

    Screening for important unwarranted variation in clinical practice: a triple-test of processes of care, costs and patient outcomes

    Andrew Partington from the School of Public Health, University of Adelaide talks about his paper which won the HSRAANZ Best Quantitative Paper Award .

    Quality improvement initiatives in healthcare are not trivial pursuits. They require resources and engagement with clinicians and front line staff. Policy levers are needed to prioritise initiatives with the greatest ‘bang for buck’ to reduce the risk of seemingly ‘inefficient policy’ being scrapped.

    Andrew’s paper presents a case study of a practicable approach to using routinely collected data to compare risk-adjusted costs, outcomes and processes across providers and patient sub-groups. Such analyses improve on the use of singular, non-adjusted measures of performance to identify priority areas for non-trivial investments in time and financial resources to improve service quality.

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    • 05 DEC 16

    Stopping futile treatment – the challenge for doctors

    The winners of the HSRAANZ Best Qualitative Paper Award talk about their research on the reasons doctors provide futile treatment.

    There is evidence that doctors sometimes provide treatment at the end of life even though they believe it will not benefit the patient. However, little is known about why this occurs. Recent empirical research (96 interviews of doctors from a range of specialties in three tertiary public hospitals) undertaken in Australia has shed light on this. Doctors attribute this to a wide range of inter-related factors: characteristics of treating doctors (including their orientation towards curative treatment); attributes of the patient and family (including their requests for further treatment and prognostic uncertainty); and hospital factors (including a high degree of specialisation).

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    • 05 DEC 16

    Twenty-five years of prescription opioid use in Australia

    This paper by Emily Karanges, which won the HSRAANZ Award for the Best Paper by an Emerging Researcher, describes trends in prescription opioid use in Australia over 25 years, since 1990, and maps these trends against major changes to opioid regulation and subsidy. Using data on both subsidised and unsubsidised prescriptions dispensed from community pharmacies and private hospitals, the study revealed a 4-fold increase in dispensing, as measured by defined daily doses (DDD)/1000 pop/day. There was a clear shift over time from short- to long-acting opioids and from weaker to stronger opioids.

    While regulatory changes had little immediate effect on opioid use, the subsidy of long-acting formulations and the expansion of subsidy to include the treatment of non-cancer pain were major precipitators of growth. With the uncertainty about the long-term efficacy of opioids in chronic non-cancer pain and current attempts to curb opioid use and harms, the impact of these policy changes on utilisation should not be overlooked.

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    • 05 DEC 16

    Does a host country capture knowledge of migrant doctors and how might it? A study of UK doctors in New Zealand

    This paper from Robin Gauld and Simon Horsburgh which won the HSRAANZ Award for the Best New Zealand Paper investigated International Medical Graduate (IMG) perspectives on opportunities to share knowledge and experience with host country professionals and the mechanisms for this.

    IMGs from the UK registered with the New Zealand Medical Council were surveyed. 82% of respondents agreed colleagues were receptive to their knowledge contribution; 67% felt encouraged to share knowledge gained abroad; 60% felt encouraged to share knowledge of the UK or other health systems. Only 45% believed clear mechanisms were in place for knowledge sharing. Options for improving knowledge transfer include formal organisational arrangements, use of knowledge brokers and building communities of practice.

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    • 05 DEC 16
    Preventable hospitalisations: geographic variation is more a measure of the health of the population than of GP supply

    Preventable hospitalisations: geographic variation is more a measure of the health of the population than of GP supply

    Michael Falster, from the Centre for Big Data Research in Health, UNSW tells us about his research which has won the HSRAANZ Best PhD Student Prize.

    Geographic rates of preventable hospitalisations are used internationally as an indicator of accessibility and quality of primary care, yet the extent to which other factors characterise variation is unclear. Using linked questionnaire and administrative hospital data for 267,091 participants in the 45 and Up Study, this study found that GP supply explained only a small amount of geographic variation, while over 1/3 of variation was driven by the socio-demographic composition, health and behaviours of the population. This effect varied between conditions, with these results suggesting the most appropriate policy responses are targeted prevention and intervention strategies, particularly for chronic diseases.

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    • 04 DEC 16

    Kathryn North, Director Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

    Kathryn North, Director of the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, one of our new corporate members, talks to us about the Centre’s research.

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    • 17 NOV 16

    Health Services Research: it won’t cure cancer, but it will get better value from today’s services

    After extensive public consultation with consumers, researchers, healthcare providers and managers, the government last week released two reports from the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board: the Australian Medical Research and Innovation Strategy 2016-2021, and the accompanying Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities 2016-2018. The response to the two documents from prominent researchers and peak research bodies has been positive, with the focus on improving health systems and structures particularly welcome.

    In this article originally posted on the Croakey Blog HSRAANZ President Jon Karnon and Professor Nicholas Graves explain why health services research will deliver value for the medical research dollar.

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