HCF Research Foundation and RACGP fund innovative General Practice research in chronic disease management

Sydney, 31 August 2015 - The HCF Research Foundation, in partnership with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), has awarded $115,000 in research grants to two general practitioner researchers.

The grants, to the value of approximately $55,000 and $59,800, will fund research into primary health care and general practice (GP) with the aim of improving management of chronic disease and enhancing the quality, effectiveness and cost of primary care.

The RACGP Foundation Patron, Professor Peter Mudge, said: “These research grants acknowledge the vital contribution GPs make to furthering medical advancements within the community. GPs have the capability to build research evidence that is necessary to deliver the highest quality health outcomes to all Australians.”

HCF Research Foundation Chair Lisa McIntyre said: “These grants are extremely significant at a time when policy-makers and the health care industry are looking at ways to improve management of chronic illness at the primary care level.

Dr Christopher Pearce, from Monash University, received the grant for his pioneering GAUGE study. The study seeks to fill an important gap in the suite of tools currently available for health research in Australia, by linking existing datasets capable of capturing the entire patient journey from GP to emergency department through to hospital admission.

The new, linked data set will be used to assess the GP management of chronic disease in older people, and how this management is associated with presentation at emergency departments and hospital admission. Presentations to emergency departments deemed ‘potentially avoidable’ will be a particular focus of study, as the measurement of these is a central Key Performance Indicator for the newly established Primary Health Networks.

The second grant was awarded to Dr Paresh Dawda, from the University of Canberra, for an innovative pilot project that seeks to determine whether a GP clinic kiosk or pod can improve the quality of clinical data and empower patients to ask questions about their own health.

A recent study in Canberra found that GP clinic databases are largely incomplete and have missing patient information. The project will test the feasibility of a Patient EmPowerment Pod (3P) in collecting measurable data from patients visiting the GP, and enhancing the patient’s consultation.

“We would like to congratulate both Dr Pearce and Dr Dawda on the quality of their research proposals. Their innovative projects will contribute to the improvement of chronic disease management and the quality of primary care. As an advocate for reforms to better manage chronic illness, the HCF Research Foundation is particularly pleased to see grant recipients undertake research to make a difference in this area,” Ms McIntyre said.

Further information on the HCF Research Foundation

HCF Foundation funds GP research

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