17 July 2017

The Burden of Musculoskeletal Conditions in Australia

This report from AIHW presents findings from the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011 on the burden of musculoskeletal conditions in Australia. Musculoskeletal conditions were the fourth leading contributor to total burden of disease in Australia, with back pain and problems, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis being the greatest contributors to the musculoskeletal burden.

Download report: The burden of musculoskeletal conditions in Australia: a detailed analysis of the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011
ISSN 2204-4108 (PDF) 2006-4508 (Print); ISBN 978-1-76054-150-7; Cat. no. BOD 14; 28p.

Respiratory Conditions in Australia

This report published by AIHW presents information on the disease burden of chronic respiratory conditions using data from the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011. Respiratory conditions were the sixth leading contributor to total burden of disease in Australia, with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma and upper respiratory conditions being the greatest contributors to the respiratory burden.

Download report: The burden of chronic respiratory conditions in Australia: a detailed analysis of theAustralian Burden of Disease Study 2011

N 2204-4108 (PDF) 2006-4508 (Print); ISBN 978-1-76054-152-1; Cat. no. BOD 15; 32pp.  

Evidence Check

A Sax Institute Evidence Check involves conducting a rapid review of existing research and evidence that is tailored to  a policy agency’s individual needs. An Evidence Check review is a synthesis, summary and analysis of the best and most relevant research evidence to inform policy making
and program development. Evidence Check is used by a range of agencies, including government and statutory agencies, non-government organisations, and other policy making agencies.
Click here to read what is involved in an Evidence Check.

Health IT-Related Patient Safety Incidents

A new report, Literature Review and Environmental Scan on Approaches to the Review and Investigation of Health IT-Related Patient Safety Incidents, has been published by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.
The Australian Institute of Health Innovation (AIHI) at Macquarie University performed a literature review and environmental scan on investigating health IT-related patient safety incidents . The subsequent report identifies methods for monitoring hazards affecting health IT systems, and for investigating incidents resulting from the use of these systems.
Download the report here.  

Potentially Preventable Hospitalisations in 2015-16

This web update provides the latest rates of potentially preventable hospitalisations for Australia's 31 Primary Health Network areas and more than 300 smaller local areas.
It updates information for 22 conditions where hospitalisation may have been prevented by timely and appropriate provision of primary or community-based health care.

Results are highlighted for five conditions that contribute most to the number of days spent in hospital for potentially preventable hospitalisations: 
       - chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,
       - diabetes complications,
       - congestive heart failure,
       - cellulitis, and
       - kidney and urinary tract infections. 
This web update is accompanied by an interactive tool allowing users to explore the data in depth for their area and compare with other local communities.

AIHW. (2017). Web update: Potentially preventable hospitalisations in 2015–16

Childhood obesity quadruples risk of type 2 diabetes

The growing rate of childhood obesity is fuelling an increase in type 2 diabetes among UK children, say researchers who have found a fourfold greater risk of diabetes in obese children. A retrospective cohort study of 369,362 children aged 2 to 15 years between 1994 and 2013 identified 654 incident cases of type 2 diabetes, and 1318 cases of type 1 diabetes.
The study, published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society, found an increasing incidence in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes over the study period. However, only type 2 diabetes was shown to have a linear association with obesity.

Ali Abbasi, Dorota Juszczyk, Cornelia H. M. van Jaarsveld, Martin C. Gulliford; Body Mass Index and Incident Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes in Children and Young Adults: A Retrospective Cohort Study. J. Endocr. Soc. 2017; 1 (5): 524-537. doi: 10.1210/js.2017-00044
(if you cannot access the full text via the link, please contact your library)

11 July 2017

Palliative Radiation Therapy for Bone Metastases

The American Society for Radiation Oncology has published "Palliative radiation therapy for bone metastases: update of an ASTRO evidence-based guideline". 
Interventions and practices considered include;
1. External beam radiotherapy (EBRT)
2. Single- versus multiple-fraction radiation schedules
3. Repeat radiotherapy 
4. Stereotactic body radiotherapy (considered but not recommended as primary treatment outside of clinical trials).

Download the full guideline here.

Effective Care for High-Need Patients

This special publication from the National Academey of Medicine is the result of 3 workshops on how to better manage the care of the high-need patient population. The report states; “the top 1 percent of patients account for more than 20 percent of health care expenditures, and the top 5 percent account for nearly half of the nation’s spending on health care”.  
The Academy argues that “Improving care for high-need patients is not only possible–it also contributes to a more sustainable health system".

Effective Care for High-Need Patients: Opportunities for Improving Outcomes, Value, and HealthLong P, Abrams M, Milstein A, Anderson G, Lewis Apton K, Lund Dahlberg M, et al., editors. Washington D. C.: National Academy of Medicine; 2017.   

Cost of Cancer to the Patient

The articles in the latest issue of Cancer Forum provide a valuable overview of the research into the cost of cancer to the patient and their families. Although healthcare in Australia is largely publicly funded, there are out-of-pocket costs associated with diagnosis, treatment and survival, even in the public system. In Australia, people with cancer report relatively high out-of-pocket health costs and a heavy burden of out-of-pocket costs relative to income.
 Unemployment and reduced employment after a cancer diagnosis is associated with reduced financial reserves, impaired quality of life, and possibly reduced survival.

Cancer Forum,Vol 41 (2), 2017   

When Patient Centred is no Longer Enough

Michael Millenson has written an essay on the changes to patient centred care, with technological, economic and social changes in health creating new networks of collaboration. There are three core principles to collaborative health stated by the author;
  • Shared information
  • Shared engagement
  • Shared accountability.

When “patient centred” is no longer enough: the challenge of collaborative health: an essay by Michael L Millenson. (Published 05 July 2017)  BMJ 2017;358:j3048  

Medication Safety in Mental Health

This study undertaken by the University of South Australia, focused on medication safety issues in mental health in hospital and community settings.
The study found that existing medication safety practices and strategies may not be in widespread use across mental health services in Australia.  Consumers and carers want more personalised information about their medications, a need to be more engaged in shared decision making around treatment options and monitoring of side effects of medications has found to be inadequate.

University of South Australia. (2017) Medication Safety in Mental Health.   

Improving Documentation at Transistions of Care

In Australia there are an increasing number of people who have complex and chronic healthcare needs, and it is common for their care to be provided by a number of different clinicians and health providers, across many different settings. This includes care delivery across hospitals, private rooms, general practices and other locations.
The points of handover when patients move between clinicians are known as ‘transitions of care’, and these are recognised as times of high risk for patients as there is an increased risk of information being miscommunicated or lost.
There is strong evidence that poor documentation of information at transitions of care is a key safety and quality issue for patients.

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (2017). Improving Documentation at Transitions of Care for Complex Patients. 

06 July 2017

Psoriasis: British Journal of Dermatology free issue

A special issue on Psoriasis from the British Journal of Dermatology is now available to download for free. Articles include identifying biomarkers, quality of life instruments and therapies.

British Journal of Dermatology, March 2017. Volume 176, Issue 3

05 July 2017

Domestic and Family Violence and Parenting

This paper examines the current state of knowledge on the impact of domestic and family violence (DFV) on parenting. The research captures the experiences and impacts on fathers, mothers, and children at varying ages and stages of development and independence. It considers how often DFV occurs among parents; the impact of DFV on parenting; the methods and behaviours used by perpetrators to disrupt the mother-child relationship; and interventions used to strengthen and support a healthy mother-child relationship.

Domestic and family violence and parenting: mixed method insights into impact and support needs - final report.  2017. Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety. 

27 June 2017

Question Builder

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care and Healthdirect Australia have jointly launched the Question Builder, a free web-based tool to help people prepare for their medical appointment and make the best use of the time with their doctor.
Question Builder helps people create a list of questions they might like to ask their doctor, prepare for the questions their doctor may ask them, and allows them to print out or email the question list so they can use it in their appointment.  

Link to Question Builder here.