Thursday, 31 October 2013

What works to overcome Indigenous disadvantage: key learnings and gaps in the evidence 2011-12

What works to overcome Indigenous disadvantage: key learnings and gaps in the evidence 2011-12 summarises the findings of the Closing the Gap Clearinghouse on what works to reduce Indigenous disadvantage in relation to 3 Council of Australian Governments building blocks, namely, 'early childhood', 'health' and 'safe communities'. The report also identified gaps in the evidence in these three areas.

The principles and practices that underpin successful programs for Indigenous Australians include flexibility in design and delivery, community involvement and engagement in both the development and delivery of programs, the importance of building trust and relationships, a well-trained, well-resourced and retained workforce, and continuity and coordination of services.

Report Appendices

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Diabetes and disability: impairments, activity limitations, participation restrictions and comorbidities (AIHW)

Diabetes and disability: impairments, activity limitations, participation restrictions and comorbidities examines the association between diabetes and disability in Australia using data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers 2009. People with diabetes were twice as likely to have a disability (39% compared with 17%) and almost 3 times as likely to have a severe or profound limitation (14% compared with 5%) than people without diabetes.

Among working-age people with diabetes and disability, 40% said they were permanently unable to work compared with 20% of people with a disability who did not have diabetes. People with diabetes reported higher rates of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, depression, vision loss and kidney related disorders than people without diabetes.

Media release

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

My breast cancer journey: a guide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their families.

"My breast cancer journey: a guide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their families" has been developed in response to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women highlighting the need for culturally appropriate, supportive breast cancer information. It contains practical information to help navigate the breast cancer journey and improve understanding about breast cancer, treatment options and follow-up care.

This resource has been created in collaboration with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women with various stages of breast cancer, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women working in the health sector and family and friends of women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Details, ordering & online version.

Monday, 28 October 2013

The women's health portal (Aboriginal women's health)

Jean Hailes for Women's Health is proud to announce the development of a new online health information hub for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers, The women's health portal.

Developed in partnership with the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet (AIH), the new online resource aims to provide health workers with access to evidence-based key information about a variety of women's reproductive life stages.

"We are delighted to be partnering with HealthInfoNet to provide a relevant and accessible online resource for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers across Australia," said Jean Hailes project leader, Louise Browne. "Together, our organisations have combined research translation, expertise, knowledge transfer and community education and outreach to be able to provide the highest quality information on women's health."

Topics include the menstrual cycle, contraception, pregnancy planning, fertility issues, polycystic ovary syndrome and menopause.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Vital signs 2013: the state of safety and quality in Australian health care

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has released VitalSigns 2013: The State of Safety and Quality in Australian Health Care. This report provides an overview of a series of key topics in relation to the safety and quality of Australia's health care system.

Professor Debora Picone, Chief Executive of the Commission noted "Vital Signs 2013 focuses on 3 important questions that members of the public may ask about their health care. Will my care be safe? Will I get the right care? Will I be a partner in my care?"

Each question is considered in its own section using examples of key health issues in Australia, such as medication safety and stroke care. These sections are followed by three case studies, which focus on the quality of care in some important clinical areas. These case studies present a detailed description and analysis of key quality issues that affect outcomes for patients. Vital Signs 2013 is the first release of what will be an annual publication.

Media release

Monday, 21 October 2013

Australian hospital statistics 2012-13: emergency department care (AIHW)

Australian hospital statistics 2012-13: emergency department care

In 2012-13:

- There were more than 6.7 million presentations to public hospital emergency departments
- 73% of patients received treatment within an appropriate time for their urgency (triage) category
- 67% of patients spent 4 hours or less in the emergency department
- 1.8 million patients were admitted to the hospital from the emergency department, and 36% of these were admitted within 4 hours.

Media release

Thursday, 17 October 2013

A problem worth solving: the rising cost of musculoskeletal conditions in Australia

A problem worth solving: the rising cost of musculoskeletal conditions in Australia, produced by Arthritis Victoria and Osteoporosis Victoria based on analysis by Deloitte Access Economics, details the rising cost of musculoskeletal conditions in Australia and makes a case for why there needs to be a proactive, strategic response.

Key findings include:

* $55.1 billion cost to the Australian economy, including direct health costs, lost productivity and reduced quality of life
* 6.1 million Australians already affected, of which 58% are of working age in peak income earning years (25-64 years)
* 43% growth in musculoskeletal cases projected over the next two decades, including a surge in older Australians living with the conditions

Chronic kidney disease: regional variation in Australia (AIHW)

Chronic kidney disease is a common and serious problem in Australia and its management can be resource intensive, particularly for the most severe form of the disease: end-stage kidney disease.

Rates of chronic kidney disease vary by geographic location. Chronic kidney disease: regional variation in Australia shows:

- people from Remote and very remote areas were 2.2 times more likely to die from chronic kidney disease than people from Major cities.
- people from Very remote areas were at least 4 times more likely to start kidney replacement therapy (dialysis or kidney transplant) than people from non-remote areas.

The report also investigates the likelihood of patients moving while receiving kidney replacement therapy (dialysis or kidney transplantation) for end-stage kidney disease. More than half (57%) of patients who lived in Very remote areas at the start of their first treatment changed to less remote areas during their first year of treatment.

Media release

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Depression in residential aged care 2008-2012 (AIHW)

Entry into residential aged care can be a challenging experience and the presence of depression can add to this challenge. Depression in residential aged care 2008-2012 provides the first in-depth review of available administrative data to explore the prevalence and characteristics of people with symptoms of depression in residential aged care. In 2012, over half (52%) of all permanent residential aged care residents had symptoms of depression. Between 2008 and 2012, residents admitted to care for the first time who had symptoms of depression were more likely to have high care needs, and were more likely to have behaviours which impacted on care needs.

Media release

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Global Handbook on Noncommunicable Diseases and Health Promotion [Free full text]

Global Handbook on Noncommunicable Diseases and Health Promotion (book) McQueen David (Ed.) ISBN: 978-1-4614-7593-4 (2013).

This book is divided into sections: Section 1 is on theoretical and methodological issues arising with both Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) and health promotion; Section 2 is called "lenses for understanding NCDs"; Section 3 focuses on approaches to try and change the burden of NCDs using perspectives ranging from treatment to policy. Finally Section IV looks at institutions and organizations that have NCDs and health promotion in their remit.

See: http://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-1-4614-7594-1/page/1

Quality Improvement Made Simple

The Health Foundation (UK) Has released a second edition of its guide Quality improvement made simple: What everyone should know about healthcare quality improvement.

This is not a "how to" guide. Instead, it offers a clear explanation of some common approaches used to improve quality, including where they have come from, their underlying principles and their efficacy and applicability within the healthcare arena.

It is written for a general healthcare audience and will be most useful for those new to the field of quality improvement, or those wanting to be reminded of the key points.

Mental health services in brief 2013 (AIHW)

Mental health services in brief 2013 provides an overview of data about the national response of the health and welfare system to the mental health care needs of Australians. It is designed to accompany the more comprehensive data on Australia's mental health services available online at AIHW's Mental Health Services in Australia (MHSA) website.

The following sections of the MHSA website have also been updated.
* Mental health services provided in emergency departments
* Background to mental health services in Australia
* Technical information
* State and territory summary data tables

Media release

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Out of Sight - a report into diabetic eye disease in Australia : a grim forecast

Ahead of World Sight Day (October 10), a new national report on diabetic eye disease casts a dark shadow on the eye health of future generations of Australians with diabetes. Almost all people with type 1 diabetes, which typically develops in childhood, and 60 per cent of those with type 2 diabetes, will develop some form of diabetic eye disease with many going on to experience vision loss or blindness within 20 years of their diabetes diagnosis.

Out of Sight - a report into diabetic eye disease in Australia by Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute and the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA), provides an overview of the impact of diabetic eye disease, specifically diabetic retinopathy on Australians.

Diabetes, the nation's fastest growing chronic disease, poses a 25 times greater risk of blindness for the almost 1 million Australians diagnosed with the disease (and the 700,000 who presently have undiagnosed diabetes) than for the general population.

"One of the serious complications of diabetes is its considerable impact on vision: an area of diabetes management where timely diagnosis and treatment is not at its optimum. With the number of Australians affected by diabetes expected to double in the next decade, including the rise in type 2 diabetes in young people and the prevalence of type 1 diabetes increasing by approximately 3% every year, particularly in very young children, diabetic eye disease will continue to pose significant personal, public health and economic challenges," said Associate Professor Jonathan Shaw, Head of Clinical Diabetes and Epidemiology, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute.

Affecting an estimated 300,000 Australians, diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in Australians under 60, affecting them during the prime of their working lives.

Media release

beyondblue's National Mental Health Survey of Doctors and Medical Students

A world-first survey of thousands of Australian doctors and medical students has revealed they are burnt-out, more likely to experience psychological distress and suicidal thoughts than the general community and are drinking too much alcohol.

beyondblue's National Mental Health Survey of Doctors and Medical Students found that medical students and young or female doctors are most at risk and identified that significant levels of stigma towards people with mental health problems. Some respondents also reported that they were bullied or experienced racism.

beyondblue CEO Kate Carnell AO said more must be done not only to help doctors and students, but also patients. "If doctors do not deal with the mental health issues they are experiencing, it can affect their ability to deliver the best care," she said. "This survey identifies the challenges the medical community faces and outlines how they can be tackled".

"This includes initiatives such as the development of a mental health strategy for the Australian medical community to promote good mental health, the development of guidelines around working hours, better mental health education in universities to reduce stigma, and awareness campaigns".

1 in five medical students and 1 in 10 doctors had suicidal thoughts in the past year, compared with one in 45 people in the wider community, according to the report. More than 4 in 10 students and a quarter of doctors are highly likely to have a minor psychiatric disorder, like mild depression or mild anxiety. Indigenous doctors and those working in rural or remote health also reported high levels of stress.


Media release and summary findings

Full report

Executive summary

Friday, 4 October 2013

Australian hospital statistics 2012-13: elective surgery waiting times (AIHW)

Australian hospital statistics 2012-13: elective surgery waiting times

In 2012-13:

- about 673,000 patients were admitted to Australian public hospitals from elective surgery waiting lists
- 50% of patients were admitted for their surgery within 36 days of being placed on the waiting list and 90% were admitted within 265 days.

Media release

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Cancer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia: an overview (AIHW)

Cancer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia: an overview brings together the most up-to-date data available from a wide range of sources to describe the status of cancer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia. Information on difference across age, sex and remoteness areas are presented and key issues are highlighted. The report provides a comprehensive picture of cancer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia that should be useful to health professionals, policy makers and others with an interest in the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

Media release

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Top 10 patient safety strategies that can be adopted now (AHRQ)

Making Health Care Safer II: An Updated Critical Analysis of the Evidence for Patient Safety Practices (AHRQ Evidence Report No. 211) updates the 2001 report, Making Health Care Safer: A Critical Analysis of Patient Safety Practices (AHRQ Evidence Report No. 43). The 2001 report analyzed the strength of evidence for patient safety practices in use at that time. The 2013 report analyzed a growing body of patient safety research to determine the level of evidence regarding the outcomes, as well as implementation, adoption, and the context in which safety strategies have been used.

After analyzing 41 patient safety practices, an international panel of patient safety experts identified 22 strategies ready for adoption based on the strength and quality of evidence:. Enough evidence exists that health systems and institutions can move forward in implementing these strategies to improve the safety and quality of health care.

Of the 22 strategies identified in Making Health Care Safer II, 10 are "strongly encouraged" for adoption based on the strength and quality of evidence:

1.Preoperative checklists and anesthesia checklists to prevent operative and postoperative events.
2.Bundles that include checklists to prevent central line-associated bloodstream infections.
3.Interventions to reduce urinary catheter use, including catheter reminders, stop orders, or nurse-initiated removal protocols.
4.Bundles that include head-of-bed elevation, sedation vacations, oral care with chlorhexidine, and subglottic-suctioning endotracheal tubes to prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia.
5.Hand hygiene.
6."Do Not Use" list for hazardous abbreviations.
7.Multicomponent interventions to reduce pressure ulcers.
8.Barrier precautions to prevent healthcare-associated infections.
9.Use of real-time ultrasound for central line placement.
10.Interventions to improve prophylaxis for venous thromboembolisms.

Links to resources and further information.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services report 2011-12: Online Services Report - key results (AIHW)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services report 2011-12: Online Services Report - key results is the fourth national report on health services, Aboriginal community controlled and non-community controlled health organisations, funded by the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health.

In 2011-12:
- primary health care services provided 2.6 million episodes of care to about 445,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients, a 5% increase from 2010-11;
- substance use services provided treatment and assistance to about 32,600 clients, a 14% increase from 2010-11;
- Bringing Them Home and Link Up counselling services were accessed by about 9,800 clients, 96% of whom were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients.

Remote Australia Online Database (Ninti One)

Remote Australia Online is a free online platform that delivers authoritative research on topics that impact on remote Australia region and its people, including education and its pathways, policy, business, social and cultural welfare, infrastructure, communication and natural resource management.

Remote Australia Online is for those who want to delve deeper into the complexities of remote Australia: its intricate and interconnected networks, the geographical, social, cultural and environmental influences, its opportunities, challenges, and to understand just what makes this unique region tick.

The keyword-searchable database contains a diverse range of material, including links to much hard-to-get report and conference material.

National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

The 2nd edition of the National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people has just been published.

This second edition of the National Guide comprises:

* the National Guide, which contains evidence statements, recommendations, risk calculation tables and an outline of the development of the guide
* the evidence base: the collection of evidence underpinning the guide and recommendations
* Searching the evidence base and drafting recommendations
* a child and adult lifecycle summary wall chart listing activities recommended at each age group.

The National Guide can be used in conjunction with the RACGP Guidelines for preventive activities in general practice "red book" and with the Medicare Benefits Schedule rebate item 715: Health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

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