Health Bulletin 19 July 2021

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Cancer patients use smartphones to provide feedback on their care experience

The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) have funded a pilot project (Project) by Princess Alexandra Hospital in partnership with digital health company, The Clinician. The Project asks cancer patients to use their smartphones to provide feedback on their quality of care. It was designed to improve patient care and patient experience during cancer treatment, as well as the quality of patient data for their healthcare providers.

The Project involves the distribution of an electronic ‘patient-reported experience – cancer’ (PRE-C) questionnaire, which are more broadly known as ‘patient-reported experience measures’ (PREMs). These questionnaires are aimed at determining whether healthcare services are meeting the needs of patients.

As part of the Project, The Clinician developed a digital platform, ZEDOC, that is fully integrated with state-wide patient databases such as the Patient Administration System (PAS) and MyHealth Record. The results of the Project demonstrated high patient engagement with the PRE-C through the ZEDOC platform (nearly 100 per cent for in-clinic administration of PRE-C) and consequently greater efficiency in the delivery of feedback to health practitioners at Princess Alexandra Hospital.

The Project is one of a series of digital health initiatives ADHA is funding to improve the use of data in patient care.

Click here to access the media release in full.

National One-Stop-Shop consultations for health and medical research platform

The Australian Government has commenced a clinical trials initiative called the ‘National One-Stop-Shop’. The initiative, developed by the Clinical Trials Project Reference Group, is being conducted nationally by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare.

The purpose of the National One-Stop-Shop is to achieve an effective and streamlined approvals platform and online portal for all health and medical research. This will benefit researchers, industry representatives and sponsors who are interested in research in Australia. The key features of the platform will include:

  • cross-jurisdictional ethics and governance approvals platform;
  • an incorporated Clinical Trials Notification and Clinical Trials Approved schemes administered by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA);
  • automated next-generation national clinical trials registry; and
  • monitoring and reporting functionality to suit different users.

To register your interest, click here or to find out more, click here.

The next 40 years of Australian healthcare

The Federal Government has released the 2021 Intergenerational Report, projecting the country’s economic outlook and national budget over the next 40 years. The report also examines the sustainability of current policies and how demographic, technological and other structural trends may affect the national economy and budget.

Some of the predictions made by the report are as follows:

  • Due to lower migration and fertility rates, Australia’s population by 2061 will be 38.8 million (the 2015 Intergenerational Report had predicted 40 million).
  • The number of Australians aged 65 and over will double to approximately 7 million by 2061.
  • With the number of people over the age of 70 being a key driver of aged care spending, healthcare system costs in Australia are also expected to increase.
  • Health expenditure per person will rise from $3250 in 2019 to $3970 in 2032, before reaching $8700 by 2061.
  • The Government will increase its health expenditure from the current 19% of total government expenditure to 26% by 2061.
  • Of all government health expenditure, public hospital funding is projected to be the fastest growing component, almost doubling by 2032.
  • Per-person expenditure under the Medicare Benefits Schedule will increase from the current $1110 to $1280 by 2032.
  • Per-person expenditure under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme will increase from the current $540 to $590 by 2032.
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme expenditure by the Government will increase from the current average spend of $56,620 per participant to $80,830 by 2061.

Following the release of the report, peak health bodies like the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and Consumers Health Forum of Australia have called for better investment in primary care and preventive health initiatives, citing chronic disease and avoidable hospital admissions as significant contributors to health costs.

You can read the 2021 Intergenerational Report by clicking here.


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