Driving systemic improvements in the safety and quality of health service delivery

Our research is responding to the need to prevent avoidable patient harm and variability in care delivery.

Despite concerted efforts, avoidable patient harm and variability in care delivery persist, as evidenced by the following:

  • Consistent leadership, management and quality performance problems have emerged from multiple public reviews and inquiries into patient harm over the past 20 years
  • Australian research suggests that around one in every 10 patients suffers a complication of care during their hospital stay, with half of those complications being avoidable
  • In the financial year 2017–18, admissions associated with hospital-acquired complications (HACs) were estimated by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care to cost the public sector $4.1 billion, or 8.9% of total hospital expenditure
  • The final report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety highlighted serious quality and safety issues requiring significant improvement within the aged care sector

Our research contributes to the national response to these challenges by: 

  • Developing a strong interface between research, education and practice through our extensive partnership model with health services
  • Implementing best evidence for nurse-led strategies to prevent harms common to older people in acute hospitals through better recognition and response to abnormal vital signs, improving inter-professional communication and preventing medical error
  • Evaluating clinical outcomes to improve maternal and neonatal outcomes
  • Improving symptom management across clinical settings, predominantly in pain management
  • Improving clinical decision making and facilitating the use of research in practice to improve patient outcomes
  • Supporting improvement in medication safety in acute and community settings
  • Measuring the effectiveness of interventions to improve patient safety and reduce harm