11 July 2011

Improvements to maternity care, and the quality and safety of GP services will be the focus of a new multi-partner research body, administered by The University of Queensland (UQ).

The Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute (APHCRI) Centre of Research Excellence, which will build quality, governance, performance and sustainability in primary health care through the Clinical Microsystem Approach, will be officially launched tomorrow (12 July) in Brisbane.

The Centre has received funding of $2.5m, over the next four years from the APHCRI to address primary health care quality, governance, performance and sustainability issues identified within the national health reform agenda.

The research aims to support Australian primary care as it moves from a series of disparate sectors to an integrated system, able to reliably engage in health reform.

Research streams will include:

• Improving maternity share care in Queensland – trialing and evaluating a national evidence-based, web-enabled maternity e-record to safely and effectively integrate clinical care between midwives, GPs, obstetricians, allied health professionals and patients
• Improving the quality and safety of primary healthcare (in particular general practice) – by identifying the characteristics of high performing practices and how to spread high performance.

Professor Claire Jackson is the Centre’s Director. The Centre will be headquartered in UQ’s Discipline of General Practice where she is Director of Primary Care Research. Professor Jackson is also President of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

“The Centre is a huge opportunity to lever UQ’s health service research strengths in this arena and build international and national research opportunities for our research community,“ she said.

The Centre is multi-institutional, with nodes at The University of Queensland, Flinders University, and the University of New South Wales.

The team includes national and international research leaders in primary health care, four postdoctoral fellows and three full-time PhD students, and many key partner organisations, such as the Mater Medical Research Institute, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Australian General Practice Accreditation Limited, Improvement Foundation Australia, Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, Australian Practice Nurses Association, Chronic Illness Alliance, and the Australian Association of Practice Managers.

The launch will be held on Tuesday, 11 July at 4:30pm at Custom’s House, Brisbane.

Media inquiries: Marlene McKendry 0401 996 847.