A final report on the work and outcomes of the Audit and Best Practice in Chronic Disease (ABCD) Extension project is about to be published, providing a comprehensive analysis of one of the most significant research efforts ever undertaken by our predecessor, the CRC for Aboriginal Health.
The report will be disseminated to participating health centres, government agencies and Lowitja Institute stakeholders, and will shortly be available for download from our website, along with a Policy Brief summarising the report’s key findings.
The ABCD Extension project was a primary health care quality improvement intervention tha now using ABCD tools and processat was collaboratively developed and implemented with the community controlled Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector. With more than 100 health centres around Australies, the project has demonstrated that a Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) intervention can be both acceptable and feasible across a diversity of health centres providing care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
It has also shown that given the right kinds of support for such initiatives, substantial improvements in the quality of care and of intermediate health outcomes are attainable. Outcomes already achieved include:
- System and clinical audit tools developed in ABCD have been incorporated into the Australian Government’s Healthy for Life program and are used widely by health centres to meet reporting and other requirements.
- Delivery of services to help prevention and early detection of chronic disease, such as diabetes and renal and heart disease, improved by 13 per cent.
- Delivery of services to help patients manage diabetic conditions improved by 6 per cent.
- 64 per cent of health centres that completed three rounds of data collection achieved improvements of 10 per cent or more in delivery of services to prevent chronic diseases.
Overall, larger and better resourced health services and those under the management of a regional health authority were more likely to achieve improvements in quality of health care; however, improvements were also attained in small and remote health services.
Although the ABCD Extension project finished at the end of 2009, it has resulted in the establishment of Brisbane-based organisation One21seventy: the National Centre for Quality Improvement in Indigenous Primary Health Care, which is continuing to provide services and roll out new tools for participating health centres. For more information on One21seventy tools, resources and activities please go to www.one21seventy.org.au.