Supporting Clinical Quality Registries – towards a national strategy

Clinical Quality Registries (CQRs) collect and use data about patients’ treatments to improve the delivery of healthcare. CQRs already play a vital role in helping Australia deliver safer, higher quality healthcare, but the approach to CQRs in Australia is ad hoc and fragmented. The Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Healthcare has been working for more than a decade to improve this situation and the Australian Government has recently released a draft National CQR Strategy for the next 10 years.

Research Australia made a submission in response to the Draft Strategy, welcoming the progress being made in this area, and making suggestions for how the Draft Strategy could be improved. These include broadening the focus from the clinician/patient relationship to capture other patient interactions with staff that affect health care. Accreditation of CQRs and a sustainable national funding model with the support of state and territory governments are also critical elements for the Strategy.

Research Australia’s submission is available here.

The Commonwealth Department of Helath subsequently released the final National Clinical Quality Registry and Virtual Registry Strategy 2020-2030 in February 2021, available here. The nomination of key target areas for CQRs and a sustainable funding model for these are no longer part of the Strategy, although funding for key areas is still likely, possibly from the MRFF.

Fifth Mental Health Plan ignores research

Research Australia’s submission in response the draft Fifth National Mental Health Plan highlighted the Plan’s failure to include health and medical research.

Research Australia was concerned that the Fifth Plan was a missed opportunity to make better use of Australia’s significant capacity in health and medical research to help deliver the Plan’s vision of healthier Australians, faster and more complete recoveries from mental illness and more responsive and effective services.

The draft Fifth Plan called for significant reform and innovation in the way we deliver mental health services in Australia, and the health and medical research sector is well placed to help inform, design, implement and evaluate these reforms. Research Australia believes the Fifth Plan provides an opportunity to improve the integration of the mental health system with the health and medical research sector, and to better utilise and direct research towards the Plan’s priorities. Our submission highlighted some of the many ways in which health and medical research can contribute. Submission for 5th Mental Health Plan

Following Research Australia’s submission, the Fifth National Mental Helath Plan as finalised and endorsed by COAG, identifies research as a key enabler of the Plan and achieving its objectives and commits to a number of specific research related actions. The Final Plan is available here.