Other health outcome related work at AHSRI
The Australian Health Outcomes Collaboration (AHOC) is based at the Australian Health Services Research Institute (AHSRI), University of Wollongong.
The Australian Health Services Research Institute is also the home of several other national consortia/collaboratives that are engaged in research and/or data collection relating to PROMs including the:
- Australasian Rehabilitation Outcomes Centre (AROC)
- Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration (PCOC) and;
- electronic Persistent Pain Outcomes Collaboration (ePPOC)
Australasian Rehabilitation Outcomes Centre
The Australasian Rehabilitation Outcomes Centre (AROC) is a joint initiative of the Australian rehabilitation sector (providers, funders, regulators and consumers).
With the support of its industry partners, AROC has been established by the Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFRM) of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP). Since 2002 it has been concerned with the outcomes benchmarking of rehabilitation services in Australia and NZ and there are 372 participating services. Currently AROC does not collect patient reported outcomes, however it utilises a range of clinician reported tools including the Functional Independence Measure.
Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration
The Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration (PCOC) is a national program that was established in mid-2005 and is funded under the National Palliative Care Program supported by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. PCOC is an evidence-based, multi-dimensional, quality improvement initiative specifically designed to support continuous improvement in palliative care through routine clinical outcome measurement, periodic surveys and benchmarking.
PCOC has divided Australia into four zones for the purpose of engaging with palliative care services, with each zone represented by a chief investigator from one of the four collaborating universities: University of Wollongong, Flinders University, Queensland University of Technology and the University of Western Australia (Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration, 2013).
The goal of the PCOC is to use standardised, validated, clinical assessment tools to benchmark and measure outcomes in palliative care and assist palliative care service providers to improve practice and meet the Palliative Care Australia Standards for Providing Quality Palliative Care for all Australians. Research to improve the evidence base for the clinical assessment tools is ongoing. Service providers are supported by quality improvement facilitators based in five locations across the country. The PCOC dataset includes the clinical assessment tools: Palliative Care Phase, Palliative Care Problem Severity Score (PCPSS), Symptom Assessment Scale (SAS), Australia-modified Karnofsky Performance Status (AKPS) scale and Resource Utilisation Groups – Activities of Daily Living (RUG-ADL). The Symptom Assessment Scale (SAS) is a patient reported assessment of distress relating to individual physical symptoms. The symptoms included in the scale are the seven most common experienced by palliative patients: difficulty sleeping, appetite problems, nausea, bowel problems, breathing problems, fatigue and pain. The instrument is ideally a patient-rated tool but is structured to allow either the patient, family member or clinician to assess the symptoms.
electronic Persistent Pain Outcomes Collaboration
The electronic Persistent Pain Outcomes Collaboration (ePPOC) is a new program which aims to help improve services and outcomes for patients suffering with chronic pain through benchmarking of care and treatment. ePPOC is an initiative of the Faculty of Pain Medicine, and has been further developed in recent years by the Faculty, the Australian Pain Society and the wider pain sector.
ePPOC involves the collection of a standard set of data items and assessment tools by specialist pain services throughout Australia and New Zealand to measure outcomes for their patients as a result of treatment.
This information will be used to develop a national benchmarking system for the pain sector, which will lead to better outcomes and best practice interventions for patients in chronic pain. The information will also enable development of a coordinated approach to research into the management of pain in Australasia.
The first phase of ePPOC began in 2013, with eight adult pain services in NSW trialling the measures, process and software for collection of the information. ePPOC is now being progressively rolled out to adult and paediatric specialist pain services throughout Australia and New Zealand. At the end of 2017, over 80 pain management services had joined the collaboration, including seven paediatric pain management services. All adult and paediatric pain service questionnaires are patient reported.