Data-Driven Healthcare and Infomatics

Overview

In the past decade, there have been enormous advances in the amount of data we routinely generate and collect in most things we do, as well as in our ability to harness technology to analyse and understand that data.

The intersection of these trends, known as ‘big data’, is helping businesses across virtually every industry become more efficient and productive.

In healthcare, data is going to revolutionise the way we provide care and monitor outcomes, predict epidemics, avoid preventable deaths and improve health outcomes among other things.

Big data, already a vital piece of the puzzle for Monash Partners, is only going to grow in importance in the future.

We are a leader, nationally and internationally, in clinical registries and data. Sharing and linking up data across the various health services within our catchment is a key priority for Monash Partners.

Our Priorities

Our aims and priorities for the Data Driven Healthcare Improvement and Infomatics Platform are:

  1. Improve the quality of routinely collected health data 
  2. Harmonise clinical data and integrate core outcome structured data sets into our EMR across our partners 
  3. Build a data literate research and health care workforce 
  4. Integrate and link health information across the care continuum
  5. Optimise the usefulness and use of the electronic health record for healthcare improvement and research 
  6. Enhance data access to enable real-time feedback and response
  7. Integrate e-referrals and pathways to improve patient outcomes
  8. Integrate with our University data platform, strengthening and building data infrastructure 
  9. Create data hubs and governance processes to link data across our partnership 
  10. Support and enhance our world leading clinical registry programs 
  11. Lead the National AHRA Data Driven Healthcare Initiative.

Data Driven Healthcare Improvement and Infomatics Steering Committee

The Committee is chaired by Professor Jim Buttery, and co-led by Professor John McNeil.

Professor Jim Buttery

Professor Jim Buttery is a paediatric infectious diseases physician and vaccinologist. He is head of Infection and Immunity and director of research at Monash Children’s Hospital and is head of Monash Immunisation at Monash Health. Jim is the president of the World Society of Pediatric Infectious Diseases.

Professor John McNeil AM

Professor John McNeil AM is head of Monash University’s Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine. The department has grown to become of the major clinical and public research units in the country, employing more than 350 staff, including large numbers of doctoral students. John is also head of Monash’s School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine and has played a leadership role in the development of clinical registries.

Alongside Jim and John is a team of clinicians and infomatics and data specialists who share their vision and passion. Members of the Steering Committee include:

Associate Professor Susannah Ahern
Ms Jodi Briggs
Professor Peter Cameron
Dr Joanne Enticott
Ms Alison Johnson
Ms Ann Larkins
Professor Danielle Mazza
Professor Harvey Newnham
Professor Nik Zeps
Ms Amanda Pereira-Salgado

Mr Emilio Pozo
Dr Ronnie Ptasznik
Mr Steve Quenette
Professor Velandai Srikanth
Ms Andrea Wecke
Professor Jon Whittle
Mr Chris Wood.

Monash Partners was one of Australia’s first Advanced Health Research Translation Centres (AHRTCs), and is co-leading a national data initiative funded by the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF). Priorities include:

  • Forming a national health data steering committee to co-develop and implement agreed harmonised core minimum datasets in National Health Priority Areas
  • Developing an online data literacy training program

There are already many pockets of excellence when it comes to data across our health services and academic partners, including the large-scale multicentre clinical trials and clinical registries in Monash University’s School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine. 

Registries systematically collect information on patients who are treated with a particular surgical procedure, device or drug – for example in the case of prostate cancer or bariatric surgery. The registries also collect data on people diagnosed with a particular illness such as a stroke or myocardial infarction or who are being tracked on account of a ‘high-risk’ device such as a breast implant. 

In the past, there have been several challenges around the collection of health data. These have included ad hoc collection, variable data quality and the fact clinicians cannot access data held by other health services to assist in everyday care.

Our Steering Committee is leading the way by thinking strategically and developing a system to benchmark hospital performance and to monitor real-time clinical data. This approach would be of enormous value in a situation such as the Melbourne thunderstorm asthma outbreak in November 2016.

Infomatics and health data are crucial across every area of Monash Partners. While we’re working at a national level with other NHMRC accredited AHRTCs and CIRHs (Centre for Innovation in Regional Health), we’re also building strong links with consumers, researchers, health professionals and government at a state and national level.

“An increasing volume of data is now being generated within the healthcare system. This is providing new opportunities to improve patient outcomes. Clinical quality registries are amongst the approaches that have benefited from these developments, providing clinicians with valuable information to measure and improve their practice,”Professor John McNeil AM

Our Projects

Monash Partners researchers are leading a number of data projects, funded by the Medical Research Future Fund:

Victorian Obstetric Anal Sphincter Injury (OASIS) Quality of Care Improvement Project: 

Professor Sue Evans
This work will optimise the use and quality of a routinely collected minimum data set to reduce clinical variation, patient morbidity and community costs from OASIS through clinically led improved management and outcome reporting in Perinatal Data Collections.

A large scale approach to improving lung cancer care and health outcomes: assessment of best practice using a clinical quality registry:

Professor John Zalcberg
The impact will be monitoring and improvement of quality of lung cancer care nationally, to ensure that all Australians have access to the best possible, cutting-edge care.

Translated will be through expansion of the existing Victorian Lung Cancer Registry to 30 new sites to create strong linkages with primary care, capture data from vulnerable populations and build the foundation for a national clinical quality registry to measure and understand variation with best practice that determine optimal clinical and patient outcomes.