Informatics and eHealth

Description and aims

Biomedical Informatics and eHealth include the collection and effective uses of biomedical data, information, and knowledge for scientific inquiry, problem-solving, and decision-making, and management of digital information and communication technologies to deliver improvements in health and wellbeing. Biomedical Informatics and eHealth are increasingly being applied to primary healthcare.

This stream addresses the need for:

  • up-to-date biopsychosocial information and knowledge management and exchange to inform clinical practice, health service development and policies.
  • digital health technologies that support and enable individuals and health services in the prevention, diagnosis and management of chronic conditions and co-existing multiple systems morbidities.

This stream focuses on evidence-based medicine, decision support, knowledge resources, and patient education. This stream also addresses the practical aspects of primary care informatics and ehealth such as workflow, privacy and security, sustainability, reporting and analysis.

Key current research and development areas:

eHealth

The use, impact and outcomes of information and communication technologies to support the delivery of enhanced models of primary healthcare and improved wellbeing such as telehealth, use of electronic shared care plan portal and mHealth for disease prevention and management across different age groups and literacy levels.

Informatics

Applying clinical, administrative, routinely collected datasets and contextual information to solve problems, quality improvement and to inform decision making in clinical practice, health service development and policy development using the CES Primary and Community Cohort and other data resources.

Key strengths and skills

The team has extensive experience and expertise in working with, managing and conducting analysis using large routinely collected primary healthcare data such as Medicines Insights, Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS), Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) etc. We also have expertise with the use of emergency department, hospitalisation, disease registry, death data and clinical and administrative data from primary healthcare (electronic Practice Based Research Network) which focused on improving data quality in clinical records and use of the data for research. Our team has expertise in the application and evaluation of models of care and complex interventions that are supported with digital technologies. We have advanced skills in programming, statistical computing and data visualization, such as: SAS, STATA, R, and R Markdown.

Key partners

This research is conducted in partnership with NSW Ministry of Health, eHealth NSW, primary health networks, local health districts and non-government organisations.

Stream lead

Margo Barr and Jane Taggart lead the Primary Healthcare Informatics and eHealth stream.

Margo has worked as an epidemiologist for over 25 years and has extensive experience in survey methodology, data linkage and longitudinal study management and research. Jane has over 17 years’ experience in primary health care translational research focused on chronic disease prevention and management, integrated care and informatics and eHealth, with experience in a broad range of research methods (qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods).

Current
Projects

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Central and Eastern Sydney Primary and Community Health Cohort

The Primary and Community Health Cohort is a sub-study of the the Sax Institute’s 45 and Up Study.  It includes data on 31,000 Study participants living in Central and Eastern Sydney.   This is linked to data from NSW admitted patient and emergency department systems, Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and the NSW register of deaths.  

Clinical Pathways: Multidisciplinary shared care plans (Clozapine shared e-care planning)

This project is evaluating the feasibility of an online shared care plan supporting communication between GPs, specialist services, consumers, carers and other care team members  for clozapine treatment,  preventive care and behavioural change in the long-term shared management of people with a lived experience of severe mental illness. The care plan sets out the tasks required, when they need to be completed and who is  responsible. This intervention is being implemented with the My GP & Me shared care program currently running in the SESLHD, Eastern Suburbs Mental Health Service.

The project is one of 4 clinical pathways projects funded by Mindgardens Neuroscience Network.

 

Development of risk profiling matrix for chronic diseases and preventive smartphone application

This project aims to promote healthy ageing through a smartphone app-based intervention, specifically, by helping people prevent the onset of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus.  

Electronic shared care plan for long term care of cancer patients

A feasibility study to develop and determine how best to engage GPs and patients in a cancer shared e-care plan and assess how specialists, GPs and patients use the e-care planA feasibility study to develop and determine how best to engage GPs and patients in a cancer shared e-care plan and assess how specialists, GPs and patients use the e-care plan

Preventing chronic disease in patients with low health literacy using e-health in general practice.

Preventing chronic disease in patients with low health literacy using e-health in general practice.

This is a cluster randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness of an intervention which uses accessible and interactive information technology to support general practice nurses to better communicate with patients with low health literacy, to help them use information, set priorities, navigate referral and maintain behaviour change.

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PhD
Projects

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Development of risk profiling matrix for chronic diseases and preventive smartphone application

This project aims to promote healthy ageing through a smartphone app-based intervention, specifically, by helping people prevent the onset of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus.