Advances in medicine mean healthcare professionals can prolong life, yet some treatments have a low chance of providing tangible benefit to some patients and represent a multi-million dollar cost to the public purse. Previous research identified reasons why doctors sometimes provide treatment they know to be non-beneficial to patients, especially elderly patients who are near the end-of-life.

The NHMRC funded partnership project Intervention for Appropriate Care and Treatment (InterACT) (APP1151923) builds on this work and aims to promote appropriate care and treatment decisions and pathways for this patient population in three major Queensland hospitals. Specifically, it will assess the impact on patient outcomes and the cost-consequences of implementing a prospective feedback loop intervention with clinical teams. We expect to improve the capacity of clinicians to choose alternative treatments and to increase institutional support for better end-of-life care for a group of vulnerable patients. The study will run from 2018-2021.

The intervention is a prospective feedback loop to clinical teams, based on the outcomes of a patient record review process using the CriSTAL and SPICT tools. The record review feedback to the clinical teams will provide objective information about the risk profile of patients and act firstly as a flag for the clinical team to review patient care activities and pathways, and then as a stimulus for the team to implement a tailored clinical response to promote appropriate patient care and treatment outcomes.

This interdisciplinary project is a collaboration between researchers from AusHSI and the Australian Centre for Health Law Research (ACHLR) at QUT and the University of New South Wales, University of Adelaide and Bond University, and will build on previous published work by QUT health, ACHLR and University of Queensland researchers.

Read the latest study progress updates here.

Project partners:

  • QUT
  • Deeble Institute for Health Policy Research, Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association
  • Palliative Care Australia
  • Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service – the Gold Coast University Hospital
  • Metro North Hospital and Health Service – The Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital & the Prince Charles Hospital.

Chief investigators:

Professor Adrian Barnett
Professor Lindy Willmott
Professor Ben White
Professor Leonie Callaway
Professor Nick Graves
Dr Xing Lee

University of New South Wales
Professor Ken Hillman

University of Adelaide
Professor Gillian Harvey

Bond University
Assoc. Prof Magnolia Cardona

Associate investigators:

Associate Professor Will Cairns
Professor Leanne Hides, QUT
Professor Jeffrey Lipman, University of Queensland