Creating a prosperous, sustainable and healthy Northern Australia

Integrating health care planning for health and prosperity in north Queensland

Integrating health care planning for health and prosperity in north Queensland
  • Health service delivery

Summary

The Integrating Health Care Planning for Health and Prosperity in North Queensland Project aims to improve the responsiveness of health services to the health needs of communities in the North Queensland region. The North Queensland region is defined in the Project as the region bounded by the five Hospital and Health Services from the Mackay region through to the Torres Strait and the Northern Territory border.

Projects

Integrating Health Care Planning for Health and Prosperity in North Queensland

Integrating Health Care Planning for Health and Prosperity in North Queensland

This project aims to improve the responsiveness of health services to the health needs of communities in the North Queensland region.  The primary research question is: How do we best develop and implement integrated place-based planning to the unique contexts of northern Queensland? Why is this study needed? Investing in the health workforce and related improvement in models of care can be a strong economic pillar supporting sustained prosperity. A healthy community is a necessary to ensure stable local communities that will enable continued regional economic development. There are many similarities in health challenges and service delivery across northern Australia, with small, dispersed populations in challenging geographies. Despite this, lack of coordination in planning and delivery of health services across the spectrum from community to primary to hospital care leads to inefficiencies, duplication, gaps and less than optimal health and economic outcomes. This project provides a unique opportunity to unite health industry partners and engage with local communities to improve efficiencies and effectiveness in service planning and delivery. How will the study be conducted? The project has two distinct phases. Phase 1 involved the synthesis and spatial mapping of existing, publicly available data to create the Northern Queensland Health Atlas. The Atlas is an online, interactive map which visually displays population and health data, health services available and workforce information. Various indicators can be selected and overlayed to visualise, and facilitate consideration of, unmet need or gaps in services or workforce. Explore the Atlas here. A gap analysis was undertaken to facilitate a broad understanding of unmet health need in the project region. It took a pragmatic approach drawing on key principles of health care equity to develop a composite Index of Unmet Need. The Index included indicators of known determinants of health, current and projected health need, service need, workforce and geographic access.  The Gap Analysis of Health Needs and Services in the Northern Queensland Region Report is available upon request. The Atlas and Gap Analysis were used to guide consultation with stakeholder groups in the prioritisation of communities across the region to engage in place-based health planning processes in Phase Two of the project.  Further consultation will be undertaken with local stakeholders in the prioritised communities to co-select three to four communities to participate in Phase Two. In this phase, place-based planning with the communities will involve co-design, implementation and evaluation of new or modified models of care. Impacts and outcomes of the project will be evaluated in terms of quality of care, efficiency, service provider and consumer satisfaction, and process acceptability and sustainability.

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