Building stronger primary health care systems requires a systematic approach and collaboration between many partners. Over the past 10 years, Menzies has helped to build a strong, evidence-based approach to improving the quality of Indigenous primary health care. Menzies has developed a quality improvement approach that is now used by more than 200 health services across Australia.

Our research focus:
  • To develop and refine continuous quality improvement (CQI) methods, particularly through tools developed in the Audit and Best Practice in Chronic Disease (ABCD) project (2003-2009).
  • To understand and reduce the variation in quality of care delivered across different health services or regions.
  • To use systems thinking to support improvements in the quality of care.
  • To look at how the widespread uptake of CQI can be promoted and supported.
  • To use a national research partnership to encourage and support long-term improvements in the quality of care.
  • To use research consultancies to work closely with key primary health care partners as another strategy for increasing research impact.
Our research impact:
  • We have helped to make Indigenous primary health care a world leader in the application of systematic quality improvement, through our evidence-based approach.
  • We showed improvements in the delivery of care and in intermediate health outcomes (for example, improved blood pressure control), through the CQI approach developed from the ABCD project .
  • The ABCD approach proved so successful that by the end of the project around 120 health services were using ABCD quality improvement tools, and there was strong demand from health services for continued access and support for these tools.
  • As a result, in 2009 Menzies established One21seventy, a not-for-profit unit that supports health services in the implementation and use of CQI. More than 200 primary health care centres subscribe to One21seventy services.
  • One21seventy forms a key part of the Closing the Gap activities of the Northern Territory and Queensland and both States and Territories have used One21seventy to demonstrate significant improvements in the quality of care provided and health outcomes. 
Key staff:
  • Northern Territory Department of Health
  • Queensland Health
  • Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Council (QAIHC)
  • The Lowitja Institute
  • Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia (AHCSA)
  • CUCRH (Combined Universities Centre for Rural Health), University of WA
  • James Cook University
  • University of Queensland
  • Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation
  • Western Australia Department of Health
  • More than 140 primary health care centres participating in ABCD National Research Partnership
  • University of SA
  • Curtin University.
  1. Bailie, R., Si, D., Connors, C., Kwedza, R., O'Donoghue, L., Kennedy, C., et al. (2011). Variation in quality of preventative care for well adults in Indigenous community health centres in Australia. BMC Health Services Research, 11(139).
  2. Si, D., Dowden, M., Kennedy, C., Cox, R., O'Donoghue, L., Liddle, H., et al. (2011). Indigenous community care. Documented depression in patients with diabetes. Australian Family Physician, 40(5), 331-333.
  3. Rumbold, A., Bailie, R., Si, D., Dowden, M., Kennedy, C., Cox, R.J., et al. (2011). Delivery of maternal health care in Indigenous primary care services: baseline data for an ongoing quality improvement initiative. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 11(16).
  4. Schierhout, G., Brands, J., & Bailie, R. (2010). Audit and Best Practice for Chronic Disease Extension Project, 2005-2009: Final Report. Melbourne: The Lowitja Institute.
  5. Si, D., Bailie, R., Dowden, M., Kennedy, C., Cox, R., O'Donoghue, L., et al. (2010). Assessing quality of diabetes care and its variation in Aboriginal community health centres in Australia. Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews, 26(6), 464-473.
  6. Bailie, R.S., Si, D., Dowden, M.C., Connors, C.M., O'Donoghue, L., Liddle, H.E., et al. (2008). Delivery of child health services in Indigenous communities: implications for the federal government's emergency intervention in the Northern Territory. Medical Journal of Australia, 188(10), 615-618.
  7. Si, D., Bailie, R., Cunningham, J., Robinson, G., Dowden, M., Stewart, A., et al. (2008). Describing and analysing primary health care system support for chronic illness care in Indigenous communities in Australia’s Northern Territory – use of the Chronic Care Model. BMC Health Services Research, 8(112).
  8. Bailie, R., Si, D., Dowden, M., O'Donoghue, L., Connors, C., Robinson, G., et al. (2007). Improving organisational systems for diabetes care in Australian Indigenous communities. BMC Health Services Research, 7(67).
  9. Si, D., Bailie, R.S., Dowden, M., O'Donoghue, L., Connors, C., Robinson, G.W., et al. (2007). Delivery of preventive health services to Indigenous adults: response to a systems-oriented primary care quality improvement intervention. Medical Journal of Australia, 187(8), 453-457.
  10. Baeza, J., Bailie, R., & Lewis, J. (2009). Care for chronic conditions for Indigenous Australians: key informants’ perspectives on policy. Health policy, 92(2), 211-217.

This will re-direct you to the One21seventy resources page.