Building stronger primary health care systems requires a systematic approach and collaboration between many partners. 

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 operated until October 2016 to support health services in the implementation and use of CQI.
  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.

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