- To work with the Top End Health Service (TEHS) and the Fred Hollows Foundation to evaluate the implementation and impact of the Outreach Ophthalmology Program.
To determine the activities, outcomes, costs and benefits of the three year investment in the Top End Outreach Ophthalmology Resource Project (TEOORP).
Identify the enablers and barriers to program sustainability and how lessons learnt may apply to other outreach programs.
The Fred Hollows Foundation and Menzies School of Health Research have a long standing relationship. Previous work has seen Menzies evaluate the Remote Service Delivery Cataract Intensive Project and the Implementation of the TEOORP.
Menzies has been engaged to evaluate the impact of the program in relation to improving access to eye services for people from remote areas.
Implications for policy and practice:
Assessment of service delivery processes using readily available clinical activity data will assist the TEHS identify the strategies and procedures that support improved patient outcomes, sustainable service delivery and cost-effective care.
Our research has found:
Providing a regular and planned specialist outreach service to communities can be effective as it:
- It increases access to specialist services
- Is viewed as more culturally acceptable as it takes services to people rather than people to services
- Reduces patient travel costs and the rates of missed appointments.
- Natasha Freeman
January 2016 - November 2017