Preventable hospitalisations in regional Queensland: potential for primary health?

Harriss, Linton R., Thompson, Fintan, Lawson, Kenny, O'Loughlin, Mary, and McDermott, Robyn (2019) Preventable hospitalisations in regional Queensland: potential for primary health? Australian Health Review, 43 (4). pp. 371-381.

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Objective The aims of this study were to: (1) use local health data to examine potentially preventable hospitalisations (PPHs) as a proportion of total hospital separations and estimated costs to a large regional hospital in northern Queensland, including differences associated with Indigenous status; and (2) identify priority conditions and discuss issues related to strategic local primary health intervention.

Methods A cross-sectional analysis was conducted using Queensland Hospital Admitted Patient Data Collection data (July 2012–June 2014) restricted to 51 087 separations generated by 29 485 local residents. PPHs were identified from the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision Australian Modification (ICD-10-AM) and procedure codes using National Healthcare Agreement definitions. Age-standardised separation rates were calculated using Australian 2001 reference population and associated economic costs were estimated using Australian-refined diagnosis related groups.

Results Eleven per cent (n = 5488) of all hospital separations were classified as PPH, and most were for common chronic (n = 2486; 45.3%) and acute (n = 2845; 51.8%) conditions. Because many acute presentations reflect chronic underlying disease, chronic conditions account for up to 76.5% of all PPHs. Age-standardised PPH rates were 3.4-fold higher for Indigenous than non-Indigenous people. Associated 2-year costs were AU$32.7 million, which was 10.7% of estimated total health care expenditure for hospital separations, and were higher for Indigenous (14.9%) than non-Indigenous (9.7%) people.

Conclusions High hospitalisation rates and costs for common preventable chronic conditions represent opportunities for primary healthcare interventions. In particular, community-level health services need to be more responsive to the needs of local Indigenous families.

Item ID: 57112
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1449-8944
Copyright Information: © AHHA 2019. This article is Open Access under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial no derivatives international license.
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2019 00:24
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420319 Primary health care @ 50%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4204 Midwifery > 420402 Models of care and place of birth @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920303 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Health System Performance (incl. Effectiveness of Interventions) @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920299 Health and Support Services not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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