Keeping people out of hospital the latest MRFF focus

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Federal health minister Greg Hunt has announced $11.7 million in funding from the Medical Research Future Fund for ten projects focused on keeping Australians out of hospital.

"Going back and forth to hospital can be stressful and inconvenient for patients and their families, and costly to Australia’s health system," said Mr Hunt.

"There are many drivers of hospital admissions, including chronic and complex diseases, acute medical and mental health conditions, palliative care and substance abuse."

The ten projects are being funded through the Medical Research Future Fund’s Keeping Australians Out of Hospital latest grant round:

  • $1 million, Queensland University of Technology - to conduct a nurse-led community assessment and triage evaluation of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in urban and regional Queensland. The aim is to reduce the burden on the hospital system and provide patients with better options for managing their disease.
  • $1.9 million, Queensland University of Technology - has been allocated to implement an early detection program to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions of aged care residents through the Early Detection of Deterioration in Elderly Residents program and will be implemented in 12 aged care facilities.
  • $1.3 million, La Trobe University - Reduce inappropriate knee joint replacement surgery and hospital burden in people with knee osteoarthritis through education, exercise and weight management, which can prevent or delay surgery.
  • $300,000, Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute - Reduce heart failure readmissions for patients using a nurse-led disease management program optimising patient engagement using a digital coach.
  • $1.2 million, University of Melbourne - A program for home-based management of fever in children with cancer who are at low risk of infection. This program improves quality of life and decreases costs of care.
  • $1.2 million, La Trobe University - Test the widespread implementation of home-based pulmonary rehabilitation across 14 centres in five Australian states.
  • $1.1 million, University of Melbourne - Implement early palliative care in routine practice to improve health outcomes and reduce hospital admissions for people with advanced care through a multi-site study providing palliative care in three cancer centres and assessing the impact on acute hospital use at the end of life.
  • $1.3 million, University of Melbourne - Conduct a world-first study involving 300 patients with heart disease and other chronic illnesses at high risk of repeated admissions to hospital due to changes in the weather, trialling unique interventions that builds their “resilience” to these weather changes.
  • $900,000, University of Technology Sydney - Conduct a study to develop, trial and cost locally-tailored solutions to prevent new fragility fractures in older Australian improving patient outcomes and value of care for Australians.
  • $1.5 million, Macquarie University - Drawing on valuable insights and data from seven NSW-wide multi-agency projects develop novel, adaptive implementation models to keep people out of hospital.

"Investing in better ways to improve management, including self-management, of people with chronic and complex conditions will help keep them out of hospital and give patients more choice about when, where and how they receive their health care," added Mr Hunt.