June 4, 2020

Northern Health receives first Better Care Victoria Innovation Grant

Northern Health was successful in receiving a Better Care Victoria Innovation Grant for our project proposal to use analytics to improve Chronic Disease Consequences (ACDC). The ACDC project will build on Northern Health’s existing ‘Staying Well’ initiative, which focuses on helping those with complex chronic conditions maintain their wellbeing, instead of waiting until they need to come to hospital.

The Better Care Victoria Innovation Fund (the Fund) is a key platform for supporting sector-led innovation and improvement projects in the Victorian health sector. Established in 2016, the Fund calls for applications annually, and has delivered four rounds of innovation projects, with a total of 42 projects funded to date. In addition to funding, project teams will also receive a dedicated coach and contact within Safer Care Victoria, access to tools, templates and guidance materials, collaboration and partnership support.

Anthony Gust, Director of Data Science and Analytics, says, “The ACDC project will use machine learning to more accurately predict people at high risk of multiple unplanned hospital admissions and to detect deterioration in their health. This will, in turn, allow for proactive delivery of care.”

“We are excited to receive our first Better Care Victoria Innovation Grant, as it places Northern Health at the forefront of health analytics. It will also enable Northern Health to better partner with other health services who may be interested,” says Sophie Argiriou, Director, Project Management Office/HRO, who coordinated the project proposal.

“What the Better Care Innovation Grant does is allow us to work on which patients are more likely to have an unplanned admission. Once selected, Northern Health can then put services in place and be more proactive in a patients care,” adds Anthony.

“This is not only about receiving a Better Care Victoria Innovation Grant, but about starting the conversation on how we are going to make a paradigm shift. It is a small step in us understanding our community but the vision of staying well is so much bigger and very exciting.”

Associate Professor Don Campbell, Program Director for the Staying Well Program, says, “We are excited to work with Anthony and use learnings from his work  to inform the design of the case-finding and evaluation for the Patient Watch program at Northern Health. Patient Watch will help us identify and care for the two per cent of our patients who are at the highest risk of multiple attendances and admissions to hospital, so that we can help keep them safe at home.”

“Congratulations to Anthony and team on receiving the first Better Care Innovation Grant. His work will help us provide better care for our vulnerable patients, closer to home,” adds A/Prof. Don.

Featured picture shows Anthony Gust and Sophie Argiriou in discussion.