Medicine & Health

Publication Search Results

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  • (2007) Amoroso, Cheryl; Proudfoot, Judy; Bubner, Tanya; Swan, Edward; Espinel, Paola; Barton, Christopher; Beilby, Justin; Harris, Mark
    Journal Article
    BACKGROUND: Clinical audit is recognised worldwide as a useful tool for quality improvement. METHODS: A feedback report profiling capacity for chronic disease care was sent to 97 general practices. These practices were invited to complete a clinical audit activity based on that feedback. Data were analysed quantitatively and case studies were developed based on the free text responses. RESULTS: Eighty-two (33%) of 247 general practitioners participated in the clinical audit process, representing 57 (59%) of 97 general practices. From the data in their feedback report, 37 (65%) of the 57 practices recognised the area most in need of improvement. This was most likely where the need related to clinical practice or teamwork, and least likely where the need related to linkages with other services, and business and finance. Only 25 practices (46%) developed an action plan related to their recognised area for improvement, and 22 (39%) practices implemented their chosen activity. Participating GPs judged that change activity focused on teamwork was most successful. DISCUSSION: The clinical audit process offered participating GPs and practices an opportunity to reflect on their performance across a number of key areas and to implement change to enhance the practice’s capacity for quality chronic disease care. The relationship between need and action was weak, suggesting a need for greater support to overcome barriers.

  • (2014) Harris, Patrick; Sainsbury, Peter; Kemp, Lynn
    Journal Article
    Purpose and setting: The last decade has seen increased use of health impact assessment (HIA) to influence public policies developed outside the Health sector. HIA has developed as a structured, linear and technical process to incorporate health, broadly defined, into policy. This is potentially incongruent with complex, non-linear and tactical policy making which does not necessarily consider health. HIA research has however not incorporated existing public policy theory to explain practitioners’ experiences with HIA and policy. This research, therefore, used public policy theory to explain HIA practitioners’ experiences and investigate ‘What is the fit between HIA and public policy?’ Methods: Empirical findings from nine in-depth interviews with international HIA practitioners were reanalysed against public policy theory. We reviewed the HIA literature for inclusion of public policy theories then compared these for compatibility with our critical realist methodology and the empirical data. The theory ‘Policy Cycles and Subsystems’ (Howlett et al., 2009) was used to re-analyse the empirical data. Findings: HIAs for policy are necessarily both tactical and technical. Within policy subsystems using HIA to influence public policy requires tactically positioning health as a relevant public policy issue and, to facilitate this, institutional support for collaboration between Public Health and other sectors. HIA fits best within the often non-linear public policy cycle as a policy formulation instrument. HIA provides, tactically and technically, a space for practical reasoning to navigate facts, values and processes underlying the substantive and procedural dimensions of policy. Conclusions: Re-analysing empirical experiential data using existing public policy theory provided valuable explanations for future research, policy and practice concerning why and how HIA fits tactically and technically with the world of public policy development. The use of theory and empiricism opens up important possibilities for future research in the search for better explanations of complex practical problems.