A Rapid Access Cardiology (RAC) clinic, started at Westmead Hospital two years ago, reduces utilisation of emergency department and inpatient resources by people with non-cardiac chest pain. University of Sydney Professor Clara Chow from Western Sydney Local District said that thanks to SHP funding, RACs are now being trialled at Royal Prince Alfred, Royal North Shore and Concord hospitals.

“Chest pain is one of the leading causes of presentation to our emergency departments, and effective and efficient management of this condition means better patient outcomes, more efficient use of limited health resource, and cost efficiencies,” said Professor Chow.

“Sydney Health Partners enabled myself, Professor Gemma Figtree from Northern Sydney Local Health District and Professor Len Kritharides from Sydney Local Health District to gather evaluation data on the RAC clinical pathway, which otherwise wouldn’t be possible.”

Another major burden upon hospitals is people presenting with pain and disability associated with knee and hip osteoarthritis. There is extensive variation in the way these people are managed, and in many cases, they undergo tests and treatments that are not supported by the latest evidence.

University of Sydney Professor David Hunter of Royal North Shore Hospital and collaborators across SHP received funds to investigate how the Osteoarthritis Chronic Care Program (OACCP) – developed by the Agency for Clinical Innovation – has been implemented around the state.

A novel program called OAChangeMap is being developed to support OACCP sites to identify and address barriers to best practice.

“What we know is that there is a lot of variation state-wide in the implementation of that best practice,” said Professor Hunter.

“The grant from SHP allows us to assess OACCP sites across NSW, look at the reasons why clinical practice varies and what are the barriers to full implementation of the guidelines.”