Overdiagnosis of disease was a hot topic when healthcare experts from across Australia gathered at Bond University recently for the 2019 Sustainability of Healthcare Colloquium and Awards.
The afternoon’s Colloquium featured an address from Professor Paul Glasziou on overdiagnosis in Australia, followed by a keynote presentation from Dr John Brodersen from the University of Copenhagen on how diseases are defined, redefined and diagnosed, alongside the implications for health systems and patients.
A question-and-answer session with Dr Brodersen led into a panel discussion of healthcare experts, including Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service Chief Operating Officer Kimberley Pierce, University of Sydney Professor of Public Health Alexandra Barratt, GP and Coach GP founder Jocelyn Lowinger, and Joan Carlini, Chairperson of the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service Consumer Advisory Group.
Prof Paul Glasziou said that by adding the Colloquium to this year’s event, valuable context was given to the topics of sustainable healthcare that are the focus of the awards.
“The colloquium provided a high-quality and informative background to the sustainability issues of the awards,” he said.
“For me, the insightful discussions about timely, rather than early, diagnosis were most interesting. This included discussions of "slow medicine" - that health care and diagnosis often stretch out over several consultations.”
“We need to learn, and to teach, when and how to be slower about diagnosis to avoid pre-emptive labelling of patients. However, we also need to work on better public messages - that earlier diagnosis is sometimes helpful but sometimes harmful,” Prof Glasziou said.
The Sustainability of Healthcare Awards were developed by Bond University in 2018 to promote and raise awareness of best practice in high value healthcare.
Rhonda Morton, Business Director of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine at Bond University - and emcee of this year’s event - said the Awards also identified and celebrated the achievements of advocates, pioneers and innovators.
“The challenges of ensuring the sustainability of healthcare into the future can be quite overwhelming, but it’s equally important to recognise that there are people doing amazing work in this space,” she said.
“By sharing our insights and building on them through today’s Colloquium and tonight’s awards, I feel confident that moving forward together we can find a solution.”
The independent expert judging panel for this year’s awards consisted of Dr David Rosengren Executive Director, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Metro North Hospital and Health Service; Professor Peter Brooks Hon. Professor, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne Research Lead, Northern Health Epping; Dr Evan Ackermann General Practitioner and Immediate Past Chair of the RACGP Expert Committee for Quality Care; and Professor Helen Chenery Director, Gold Coast Hospital and Health Board.
The Awards were sponsored by Concerto Analytics, HealthCert, Health Service 360, Destination Gold Coast and BUPA Health Insurance, and were announced and presented during the evening on Nov 27, which featured a keynote presentation from Professor Alexandra Barratt.
Each award winner received $5,000 to go towards their project
The 2019 Sustainability of Healthcare Award winners were:
- Health Literacy Award
Professor Tammy Hoffmann and Professor Chris Del Mar - Conceptualising and conducting a pair of ‘matching’ systematic reviews that examined people’s expectations about the benefits and harms of health interventions.
- Practice Award
Dr Jonathan Kaufman - Urine sample collection methods for young children.
- Research Award
Associate Professor Justin Keogh and Dr Tim Henwood (Group Manager, Community Wellness and Lifestyle, Southern Cross Care SA & NT) - Development of sustainable exercise programs for older Australians and New Zealanders.
- Educational Award
Professor Michelle McLean and Associate Professor Jo Bishop (on behalf of Bond University) and Professor Lynne Madden (representing the Medical Deans of Australia and New Zealand (MDANZ) Working Group on Climate Change and Health) - Introduce (environmental) sustainability into medical curricula in Australia and New Zealand.
- Policy Award
Associate Professor Anne Abbott - Reimbursement indications for carotid revascularisation procedures.
For more detail on this year’s finalists and award winners, please visit https://bond.edu.au/about-bond/academia/faculty-health-sciences-medicine/sustainability-healthcare-awards-colloquium