Demonstrator 4: Examining How Social Infrastructure Data Can be Used in Local Health Planning and Innovation for Type 2 Diabetes Management

Led by Dr John Furler, Department of General Practice, University of Melbourne.

Project Description

The aim of this project is to improve access to an integrated set of health-related (prevalence and service use) and social and physical infrastructure data to aid policy makers and planners.

This Demonstrator Project is based on collaborative work previously undertaken by The Department of General Practice at the University of Melbourne and the Department of Health North West Metropolitan Region (NWMR).

This project uses findings from The Care and Systems Experience – Diabetes (CASE-D) project to specify key social and physical infrastructure, health and social services for this population in the NWMR. CASE-D established in-depth case studies about the pathways to, and experiences of, health care for people from disadvantaged backgrounds with type 2 diabetes.

Primary Care Partnerships and Medicare Locals in the NWMR face challenges in collating health, demographic and service data into meaningful forms to assist in care service planning for disadvantaged clients.

CASE-D outputs together with workshops with key stakeholders have identified important barriers to care. These include where services are located and how they are linked.

Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to integrate cross-sectoral health data in a form useful to local policy makers and planners is a central aim of the project.

Previous work has used National Diabetes Supply Scheme data to map diabetes prevalence in Western Melbourne by LGA and overlaid this with food outlet data to assist health planning (click here to view link).

Other interactive mapping of chronic illness data have been undertaken at the Medicare Local Level (click here to view link) and recent work by the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute is in development mapping diabetes prevalence overlaid by health workforce data at the SLA level (click here to view link).

The value of this Demonstration Project is that it

1. Empowers researchers working in collaboration with Government and Service providers to address the important issue of where to target services best to address disease prevalence as well as meet the needs of the most disadvantaged in a community

2. Builds new collaborations and links between researchers in primary health care, community health and well-being with the NWMR Department of Health

End Users and Products

The outputs of the Demonstrator will be a set of tools (maps based on integrated and repurposed data from health, community health and social indicators) that will facilitate cross-sectoral responses to difficult and important health problems (diabetes in the NWMR)

These tools will be made available via the AURIN portal and the metadata made available via the RDA. The tool aims to identify areas of particular vulnerability and combine these outputs with social and physical infrastructure data based on CASE-D Study data.

The results of the Demonstrator will contribute to ongoing partnership work between the NWMR and the University, will be presented back to meetings with stakeholders (including the RMF) as well as through conferences and peer review publication.

These results will be presented to Medicare Locals, scientific conferences and other key stakeholder groups. All outputs will be made available via the AURIN portal.

Project Team

John Furler Dr John Furler
Senior Research Fellow
Department of General Practice
University of Melbourne
200 Berkeley St, Carlton VIC 3053