National Boards governing 14 health-care-practitioner groups, including medicine and optometry, and their supervising Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency have published a research framework to help transform health-practitioner regulation to improve patient safety.

The framework sets out research priorities and principles for National Boards and AHPRA to focus their research efforts and guide the use of National Scheme data and information

Nationally significant dataset

The National Scheme holds a nationally-significant dataset, including data on more than 670,000 health practitioners across the 14 professions (soon to be 15 professions in 2018 when paramedicine joins).

“Our data and research infrastructure has been steadily maturing over the past few years and we are now better able to translate the outcomes of research and evaluation activities into developments that will have significant benefits for patients and practitioners“ Mr Martin Fletcher, chief executive officer of AHPRA, said.

“This new research framework ensures we continue to contribute to patient safety and brings us closer to becoming a global leader in regulatory research.”

Priority research areas

The framework includes the priority research areas of: defining harms and risks related to the practice of regulated health professions, regulatory taxonomy or classification scheme, risk factors for complaints and/or poor practitioner performance, evidence for standards, codes and/or guidelines, evaluating regulatory interventions, stakeholder satisfaction and engagement, work readiness and workforce capacity and distribution.

It also points to better innovation and coordination of research activity across the National Scheme, including compliance with best-practice standards for research and appropriate measures to respect cultural sensitivity.


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