15 August 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Australia is taking part in a groundbreaking international study into community-based health care that will explore the outcomes, experiences and satisfaction of patients who are treated in GP practices.
Up to 12 million Australians – or nearly half of all adults (46.6%) – live with a chronic condition such as arthritis, asthma, back pain, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and mental health conditions.[i] These chronic diseases are long lasting conditions with persistent effects that impact on peoples’ quality of life.[ii]
Australia is one of 20 countries participating in the inaugural Patient-Reported Indicator Survey (PaRIS) Health Survey, an initiative of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
For the first time, patients across the world living with a chronic condition are being asked to share their experiences so that healthcare providers can better understand their needs and in turn, improve care.
In Australia, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) is implementing the survey with ORIMA Research, on behalf of the Department of Health and Aged Care.
PaRIS is an international survey of GP practices and their patients to assess how primary care is being delivered. The in-depth patient survey takes about 20 minutes to complete and examines:
- measures of physical and mental health
- experiences of GP consultations
- how health information is communicated.
GP practices across Australia are invited to sign up for the PaRIS Health Survey, open until 31 October 2023. Patients of GP practices that register for the survey can take part.
The OECD-led PaRIS Health Survey is an internationally validated tool that aims to improve both the outcomes and experiences of primary care services for people aged 45+ living with a chronic condition.
Associate Professor Liz Marles, Clinical Director at the Commission and a general practitioner, said the PaRIS Health Survey provided a unique opportunity to learn more about the patient’s perspective.
“The PaRIS survey is the first time we will receive practice-level data to properly examine the care and treatment that people with chronic conditions experience in GP practices at a national level – and on a global scale,” she said.
“It is astonishing that nearly half of all Australians (46.6%) have one or more prevalent chronic conditions, and almost one in five (18.6%) have two or more chronic conditions.[ii] We know that many more people live with other long-term health conditions that result in ongoing issues.”
A/Professor Marles said the aim of the PaRIS Health Survey was quality improvement, and the findings would help identify how to improve care for many Australians living with a chronic condition.
“As a GP, I know that most GP practices will appreciate knowing more about the people they treat, what is working in our healthcare system, and what they can do better,” she said.
“Any new insights we can learn about patient experiences will fill the gaps in our knowledge about primary care – so we can work together to improve our services and ensure better patient outcomes.”
“I’m especially keen to know how Australia’s primary care sector stacks up against other similar countries. The comparison with other practices across Australia will also be enlightening.”
In the survey, patients are asked about their care experience in the previous 12 months, satisfaction with their most recent consultation and specific questions about health outcomes and experiences.
A/Professor Marles said the study was an important opportunity for the sector and she encouraged GP practices to participate by registering for the survey and sending it to their patients.
“As a GP, it is reassuring to know that the PaRIS study has NHMRC ethics approval, that the patient’s privacy is protected, and the data will be de-identified.
“By taking part in the survey on care they have received by GPs, patients can use their voice to make a difference and help shape the future of health care in this country,” she added.
Participating GP practices will receive practice-level data to help them better understand patient experiences, how they compare to other practices, and identify opportunities to improve the care they provide.
The online survey is available in six languages: English, Chinese Simplified, Punjabi, Vietnamese, Arabic, Greek and Italian. Support is also available for patients who need help to complete the survey.
Angela Jackson, Communications and Media Manager
M: 0407 213 522 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org
[i] Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Health Conditions Prevalence for 2020-21. Released 21 March 2022.
[ii] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). Chronic Disease Overview. Updated 14 May 2023.
- Nearly half of all Australian adults (46.6%) live with a chronic health condition
- Australia is among 20 countries taking part in a new global survey of patients with chronic conditions
- The PaRIS Health Survey will help measure the outcomes and experiences of patients treated in GP practices across Australia
- The initative will shed light on whether our health system is meeting the needs of people with chronic conditions
About the Commission
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care is an Australian Government agency that leads and coordinates national improvements in the safety and quality of health care based on the best available evidence. By working in partnership with patients, carers, clinicians, the Australian, state and territory health systems, the private sector, managers and healthcare organisations, the Commission aims to ensure that the health system is better informed, supported and organised to deliver safe and high-quality care. www.safetyandquality.gov.au