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The Health Performance and Policy Research Unit assesses important end results of healthcare such as effectiveness, safety, quality, and costs. Combining clinical medicine and data science, our goal is to generate research that informs clinical and policy strategies to improve the quality of care received by Australian communities. We are particularly focused on leveraging data routinely collected by health care facilities, and advanced analytical methods, to inform health outcomes and decision-making. We also seek to develop low-cost and implementable methods to measure to measure healthcare performance and reduce unwarranted variation in care.

Our vision is a patient-centered, value-driven and transparent health system that delivers the best possible health outcomes for healthcare dollars spent. We achieve this vision through critical and innovative health services research and training, and by generating research output that both stimulates and empowers clinicians and health services to improve patient care.

Researchers

Flinders University Honours Students

Taylor-Jade Woods

Supervisors: A/Prof Billingsley Kaambwa and A/Prof Peter Speck

Vanessa Woelk

Supervisors: A/Prof Peter Speck and A/Prof Billingsley Kaambwa

ORION: Leveraging Big Data to Inform Nationwide Cardiovascular Health Outcomes
The Observing Recurrent Incidence of Adverse Outcomes following HospitalisatioNs (ORION) study brings together a decade of cardiovascular hospitalisation data from all Australian States. Encompassing millions of healthcare records from more than 450 public hospitals and many private facilities, ORION allows our team to assess important end results of hospital-based cardiovascular care on a national scale and understand how these outcomes vary among the many healthcare facilities in Australia.
Reducing Unwarranted Variation in Early Complications After Cardiac Pacemaker and Defibrillator Implantation among Australian Hospitals
Implanted pacemakers and cardiac defibrillators are common and costly procedures performed in Australian hospitals. While very effective at treating heart rhythm abnormalities, patients can suffer serious complications which can vary among hospitals suggesting that complications are related to hospital quality. Supported by a HCF Research Foundation grant, the aim of this project is to develop methods to detect unwarranted variation in early complications, and the necessary technical requirements to integrate reporting into clinical practice, using data routinely collected by hospitals.
Impact of sleep deprivation on the risk of readmission
Hospitals readmissions are exceedingly common. These readmissions not only occur due to the lingering effects of the acute illness but may also because of stressors experienced during the initial hospital stay such as sleep deprivation. This clinical study measures the extent of sleep deprivation among patients in coronary care using sleep measurement devices and questionnaires to determine the association between the extent of sleep deprivation and the risk of readmission.
Novel Applications of Machine Learning in Healthcare
Machine learning refers to data-driven automated analysis techniques that rely on sophisticated pattern recognition to reach insights from large-scale datasets. Machine learning is widely used in non-healthcare industries for rapid automated analyses of massive volumes of unstructured data. In collaboration with the School of Computer Science at the University of Adelaide this project tests the application of machine learning methods to solve common healthcare problems using routinely collected hospital data.
Predicting 30-Day Readmission or Death in Heart Failure: Looking beyond the C-Statistic

Ranasinghe I, Krumholz HM. Predicting 30-Day Readmission or Death in Heart Failure: Looking beyond the C-Statistic. JAMA Cardiology ; 2016. Nov 1;1(8):965.

Long-Term Risk of Device-Related Complications and Reoperations after Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator Therapy

Ranasinghe I, Parzynski CS, Freeman JV, Dreyer RP, Ross JS, Akar JG, Krumholz HM, Curtis JP. Long-Term Risk of Device-Related Complications and Reoperations after Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator Therapy. Annals of Internal Medicine ; 2016. May 3. doi: 10.7326/M15-2732.

Differences in Colonoscopy Quality Among Facilities: Development of a Post-Colonoscopy Risk-Standardized Rate of Unplanned Hospital Visits

Ranasinghe I, Parzynski CS, Searfoss R, Montague J, Lin Z, Allen J, Vender R, Bhat K, Ross JS, Bernheim S, Krumholz HM, Drye EE. Differences in Colonoscopy Quality Among Facilities: Development of a Post-Colonoscopy Risk-Standardized Rate of Unplanned Hospital Visits. Gastroenterology; 2016 Jan;150(1):103-13.

Long-term mortality following interhospital transfer for acute myocardial infarction

Ranasinghe I, Barzi F, Brieger D, Gallagher M. Long-term mortality following interhospital transfer for acute myocardial infarction. Heart; 2015. Jul;101(13):1032-40.

Readmissions after Hospitalization for Heart Failure, Acute Myocardial Infarction, or Pneumonia among Young and Middle-Aged Adults: A Retrospective Observational Cohort Study

Ranasinghe I, Wang Y, Dharmarajan K, Hsieh AF, Bernheim SM, Krumholz HM. Readmissions after Hospitalization for Heart Failure, Acute Myocardial Infarction, or Pneumonia among Young and Middle-Aged Adults: A Retrospective Observational Cohort Study. PLoS Med; 2014. Sep 30;11(9):e1001737.

Epidemiology of Cardiovascular Disease and Depression

Air, T., Tully, P. J., Sweeney, S., & Beltrame, J. Epidemiology of Cardiovascular Disease and Depression. Book: Cardiovascular Diseases and Depression (editors Baune & Tully. Published by Springer) ; 2016. pp. 5-21.

Psychosis, socioeconomic disadvantage, and health service use in South Australia: Findings from the Second Australian National Survey of Psychosis 2015

Sweeney, S., Air, T., Zannettino, L., & Galletly, C. Psychosis, socioeconomic disadvantage, and health service use in South Australia: Findings from the Second Australian National Survey of Psychosis 2015. Frontiers in Public Health; 2015. 3.

Frequent attenders with mental disorders at a general hospital emergency department

Wooden, M. D., Air, T. M., Schrader, G. D., Wieland, B., & Goldney, R. D. Frequent attenders with mental disorders at a general hospital emergency department. Emergency Medicine Australasia; 2009. 21(3), 191-195.

Funding since 2013

Chief InvestigatorsGranting BodyProject TitleGrant TypeTotal funding AmountFunding Period
Ranasinghe INational Heart Foundation (#101186)Leveraging Big Data to Inform Cardiovascular Healthcare OutcomesFuture Leader Fellowship$520,0002017 - 2020
Ranasinghe I, Gallagher M, Scott IThe Hospital Research FoundationSafety, effectiveness of care and resource use among Australian hospitals (SAFER HOSPITALS)Translational$250,0002018-2019
Ranasinghe I, Kaambwa B, Adams RNational Heart FoundationHealthcare Costs and Resource Use associated with 30-day Hospital Readmissions among Heart Failure Patients2017 Vanguard Grant$75,0002018
Ranasinghe ITHRFThe ORION StudyProject$50,0002017
Ranasinghe I, Beltrame J, Tavella R, Zeitz C, Mazumdar S, Cooper BHCF Research FoundationReducing Unwarranted Variation in Early Complications After Cardiac Pacemaker and Defibrillator Implantation among Australian HospitalsÊProject$250,0002016 - 2017
Ranasinghe I, Carniero G, van den Hengel A, Beltrame J, Tavella RUniversity of Adelaide Interdisciplinary Research Funding SchemeNovel Applications of Machine Learning in HealthcareProject$25,0002016 - 2017
Ranasinghe IThe University of Adelaide Interdisciplinary Research Funding SchemeNovel applications of machine learning in healthcareProject Grant$12,5002016 - 2017
Ransinghe ITom Simpson TrustSleep measurement among cardiac patientsEquipment$8,0002016
Ranasinghe I, Labrosciano CSA Hotel Care Community Grants SchemeImpact of sleep disruption during hospitalisation on the risk of readmissionEquipment$7,7802016
Ranasinghe IUniversity of Adelaide Equipment Grants SchemeHigh Performance Computers for the ORION studyEquipment$7,2002016
Ranasinghe INHMRC & Heart Foundation (co-funded)Delivery & Performance of Cardiac Health ServicesNeil Hamilton Fairley Fellowship$389,0002013 - 2016
NameInstitutionCity/Country
Prof John BeltrameBasil Hetzel Institute, The Queen Elizabeth HospitalAdelaide, Australia
Dr Rosanna TavellaBasil Hetzel Institute, The Queen Elizabeth HospitalAdelaide, Australia
Prof Renuka VisvanathanBasil Hetzel Institute, The Queen Elizabeth HospitalAdelaide, Australia
Prof Robert AdamsThe Health Observatory, Flinders UniversityAdelaide, Australia
Prof Billingsley KaambwaHealth Economics Unit, Flinders UniversityAdelaide, Australia
A/Prof Anand GanesanDepartment of Cardiology, Flinders UniversityAdelaide, Australia
Prof Harlan KrumholzCenter for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Yale UniversityNew Haven, US
Prof Jeptha CurtisCenter for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Yale UniversityNew Haven, US
A/Prof Gustavo CarneiroSchool of Computer Science, University of AdelaideAdelaide, Australia
Prof Anton van den HengelSchool of Computer Science, University of AdelaideAdelaide, Australia
Dr Sanjay MazumdarData 2 Decisions CRCAdelaide, Australia
Dr Brenton CooperData 2 Decisions CRCAdelaide, Australia