UOW partakes in Health datathon

Researchers provide insight into patient health care and rehabilitation

The Australasian Rehabilitation Outcomes Centre (AROC), based at the University of Wollongong (UOW), last month participated in the Bendigo Health Critical Care Datathon.

It was the third time such an event had been held in Australia, with the aim of using data to provide a valuable insight into patient health care and rehabilitation.

AROC is the rehabilitation national clinical quality registry for Australia and New Zealand, part of the Australian Health Services Research Initiative (AHSRI).

The Datathon brought together clinicians, clinical students, and data scientists to work in teams over two days – September 8 and 9 – to ask and answer clinical questions using health system data as evidence.

Patrick Steele, Associate Fellow at AHSRI, said the UOW group was invited to participate because their data describes outcomes of care for people undertaking rehabilitation, following an episode of critical care.

AROC’s data was linked with Victorian Department of Health and Human Services Data as well as data from the Australia and New Zealand Intensive Care clinical registry to provide a deep insight into patient journeys in the Victorian health system, from first admission in hospital to rehabilitation.

The Bendigo Health Critical Care Datathon brought together more than 120 people from Australia and overseas, who formed 15 teams.

Health Datathon Main 2

The teams interrogated the data to answer research questions as varied as ‘What are the factors that affect recovery post-ICU?’, ‘How does living alone affect hospital experience?’, ‘What are the outcomes of cardiac arrest survivors requiring rehabilitation?’ ‘What are the outcomes for regionally treated cancer patients compared to those treated in metropolitan hospitals?’.

AROC team members participated as mentors to help teams correctly interpret the AROC Data and also as team members, working on a single question.

Frances Simmonds, Director of AROC, said the Datathon was valuable in highlighting the ways in which patient care can be analysed and improved.

“AROC recognises the potential of datathons to highlight the important role rehabilitation plays in a patient’s hospital stay,” Ms Simmonds said. “Linking AROC data to their acute care provides a powerful tool to analyse and subsequently improve the outcomes of all patients.”

AROC will present a seminar, The Datathon Concept: A new approach to health data collaboration and research, on 31 October, 12:30pm at AHSRI. RSVP to juliedc@uow.edu.au

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