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Academics secure nearly $10m in grants to improve patient safety

17 January, 2007

Improving patient safety in hospitals and preventing the spread of chronic diseases are the focus of two Monash University projects receiving funding in grant allocations of more than $9.9 million from the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Recipients were given funding for a wide range of research endeavours. Successful researchers included head of the Prehospital, Emergency and Trauma department, Professor Peter Cameron, who was granted $2.6 million for to a project to collect data to improve the quality of health care across Australia.

Professor Cameron said 20 researchers around Australia would assess the risks to hospital patients across a range of criteria and develop a national framework to improve patient safety.

"The project will collect data to give us an overview of what is happening in our hospitals. It is not a self-contained project but a way to put the framework in place to keep track of the causes of death in institutions and how unnecessary deaths can be avoided," Professor Cameron said.

Head of Epidemiology and Preventative Medicine, Dr John McNeil, will use his $1.8 million Health Services Research Award grant for an epidemiological modelling project, which is aimed at improving the effectiveness of chronic disease prevention.

"I was very pleased indeed to receive this grant. It has real potential to change the clinical approach to disease prevention," Dr McNeil said.

Monash received the highest amount of grant money in Victoria, followed by the University of Melbourne.

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