NHMRC-funded research into a model of integrated secondary fracture prevention in primary care
Professor Markus Seibel, Chair of the SOS Fracture Alliance, has been awarded a highly prestigious Investigator Grant by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for a project to implement and analyse an evidence-based, integrated model of care for secondary fracture prevention in primary care. Funding of this project commenced in 2021 for a period of 5 years.
Over recent months a team of researchers from the Sax Institute Sydney and the University of Newcastle as well as Primary Care Physicians and Radiologists have developed a detailed protocol for the first stage of the project. The study has recently received Human Research Ethics Committee approval and will commence it's pilot phase in Western Sydney soon.
Fracture Coding Project
It is well known that the official statistics for osteoporotic fractures as per Government data appear to be an underestimate by around an order of magnitude compared to that derived from other data sources. This apparent underestimate is not just a statistical error but a major barrier to securing government support and action to prevent secondary fractures, as the scale and thus impact of the problem is not correctly understood.
It has been identified by SOSFA that the discrepancy with the official statistics appears to be due to the way patient data is ‘coded’. Where the terminology used by clinicians is often inconsistent and ill-defined, causing errors when ‘translated’ into the official ‘codes’ that are used un health statistics.
In this project, SOSFA aims to better understand where in the coding process the errors are being generated and devise ways to correct the process. This involves working with several facilities across the country, PHNs and professional clinical coders.
If you are interested in finding out more, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Demonstrator Site Proposal
The primary focus of SOSFA's early efforts, the "Demonstrator Site Proposal" (DSP) was a multi-year project developing a mode of primary healthcare based secondary fracture prevention that could be tested in the Australian healthcare system. Initially intended for the Federal Government, subsequent iterations were then developed for each of the State and Territory Governments. Currently this model forms the basis for SOSFA's ongoing projects testing secondary fracture prevention in primary healthcare.
If you have a project or proposal that you believe could further build on the DSP, please contact us at email@example.com
ANZ Fragility Fracture Registry
In 2020 members of the SOS Fracture Alliance convened with interested parties to look at creating a Binational Fragility Fracture Registry (FFR), with funding via an unencumbered research grant from Amgen. Similar to the Australian and New Zealand Hip Fracture Registry, the FFR will cover secondary fracture prevention programs in Australia and New Zealand. It is hoped to produce a first National Fragility Fracture report in 2022.
Automated Case Finding Using Natural Language Processing (NLP)
In this project, two electronic case finding tools were tested at two different hospitals in Sydney, searching several ten-thousand radiology reports. The project concluded its first stage in late 2020, finding that both tools significantly increased the proportion of patients with minimal trauma fractures being identified. A Poster for the project was presented at the 30th Australia and New Zealand Bone Mineral Society's Annual Scientific Meeting (a copy of the Poster is available on the SOSFA website). SOSFA has published a video summary of the project findings here.
Currently SOSFA is looking for facilities across Australia who are interested in implementing and testing electronic case finding tools, with the aim to get pilot sites in every State and Territory health system to see how the tools work in their diverse operating environments. If you are interested in taking part in this project, or know a facility we should contact who might be interested, please let SOSFA Governing Committee member Dr Mark Kotowicz at firstname.lastname@example.org
SFP Community Awareness Videos
As part of SOSFA's strategic goal to raise awareness of secondary fractures in the Australian community, we are developing a series of animated web videos that give engaging plain language explanations of key aspects of this issue and the solutions we advocate for.