Australian health review: a publication of the Australian Hospital Association Journal Impact Factor & Information

Publisher: Australian Hospital Association, CSIRO Publishing

Current impact factor: 0.73

Impact Factor Rankings

2015 Impact Factor Available summer 2016
2014 Impact Factor 0.73
2013 Impact Factor 1
2012 Impact Factor 0.698
2011 Impact Factor 0.545
2010 Impact Factor 0.803
2009 Impact Factor 0.584

Impact factor over time

Impact factor

Additional details

5-year impact 0.96
Cited half-life 6.00
Immediacy index 0.17
Eigenfactor 0.00
Article influence 0.30
Website Australian Health Review website
Other titles Australian health review (Online)
ISSN 0156-5788
OCLC 60624483
Material type Document, Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

CSIRO Publishing

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • On author's personal repository or institutional repository
    • Must link to publisher version
    • Published source must be acknowledged
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
  • Classification

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In 2005, the Australian Productivity Commission made a recommendation that a national health registration regimen and a consolidated national accreditation regimen be established. On 1 July 2010, the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) for health practitioners came into effect and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) became the single national oversight agency for health professional regulation. It is governed by the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act (the National Law). While all states and territories joined NRAS for registration and accreditation, NSW did not join the scheme for the handling of complaints, but retained its existing co-regulatory complaint-handling system. All other states and territories joined the national notification (complaints) scheme prescribed in the National Law. Because the introduction of NRAS brings with it new processes and governance around the management of complaints that apply to all regulated health professionals in all states and territories except NSW, where complaints management remains largely unchanged, there is a need for comparative analysis of these differing national and NSW approaches to the management of complaints/notifications about health professionals, not only to allow transparency for consumers, but also to assess consistency of decision making around complaints/notifications across jurisdictions. This paper describes the similarities and differences for complaints/notifications handling between the NRAS and NSW schemes and briefly discusses subsequent and potential changes in other jurisdictions.
    Australian health review: a publication of the Australian Hospital Association 11/2015; DOI:10.1071/AH15050
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    ABSTRACT: Advance care planning (ACP) assists people to plan for their future health and personal care. ACP encourages a person to legally appoint a substitute decision maker (SDM) and to document any specific wishes regarding their future health care in an advance care directive (ACD). Formal documentation of wishes increases the chances that a person's wishes will be known and followed. However, one of the biggest impediments for doctors following the person's wishes is uncertainty surrounding the law, which is complicated and varies between the states and territories of Australia. SDM legislation varies regarding who can be appointed, how they are appointed, the powers that an SDM can be given and the decision-making principles that the SDM needs to follow. In circumstances where an SDM has not been appointed, the hierarchy for determining the default SDM for a person also varies between states. Although many states have legislated ACD forms allowing for documentation of a person's health care wishes, these forms allow for different things to be documented and have different requirements to be valid. The Australian population is mobile, with patients frequently moving between states. The status of ACP documentation created in a state other than the state in which a patient requires treatment also varies, with some states recognising interstate ACDs whereas others do not. This article outlines the legal status of ACDs, within Australian jurisdictions, including the legal validity of interstate ACDs, and argues that uniform laws and documents would assist with awareness and understanding of, and compliance with, ACDs.
    Australian health review: a publication of the Australian Hospital Association 11/2015; DOI:10.1071/AH15120
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies have documented the application of electronic health insurance claim data for health services research purposes. In addition to administrative and billing details of healthcare services, insurance data reveal important information regarding professional interactions and/or links that emerge among healthcare service providers through, for example, informal knowledge sharing. By using details of such professional interactions and social network analysis methods, the aim of the present study was to develop a research framework to explore health care coordination and collaboration. The proposed framework was used to analyse a patient-centric care coordination network and a physician collaboration network. The usefulness of this framework and its applications in exploring collaborative efforts of different healthcare professionals and service providers is discussed.What is known about the topic? Application of methods and measures of social network analytics in exploring different health care collaboration and coordination networks is a comparatively new research direction. It is apparent that no other study in the present healthcare literature proposes a generic framework for examining health care collaboration and coordination using an administrative claim dataset.What does this paper add? Using methods and measures of social network analytics, this paper proposes a generic framework for analysing various health care collaboration and coordination networks extracted from an administrative claim dataset.What are the implications for the practitioners? Healthcare managers or administrators can use the framework proposed in the present study to evaluate organisational functioning in terms of effective collaboration and coordination of care in their respective healthcare organisations.
    Australian health review: a publication of the Australian Hospital Association 11/2015; DOI:10.1071/AH15058

  • Australian health review: a publication of the Australian Hospital Association 11/2015; DOI:10.1071/AH15170
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    ABSTRACT: Objective Over past decades, Australian and Canadian Indigenous primary healthcare policies have focused on supporting community controlled Indigenous health organisations. After more than 20 years of sustained effort, over 89% of eligible communities in Canada are currently engaged in the planning, management and provision of community controlled health services. In Australia, policy commitment to community control has also been in place for more than 25 years, but implementation has been complicated by unrealistic timelines, underdeveloped change management processes, inflexible funding agreements and distrust. This paper discusses the lessons from the Canadian experience to inform the continuing efforts to achieve the implementation of community control in Australia.Methods We reviewed Canadian policy and evaluation grey literature documents, and assessed lessons and recommendations for relevance to the Australian context.Results Our analysis yielded three broad lessons. First, implementing community control takes time. It took Canada 20 years to achieve 89% implementation. To succeed, Australia will need to make a firm long term commitment to this objective. Second, implementing community control is complex. Communities require adequate resources to support change management. And third, accountability frameworks must be tailored to the Indigenous primary health care context to be meaningful.Conclusions We conclude that although the Canadian experience is based on a different context, the processes and tools created to implement community control in Canada can help inform the Australian context.What is known about the topic? Although Australia has promoted Indigenous control over primary healthcare (PHC) services, implementation remains incomplete. Enduring barriers to the transfer of PHC services to community control have not been addressed in the largely sporadic attention to this challenge to date, despite significant recent efforts in some jurisdictions.What does this paper add? The Canadian experience indicates that transferring PHC from government to community ownership requires sustained commitment, adequate resourcing of the change process and the development of a meaningful accountability framework tailored to the sector.What are the implications for practitioners? Policy makers in Australia will need to attend to reform in contractual arrangements (towards pooled or bundled funding), adopt a long-term vision for transfer and find ways to harmonise the roles of federal and state governments. The arrangements achieved in some communities in the Australian Coordinated Care Trials (and still in place) provide a model.
    Australian health review: a publication of the Australian Hospital Association 11/2015; DOI:10.1071/AH14101
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    ABSTRACT: Objective The aim of the present study was to develop, implement and explore the effects of a program in advance care planning (ACP) within a tertiary hospital general medicine service.Methods Before-after exploratory mixed-methods analysis was conducted of an ACP program comprising seven components designed to overcome well-documented barriers to ACP in clinical practice. The results of pre-ACP program audits performed in June 2014 were compared with those of post-ACP audits performed over 5 months from July to November 2014. The main outcome measure was the number of advance care plans completed in patients considered eligible for ACP based on a life expectancy of 12 months or less as assessed by two prognostication instruments. Questionnaire surveys ascertained staff perceptions of ACP and the usefulness of training and resources in ACP.Results Pre-ACP program analysis of 166 consecutive patients deemed eligible for ACP revealed that only 1% had a documented advance care plan. Following ACP implementation, 115 of 215 (53%) potentially eligible patients were considered able to participate in ACP discussions and were approached to do so before discharge, of whom 89 (77.4%) completed an advance care plan, whereas 26 (23.6%) declined. This equated to an overall completion rate for all potentially eligible patients of 41% compared to 1% pre-ACP (P < 0.001). Major barriers to ACP perceived by at least 30% of questionnaire respondents included the reluctance of patients and family to discuss ACP, insufficient time to initiate or complete ACP, patient and/or family factors that rendered ACP impractical, inadequate communication skills around end-of-life issues, confusion about who was primarily responsible for conducting ACP and difficulty using ACP documentation forms. Enabling factors included dedicated ACP workshops, facilitator and resource packages for staff, and ACP brochures for patients and family.Conclusion A multifaceted ACP program in a general medicine service led to completion of an advance care plan in more than three of four patients considered eligible for, and who participated in, ACP. However, although program components were tailored to overcome known barriers to ACP, staff indicated ongoing difficulties, with less than half of ACP-eligible patients completing advance care plans.What is known about this topic? Advance care planning is increasingly recognised as an important part of hospital care for older patients with advanced chronic disease. However, research indicates that ACP discussions are rare in hospital settings because of various barriers that are not adequately addressed in the design of ACP programs.What does this paper add? The present exploratory study of the development, implementation and evaluation of an ACP program in a tertiary hospital general medicine service shows that program components designed to overcome specific barriers to ACP discussions was associated with a >75% completion rate of advance care plans among ACP-eligible patients who participated in ACP discussions. Dedicated staff training and resources in ACP, employment of an ACP facilitator and ready access to ACP documentation forms were important enabling strategies.What are the implications for practitioners? Hospital units caring for significant numbers of older patients with limited life expectancy can implement ACP programs that help normalise ACP discussions within routine clinical care.
    Australian health review: a publication of the Australian Hospital Association 11/2015; DOI:10.1071/AH15068
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    ABSTRACT: Background The ability of the physiotherapy workforce to meet the growing demand in the Australian community is uncertain, despite increasing tertiary students and numbers of registered physiotherapists annually.Objectives The present narrative literature review investigates what is known about the Australian physiotherapy workforce, what factors contribute to attrition from the profession and what strategies could be implemented to improve retention of skilled physiotherapists.Methods A literature search of five databases identified 24 articles that informed the content of the present review. The articles were reviewed and content summarised according to focus areas and results discussed in the current Australian healthcare context.Results Although many factors of attrition are inevitable, the present review identified some potentially modifiable factors of attrition. Strategies to improve retention of skilled physiotherapists were broadly grouped into improving professional support in the workforce and assisting the re-entry process for physiotherapists seeking to return to the workforce.Conclusion Increasing retention of qualified and skilled physiotherapists nationally will help build workforce capacity, meeting the needs of the growing, changing and aging community.What is known about the topic? The demand for physiotherapists is growing significantly in Australia and the ability of the workforce to meet growing demands is uncertain.What does this paper add? Many physiotherapists in Australia leave the workforce and the profession early in their careers. Addressing modifiable factors of attrition could help improve the retention of practitioners and skills in the profession, building workforce capacity.What are the implications for practitioners? Professional support for current physiotherapists is crucial. Re-entry physiotherapists should be supported with flexible return-to-work programs, refresher training and mentorship.
    Australian health review: a publication of the Australian Hospital Association 11/2015; DOI:10.1071/AH15114
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    ABSTRACT: Objective This paper explores the body of knowledge around Indigenous health research and aims to outline what roles are appropriate for non-Indigenous researchers within Indigenous health research in Australia.Methods A literature review was conducted using CINAHL, PubMed and Scopus in May 2015. The search terms were 'non-Indigenous researchers' AND 'Indigenous health research' and other combinations of these terms. Additional documents were sourced by hand using the reference lists of key articles.Results Seven thematic categories were identified: (1) Closing the Gap: implications for research; (2) history of Indigenous research; (3) developing Indigenous research using a capacity-building approach; (4) the cultural interface between Western paradigms and Indigenous knowledge; (5) ethical Indigenous research; (6) culturally safe Indigenous research; and (7) positive roles for non-Indigenous researchers in Indigenous research.Conclusion It is important that non-Indigenous researchers become more aware of culturally appropriate ways in which to undertake Indigenous research and to ensure that the research undertaken is safe, ethical and useful for participants. Fostering partnerships between non-Indigenous academic organisations and researchers and Indigenous health researchers is an important development that can promote and enhance the emerging field of Indigenous inquiry. Actively contributing to capacity building with Indigenous researchers and research initiatives is a key role that non-Indigenous researchers and academic institutions can have in improving Indigenous health. Self-determination through health research capacity building and evidence-based advocacy may provide the most useful outcomes for Indigenous people.What is known about the topic? The health status of Indigenous Australians is well below that of other Australians. Historically, research about Indigenous health has been undertaken by non-Indigenous researchers using Western research paradigms. There is a need to identify appropriate roles for non-Indigenous researchers supportive of culturally safe and ethical research.What does this paper add? This paper synthesises available knowledge about the role of non-Indigenous researchers with Indigenous health research and provides suggestions for their contribution to Indigenous research practice.What are the implications for practitioners? Non-Indigenous researchers need to: (1) focus on culturally safe research practices; (2) be willing to address power imbalances within the research process; and (3) advocate for change within academic institutions to support culturally safe research practices.
    Australian health review: a publication of the Australian Hospital Association 10/2015; DOI:10.1071/AH15103
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    ABSTRACT: Objective Emergency rooms play an important role by providing continuous access to healthcare 24 h a day, 7 days a week, but the lack of available hospital beds has become a major difficulty. Changing bed management policy could improve patient flow. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the consequences of a change in patient prioritisation on available beds.Methods The study consisted of a computerised bed management simulation based on day-by-day data collected from 1 to 31 January 2013 in a teaching hospital. Real hospital data were used to power the computer simulation. The scenarios tested were: (1) priority for emergency and surgery; (2) priority for emergency and medicine; (3) priority for planned admissions and surgery; and (4) priority for planned admissions and medicine. The results of these scenarios were compared with each other and to actual data.Results This study included 2347 patients. The scenario that proved to be the least efficient was the one that gave priority to emergency patients presenting with a medical condition. The scenario that exhibited the best efficiency was the one that gave priority to planned admissions and surgery.Conclusions Changing policies for hospital bed management is worth exploring to improve hospital patient flow and length of stay.What is known about the topic? The lack of available hospital beds is a major difficulty in managing patient flow in emergency rooms (ERs). The ER patient flow competes against a flow of planned hospital admissions for the same beds and the lack of a clearly defined policy on either prioritising ER patient flow over planned admissions or vice versa contributes to a disordered system.What does this paper add? We compared several simulated scenarios corresponding to different bed management policies. The scenario that gave priority to planned admissions and surgery gave the most suitable results.What are the implications for practitioners? Postponing scheduled surgical patients was not an efficient procedure to solve hospital overcrowding.
    Australian health review: a publication of the Australian Hospital Association 10/2015; DOI:10.1071/AH15088
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    ABSTRACT: Protected mealtimes is an initiative to support increased nutritional intake for all hospitalised patients, particularly those who are malnourished. The increased focus on maximising independence of patients in the subacute setting may provide a supportive environment for implementing these strategies. The aim of the present study was to gain insight into subacute ward practices at mealtimes under usual conditions (i.e. at baseline) where no protected mealtimes policy was implemented. Participants were patients aged ≥65 years recruited from subacute care facilities at a large healthcare network in Victoria, Australia. Participants were observed at mealtimes and mid meals (i.e. morning tea, afternoon tea and supper) to determine daily energy and protein intake, provision of mealtime assistance and mealtime interruptions. Almost all participants received assistance when it was needed, with positive and negative interruptions experienced by 56.2% and 76.2% of participants, respectively. There was an energy deficit of approximately 2 MJ per day between average intake and estimated requirements. In conclusion, mealtime practices were suboptimal, with particularly high rates of negative interruptions. Protected mealtimes is one strategy that may improve the mealtime environment to support patients' dietary intake. Prospective studies are needed to evaluate its implementation and effects.What is known about this topic? The mealtime environment on a hospital ward may influence the nutritional intake of patients. Protected mealtimes is a systems approach that aims to minimise negative interruptions and promote positive interruptions to enhance the nutritional intake and nutritional status of patients. Whilst the approach has been widely implemented, further evaluation of its fidelity and effects is required.What does this paper add? This observational research has determined the nutritional intake, provision of assistance and interruptions at mealtimes experienced by a cohort of subacute care patients under usual care conditions. An energy deficit of approximately 2MJ below estimated requirements was identified. Half of the participants received positive interruptions and the majority of participants requiring assistance received it, however the prevalence of negative interruptions was high. This pilot study has enabled a fully powered prospective study to be designed, exploring the implementation of protected mealtimes and its effects on nutritional intake of patients in the subacute setting.What are the implications for practitioners? The energy deficit that exists for patients in subacute care may lead to nutritional decline, and longer lengths of stay. There are opportunities to improve ward practices at mealtimes in the subacute setting to focus on nutritional care.
    Australian health review: a publication of the Australian Hospital Association 10/2015; DOI:10.1071/AH15060

  • Australian health review: a publication of the Australian Hospital Association 10/2015; DOI:10.1071/AH15161

  • Australian health review: a publication of the Australian Hospital Association 10/2015; DOI:10.1071/AH15163
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    ABSTRACT: Objective The aims of the present paper were to: (1) review the research literature that contributes to an understanding of the role of volunteer home visiting programs in supporting the health and well being of families with young children; and (2) propose a conceptual model outlining service pathways for families in need of additional support.Methods An integrative literature review method was used, with a mix of electronic and manual search methods for the period January 1980-January 2014. Forty-five studies were identified that met the inclusion criteria for review and were coded according to themes developed a priori.Results There is little formal research that has examined the effectiveness of volunteer home visiting programs for supporting family health and well being. The available research suggests that volunteer home visiting programs provide socioemotional support through structured social relationships; however, there is limited empirical evidence to explicate the factors that contribute to these outcomes.Conclusion In recognition of the importance of peer support for new parents, the not-for-profit sector has been involved in providing volunteer home visiting services to families for decades. However, the body of research to support this work is characterised by methodological limitations, and rigorous evidence is limited. What is clear anecdotally and qualitatively from the existing research is that parents who are in need of additional support value engagement with a community volunteer. These structured social relationships appear to fulfil a service need within the community, helping build bridges to support social networks, and thus complementing professional services and relationships. Overall, structured social relationships in the form of volunteer home visiting programs appear to provide an important pathway to support family health and well being. Findings from the existing research are mixed and often characterised by methodological limitations, pointing to a need for further rigorous research.What is known about the topic? Volunteer family support programs have been an important part of the service landscape for vulnerable families, both nationally and internationally, for many years. Anecdotal reports suggest that this is a valued form of support that increases a sense of community connectedness and breaks down barriers for families in accessing other community support services.What does this paper add? This paper proposes a model identifying broad service pathways impacting on family health and well being that takes into account the importance of structured social relationships and social connectedness.What are the implications for practitioners? The proposed model may encourage discussion by practitioners and organisations interested in models of support for families who are socially isolated and/or in need of assistance to access and engage with services within the community.
    Australian health review: a publication of the Australian Hospital Association 10/2015; DOI:10.1071/AH15057
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    ABSTRACT: Objective The aims of this study were to estimate the prevalence count of people with intellectual developmental disorders (IDD) in New South Wales (NSW) in 2003, by age groups, and to forecast their prevalence until 2043.Methods Administrative data obtained from NSW government departments of education, pensions, health and disability were used to profile the number of people whose characteristics met the criteria for 'intellectual developmental disorders' who had received services in 2003. These figures were compared with published tables of NSW data from the national self-report Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC) of 2003 to estimate the likely prevalence of people with intellectual developmental disorders, by age groups in that year. The results were then used as baseline figures in a computational system dynamics model of the aging chain of people with these disorders, built to project prevalence to 2043.Results The number of people who met the criteria for having intellectual developmental disorder in NSW in 2003 was estimated to be 57000 (a ratio of 85 per 10000), with 32000 aged 0-15 years, 15000 aged 16-39 years, 9000 aged 40-64 years and 1000 aged 65+ years. Using these figures as baseline, the computer simulation predicted a total increase to 77225 people in 2013 and 135905 people by 2043. By 2043, the number of children with intellectual developmental disorders will have doubled, from 32000 to 59480, and the number of adults will have tripled, from 25000 to 76420.Conclusions This modelling technique forecast an increase in the prevalence count of people with intellectual developmental disorders in NSW over the period 2003-43 from 57000 (85 per 10000) to 135905 (135 per 10000). These predictions may have important implications for the planning of specialist health services for this group of people.What is known about the topic? The prevalence ratio of people with intellectual developmental disorders is quoted at lying between 1% and 2% of the Australian population, depending on the definition adopted. It is known that life expectancy for this group of people is increasing. Many people with intellectual developmental disorders have multiple service demands and there is a need to understand the prevalence count in various age groups in order to plan effectively for their health service needs.What does this paper add? This paper confirms a NSW prevalence ratio of people with intellectual developmental disorders of approximately 0.85% for the purposes of specialist health service planning at the beginning of the 21st century, and this is predicted to increase to 1.35% over a 40-year period. The paper demonstrates that there will be significant growth in the number of adults surviving to old age between 2003 and 2043.What are the implications for practitioners? It is known that as people with intellectual developmental disorders age, their health promoting care needs increase, as do their dependencies on special supports. Planning for the allocation of resources associated with the welfare and healthcare of people with intellectual developmental disorders may need to be focused on this anticipated increase in the number of older people with the condition.
    Australian health review: a publication of the Australian Hospital Association 10/2015; DOI:10.1071/AH14150
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    ABSTRACT: Objective The aim of the present study was to explore the potential of coronial inquest data to inform patient safety improvement in hospitals at a system level.Methods A retrospective analysis of 20 years of South Australian (SA) coronial inquest findings was performed using both qualitative content analysis methods and statistical descriptive analyses.Results In all, 113 cases were analysed. More than one-third of deaths (39%) were associated with emergency care. Analysis revealed 11 recurrent themes and two notable contributing factors that highlighted specific areas of concern for SA hospitals over that time period. The most common action recommended by coroners (49.6%; n = 56 cases) was the review or development of policy, protocol, procedure or guidelines designed to improve patient care. In almost one-quarter (24%) of deaths reviewed, coroners alerted health authorities to poor standards of care and/or instructed individual clinicians to review the standard of their clinical practice.Conclusions The analysis provided a retrospective review of coronial inquest data associated with hospital care over a 20-year period. The findings highlight specific areas of concern for patient safety over that time. More broadly, this analysis contributes to an emerging body of evidence in the Australian academic literature that demonstrates the value of systematic analysis of coronial data at a system level to inform patient safety improvement in Australian healthcare.What is known about the topic? Australian coroners have an important role to play in public health and safety. Many areas of social inquiry across Australia use coronial inquest data to identify recurrent hazards and assist in the development of relevant social policy. However, there is very little research reported in the academic literature that associates analyses of coronial data with patient safety improvement in healthcare. Although coronial recommendations made from individual cases of avoidable death are considered by health authorities, there is no evidence in the academic or grey literature that any systematic analysis of coronial inquest data is undertaken at a national or state or territory level to contribute to patient safety improvement. The few cases that are reported in the Australian academic literature provide valuable evidence of the benefits in terms of identifying recurrent hazards and prompting practice change.What does this paper add? This paper provides a descriptive overview of 20 years of coronial inquest data associated with hospital care in one Australian state. It provides evidence of recurrent themes and noteworthy contributing factors that highlight specific areas of concern for patient safety in hospitals. The methods used in the analysis can be applied across other settings in Australian healthcare. In addition, the paper adds to an emerging body of research evidence in the Australian academic literature illustrating the benefits of reviewing coronial inquest data to inform patient safety initiatives.What are the implications for practitioners? Findings from this analysis can be used to further the knowledge and understanding of health practitioners working in hospital settings as to the type of patients, clinical incidents and medical management issues that have featured repeatedly in avoidable deaths reported by coroners.
    Australian health review: a publication of the Australian Hospital Association 10/2015; DOI:10.1071/AH15020