Quality Care by dietitians

Overview

This project is led by PhD Candidate Amy Kirkegaard.

Quality management has been a key focus in health care for many decades. Tertiary health care organisations and general practices are required to systematically apply quality management practices to meet the relevant accreditation standards. While many professional dietetic associations from around the world require member dietitians to comply with competency standards, which include competencies relating to monitoring and improving quality, it is not currently clear as to what quality management practices are employed in primary care dietetic practice.

Twenty-two percent of adult deaths worldwide can be attributed to dietary risk factors. Dietitians have demonstrated effectiveness at improving clinical outcomes in primary care settings, making dietitians well placed to address chronic disease. Quality management is critical to ensuring that health outcomes are optimised. Given the opportunity for dietitians to positively impact the rising burden of chronic conditions, current and optimal quality management practices must be explored to ensure primary care dietitians are supported to deliver the highest quality care.

Aims

  1. To describe and evaluate interventions aiming to enhance primary care dietetic practice by incorporating quality improvement strategies;
  2. To explore how quality is managed and improved in primary care dietetic practice in Australia;
  3. To develop and test quality management and improvement tool/s to support dietitians to enhance quality and optimise care outcomes.

Impact

This research will contribute evidence to support our understanding of how primary care dietitians manage quality at the practice level, and what is required at this level such that optimal care outcomes are achieved. The knowledge generated will allow primary care dietitians to manage quality with the potential to positively impact chronic disease incidence and prevalence and decrease the associated personal and economic burden.