The Provincial Health Research Committee (PHRC) hosted its fourth annual Provincial Health Research Day at Lentegeur Hospital’s Conference Centre on 24 October 2014.
The purpose of the annual Provincial Research Day is to bring together various stakeholders within the Western Cape Province and beyond to present and discuss health research conducted on the Provincial and City of Cape Town health service platforms. The theme for the 2014 Provincial Health Research Day was “Research Translation into policy or practice”.
The PHRC is the provincial counterpart to the National Health Research Committee established in terms of the National Health Act of 2003. The committee has broad terms of reference directed at promoting the contribution of research to societal health and welfare. The PHRC comprises members from all local academic institutions and research councils in the Western Cape; University of Cape Town (UCT), University of Stellenbosch (US), University of the Western Cape (UWC), Cape Town University of Technology (CPUT), Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), Medical Research Council (MRC); rural civil society, SANGOCO (Western Cape); City of Cape Town (CoCT) and the Provincial Department of Health.
The PHRC is supported by the Health Research sub-directorate, which falls within the Department of Health’s Health Impact Assessment Directorate. The goal of the Research sub-directorate is to promote evidence based health service delivery through supporting the conduct of research, ensuring the utilization of research findings for improved practice and policy and promoting a culture of research uptake within the health services in the Western Cape. The health research sub-directorate has been pivotal in assisting the National Department of Health with the development of the National Health Research Database which went live in September. The web-based system enables researchers to register and submit proposals online for more efficient processing of research applications to the department. In addition to co-ordinating the annual research day, the directorate produces bi-annual research newsletters themed around provincial research priorities.
Some of the Topics discussed at this year’s Provincial Research Day included:
Evaluation of the Electronic Continuity of Care Record
The WHO International Classification of Disease (ICD) codes are used for morbidity and mortality surveillance, health care finance, health care policy and research. Since 2005 clinicians have been required to provide ICD codes for both insured and uninsured patients discharged from public hospitals in the Western Cape. However, the implementation of this policy has remained a challenge due to the costs, time and sustainability of training the clinicians to encode. A computer application, the Electronic Continuity of Care Record (eCCR) was developed to aid clinicians in integrating ICD encoding into the patient discharge process.
SMS-text Adherence Support (STAR) trial: A qualitative evaluation of a mobile-phone based programme to enhance adherence to health care for hypertension in Cape Town.
Effective use of proven treatments for high blood pressure, a preventable health risk, is challenging, especially where resources limit delivery of care. The STAR trial, tested a low cost, mobile phone-based solution for providing medication collection reminders and targeted health messages by SMS-text to improve adherence behaviour and blood pressure. The trial of 1,372 hypertensive patients was partially integrated with existing primary care in a public-sector facility in Cape Town.