Sydney powers back pain treatment with Qlik app

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Sydney Local Health District is using the Qlik platform to power its STARS (Sydney Local Health District Targeted Activity and Reporting System) Back Pain app, which enables healthcare professionals to treat lower back pain by delivering meaningful data to the frontline.

A study by Monash University shows that back pain reduces Australia’s GDP by $3.2 billion a year, and many patients are given opioids despite known harms or receive unnecessary imaging or are admitted to hospital.

The STARS Back Pain app provides clinicians with key information relevant to the management of lower back pain, whilst also efficiently providing a mechanism to identify and explore any clinical variation.

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The app is driving positive changes in clinical practice through audit and continuous feedback, helping to avoid the inappropriate use of tests and treatment for lower back pain, which in the past has included the prescription of dangerous opioids.

“Through the collaboration of our research team with the clinicians and performance unit, we can now see what part of the intervention worked, what didn’t, and what we can change moving forward,” said Bethan Richards, director of rheumatology at RPA Hospital. “One of the best things about this app is that each individual can ask their own questions, interrogate the data, and arrive at conclusions without doing extensive and time-consuming audits.”

In use across three participating emergency departments across NSW including RPA Hospital, Concord Repatriation General Hospital and Canterbury Hospital, the STARS Back Pain App provides clinicians with a summary of patients with lower back pain while highlighting clinical variations.

Through access to the app, healthcare professionals can now compare data across hospitals, which ignites conversations about trends, prescription rates and overall patient care.