Doctors and nurses at research clinics provide patients referred from their GPs with a targeted program of health care to address the conditions concerned; just as they would receive if they were referred to any other doctor. GPs may choose to refer patients to a research clinic because they believe it is appropriate given the patient's condition and will benefit the patient.
With permission from patients who are willing to participate in research arising from the program of health care, the clinicians use the outcomes recorded in medical records to conduct various types of research, such as investigating the effectiveness of different modes of health care delivery, or the feasibility of recommended ‘gold standard’ treatment plans.
Undertaking research in this way is an important complement to clinical trials because it enables doctors to work directly with the broad variety of patients that clinicians typically come across in ‘real world’ clinical settings.
Demonstrating its commitment to Illawarra residents, IHMRI has recently established its first bulk-billing research clinic.
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, dementia and kidney disease. Reducing the risk of these common conditions by reducing high blood pressure is an important challenge for health care professionals and their patients.
Professor Wilf Yeo, a specialist physician and clinical pharmacologist with 20 years experience in the treatment of hypertension, together with IHMRI clinic doctors, is providing referred patients with care according to Heart Foundation guidelines.
Importantly, the team is undertaking research to evaluate the effectiveness of careful and comprehensive implementation of the guidelines with the aim of advancing knowledge about the best way to manage the condition.