The impact of coordinated care: Eyre region, South Australia 1997–1999

Peter Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The SA HealthPlus Coordinated Care Trial in the Eyre Region began in fortuitous circumstances. First, it coincided with the completion of the Eyre Regional Health Service (ERHS) needs assessment in 1996, which highlighted outstanding health service needs and community concerns in relation to health care across the region. Second, although conceived as a formal trial, using standard research techniques, scientific processes and formal control groups to test significant differences between intervention and control groups, the trial did not conform strictly to the rules of social science or pure science and became more an exercise in action research. More significantly still, the Eyre Region became involved in the process, not so much as a way of proving a concept (the SA Health Plus hypotheses around utilisation, funding and health outcomes), but as a way of creating opportunities for change in the regional health system. If nothing else, the region stood to benefit from the implementation of the trial and involvement in the trial process. The present paper outlines the impact of the Eyre Coordinated Care Trial, not in terms of hypotheses and data analysis, but in terms of the impact of the trial processes on systems change and the evolution of an outcome-based health system. Such a system has the potential to deliver improved health outcomes to communities within existing financial resources and make much more effective use of resources by integrating care delivery and encouraging collaboration between health providers. In addition, the success of the change process in Eyre also supports the notion that change is not necessarily predicated upon scientific processes and research outcomes alone, but also upon the human and social structures associated with such endeavours. This perspective also contributes to the debate about the nature and role of science in the advancement of knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-74
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian Journal of Rural Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2001
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2001, Blackwell Publishing. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Coordinated care
  • Eyre region
  • Health service
  • Rural
  • SA HealthPlus


Dive into the research topics of 'The impact of coordinated care: Eyre region, South Australia 1997–1999'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this