Health care honour for HMRI biostatistician

Nov 27 2012

The Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS) has awarded its prestigious 2012 ACHS Medal to Professor Robert ‘Bob’ Gibberd, a distinguished mathematical physicist and biostatistician, recognised internationally for his work in measuring health processes and outcomes and the use of data to monitor trends in quality over time.

Professor Gibberd is a Conjoint Professor of the University of Newcastle, and Director of the Health Services Research Group, University of Newcastle.

ACHS President, Adjunct Associate Professor Karen Linegar said “We are delighted to present this award to Professor Gibberd for his significant work in statistical modelling that, through a range of specialist projects at both Commonwealth and State level, has resulted in improvements in both patient safety as well as quality in health care.”

“Professor Gibberd has been a forthright pioneer who promoted the value of measurement to drive safety and quality, a focus that is only now being universally accepted and implemented,” she said.

“Professor Gibberd’s career started in 1974 as the Director of the Hunter Health Statistics Unit, and in 1989 he became Director of the Health Services Research Group (HSRG) where he considerably improved systems for collecting, analysing and communicating indicator data.  In both roles he has contributed extensively to delivering data reports for States on quality, admission rates, re-admission rates and evaluation of health services, as well as supervising health researchers and statistical and programming staff.”

“Through his key role in developing and designing statistical methodology to assess practice he was one of the principle investigators of the ground breaking study Quality in Australian Health Care published in the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) in 1995, establishing a baseline for the incidence of adverse events in health care resulting in many improvements in the Australian health care system.”

HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health and the community.