How might we reduce hospital acquired complications?

St. Vincent's Health Australia

Currently in progress.
Check our blog and socials for updates!

Australia has one of the best health systems in the world but things can go wrong. One in every nine patients who go into hospital in Australia suffers a complication – about 900,000 patients each year. If they stay in overnight, the figure rises to one in four – about 725,000 patients each year.

Hospital Acquired Complications (HACs) are adverse events experienced by patients in hospitals. There are 16 HACs as defined by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. HACs cause patients harm that is potentially preventable. They affect a patient's recovery and can result in a longer length of stay in hospital. They also use precious resources that could be spent treating other patients.

This challenge creates an exciting opportunity for a startup to create a solution to help predict which patients will develop which HACs in order to proactively predict and prevent the occurrence of HACs so that hospitals can reduce harm.

Why are we focused on this?

Improving safety and quality of care is a high priority for St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne. This work will help improve safety and quality of care that patients receive, as well as reduce waste in terms of cost and length of stay.

What we’re looking for in the solution?

The desired solution is a predictive model that considers the relationships between HACS as well as causal and contributory factors.

When a patient enters St Vincent’s the information recorded on admission would be used to predict the likelihood of any complication during that episode of care.

An extension would be a prediction of:

This risk information would be used by hospital staff to manage and hopefully avoid the complication.

There may be technological limitations due to developing and improving IT infrastructure. Data privacy issues will need to be considered in releasing patient level data to a third party.

Who are the end users?

What assets are available to help co-design the solution?

St Vincent’s can provide deep domain knowledge i.e. understanding of the current status, systems and limitations.

St Vincent’s has good availability of patient administration data that could be useful to develop a predictive model.

Peninsula Health is another health service that has agreed to be a contributor to co-design the solution.

What is the opportunity for the successful startup?

HACs cost the Australian hospital system more than $5 billion a year.

This challenge would have up to $185,000 in funding which includes:

Beyond the program period the solution would be of great interest to every health service globally.


We will be running several Information sessions, which will give you a chance to meet the Challenge Owners and better understand the CivVic Labs program;

Information session 1 (in-person): Thursday, 28th March 2019, 10-11 am. Ended.

Information session 2 (Online): Thursday, 4th April 2019, 1- 2 pm. Ended. Some of the questions asked can be found in the FAQ section.

Want to know more? Sign up to our newsletter.