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Dr Peter Howley

Senior Lecturer

School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (Statistics)

Career Summary

Biography

Research Expertise
My primary research focuses on Bayesian hierarchical modeling and its application to foster quality improvement activity in health care, through the creation of improved methods for analysis and reporting of clinical indicator data. This has involved work with the Australian Council on Health Care Standards and Health Services Research Group. This area relates well with my research into 'performance measures', which extends beyond the health care field. My broader interests (incl. publications and consulting) lie with research and applications of Statistics in the fields of health, finance and management and with quality improvement activity in health, industry, business and education.

Teaching Expertise
I have taught all levels of undergraduate Statistics courses and courses for Master of Statistics and MBA programs, both on-campus and online. My expertise lies with teaching statistical courses (including introductory courses, regression, experimental and questionnaire design, quality improvement courses), particularly to non-statistically minded people. My pet areas are Business Statistics, Business Research Methods and Total Quality Management. I've designed and presented two-day seminars on Continuous Improvement to organisations as well as creating and coordinating the inaugural delivery of the Statistic's Disciplines first online (web-based) course, Total Quality Management.

Administrative Expertise
Coordination of courses (on-campus and web-based). Acting Head of Discipline. Membership of School Boards. Coordinator and chair of conference sessions. Associate Editor of International Journal. Section Chair in Statistical Society of Australia Inc. Statistics' Honours and Research Higher Degree Programme Coordinator.

Collaborations
Taipei Medical University (Dr Sheuwen Chuang) - Systems thinking and Total Quality Management in Health Care UQ, USyd, JCU, UoW, UTas, and School of Education, UoN - Enhancing the Training of Science and Mathematics Teachers Schools of Education and Engineering - Building STEM students' numeracy for success in higher education School of Education, UoN - (A/Prof Ruth Reynolds, Dr Erica Southgate) Reflecting upon and assessing education programs Health Services Research Group and Australian Council on Healthcare Standards - Bayesian Modelling, Measuring and Reporting on Clinical Indicators

Qualifications

  • PhD, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Mathematics, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Mathematics (Honours), University of Newcastle

Keywords

  • Bayesian hierarchical models
  • Business Statistics
  • Clinical indicators
  • Performance indicators
  • Quality Improvement
  • Research Methods
  • Statistical Education
  • Statistical modelling
  • Statistics
  • Total Quality Management

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
010401 Applied Statistics 60
110399 Clinical Sciences not elsewhere classified 20
111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified 20

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Senior Lecturer University of Newcastle
School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Australia

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/01/2007 -  Co-Section Chair of Statistical Education Statistical Society of Australia Inc.
Australia
1/01/2003 - 1/12/2005 Section Chair of Medical Statistics Statistical Society of Australia Inc.
Australia
1/01/2002 -  Editorial Board - Statistical Society of Australia Inc. Statistical Society of Australia Inc.
Australia
1/01/2000 - 1/11/2001 Casual Academic University of Newcastle
School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Australia
1/01/1999 - 1/12/1999 Associate Lecturer University of Newcastle
Business and Law
Australia
1/01/1995 - 1/02/1998 Research Statistician Health Services Research Group
Statistics Department
Australia

Membership

Dates Title Organisation / Department
Section Chair of Medical Statistics Statistical Society of Autralia Inc.
Australia

Professional appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/01/1994 - 1/02/1994 Assistant to Group Quality Manager AmpControl Pty Ltd
Quality Management- Consultant

Awards

Distinction

Year Award
2014 VC Award for Teaching Excellence and Contributions to Student Learning
Unknown

Recognition

Year Award
2014 Faculty S&IT Service Teaching Award
Unknown
2004 Peter Reizenstein Prize
Unknown
2004 Faculty of Science and IT's teaching award
Unknown

Research Award

Year Award
2000 Conference poster award
Unknown

Invitations

Participant

Year Title / Rationale
2004 Australian Statistical Conference 2004
Organisation: Statistical Society of Australia Inc. Description: Invited Speaker at XXIInd International Biometric Conference/Australian Statistical Conference, Cairns, Australia, July 2004. Australian Statistical Conference Invited Session "Surveillance & Monitoring in Health Care"

Speaker

Year Title / Rationale
2014 International Conference Australian Statistics Conference 2014 - Statistics Education
Organisation: Statistical Society of Australia Inc
2011 Combined Taiwan Department of Health and Taipei Medical University Conference on national health quality indicators, Taiwan
Organisation: Taiwan Department of Health and Taipei Medical University Description: Systems approaches to improving healthcare using clinical indicators, Conference on national health quality indicators, Taiwan, Nov, 2011. Invited (and funded travel) as part of the Department of Health, Taiwan, and Taipei Medical University integration program of national health quality indicators
2010 Tunghai University, Taichung, Taiwan - Experiences south of the equator
Organisation: Taichung University Description: Tunghai University, Taichung, Taiwan, Nov, 2010
2009 Australian Teaching and Learning Council National Forum: Building networks in statistics education
Organisation: Australian Teaching and Learning Council Description: Australian Teaching and Learning Council National Forum: Building networks in statistics education, February, 2009, QUT, Brisbane, Aust.
2008 NSW SSAI's 'Workshop on integrating statistical ideas in mathematics'
Organisation: NSW SSAI Description: NSW Branch of the SSAI's Workshop on integrating statistical ideas in mathematics, Macquarie Graduate School of Management Conference Centre, NSW, Aust, August, 2008, discussing professional development of mathematics teachers in statistics
2008 Combined QUT - St Andrew's Medical Institute collaborative industry/academic workshop, Driving excellence in clinical outcomes: methods for monitoring and influencing change workshop
Organisation: St Andrew's Medical Institute and QUT Description: Combined Queensland University of Technology - St Andrew's Medical Institute collaborative industry/academic workshop, Driving excellence in clinical outcomes: methods for monitoring and influencing change workshop
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Book (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2006 Howley PP, Gerlach R, Business Statistics in Australia: Methods & Applications, Print National, Gosford, Australia (2006) [A2]

Journal article (17 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 Chuang S, Howley PP, Lin S-H, 'Implementing systems thinking for infection prevention: The cessation of repeated scabies outbreaks in a respiratory care ward', American Journal of Infection Control, (2015)

Background: Root cause analysis (RCA) is often adopted to complement epidemiologic investigation for outbreaks and infection-related adverse events in hospitals; however, RCA has ... [more]

Background: Root cause analysis (RCA) is often adopted to complement epidemiologic investigation for outbreaks and infection-related adverse events in hospitals; however, RCA has been argued to have limited effectiveness in preventing such events. We describe how an innovative systems analysis approach halted repeated scabies outbreaks, and highlight the importance of systems thinking for outbreaks analysis and sustaining effective infection prevention and control. Methods: Following RCA for a third successive outbreak of scabies over a 17-month period in a 60-bed respiratory care ward of a Taiwan hospital, a systems-oriented event analysis (SOEA) model was used to reanalyze the outbreak. Both approaches and the recommendations were compared. Results: No nosocomial scabies have been reported for more than 1975days since implementation of the SOEA. Previous intervals between seeming eradication and repeat outbreaks following RCA were 270days and 180days. Achieving a sustainable positive resolution relied on applying systems thinking and the holistic analysis of the system, not merely looking for root causes of events. Conclusion: To improve the effectiveness of outbreaks analysis and infection control, an emphasis on systems thinking is critical, along with a practical approach to ensure its effective implementation. The SOEA model provides the necessary framework and is a viable complementary approach, or alternative, to RCA.

DOI 10.1016/j.ajic.2015.02.002
2015 Chuang S, Howley PP, Lin S-H, 'Implementing systems thinking for infection prevention: The cessation of repeated scabies outbreaks in a respiratory care ward', American Journal of Infection Control, 43 499-505 (2015)

Background Root cause analysis (RCA) is often adopted to complement epidemiologic investigation for outbreaks and infection-related adverse events in hospitals; however, RCA has b... [more]

Background Root cause analysis (RCA) is often adopted to complement epidemiologic investigation for outbreaks and infection-related adverse events in hospitals; however, RCA has been argued to have limited effectiveness in preventing such events. We describe how an innovative systems analysis approach halted repeated scabies outbreaks, and highlight the importance of systems thinking for outbreaks analysis and sustaining effective infection prevention and control. Methods Following RCA for a third successive outbreak of scabies over a 17-month period in a 60-bed respiratory care ward of a Taiwan hospital, a systems-oriented event analysis (SOEA) model was used to reanalyze the outbreak. Both approaches and the recommendations were compared. Results No nosocomial scabies have been reported for more than 1975 days since implementation of the SOEA. Previous intervals between seeming eradication and repeat outbreaks following RCA were 270 days and 180 days. Achieving a sustainable positive resolution relied on applying systems thinking and the holistic analysis of the system, not merely looking for root causes of events. Conclusion To improve the effectiveness of outbreaks analysis and infection control, an emphasis on systems thinking is critical, along with a practical approach to ensure its effective implementation. The SOEA model provides the necessary framework and is a viable complementary approach, or alternative, to RCA.

DOI 10.1016/j.ajic.2015.02.002
2014 Chuang S, Howley P, 'International comparison of hospital accreditation development', Journal of Health Quality, 8 54-63 (2014) [C1]
2013 Southgate EL, Reynolds RM, Howley PP, 'Professional experience as a wicked problem in initial teacher education', Teaching and Teacher Education, 31 13-22 (2013) [C1]
Citations Scopus - 5Web of Science - 5
Co-authors Ruth Reynolds, Erica Southgate
2013 Chuang S, Howley PP, 'Beyond Root Cause Analysis: An Enriched System Oriented Event Analysis Model for Wide Application', SYSTEMS ENGINEERING, 16 427-438 (2013) [C1]
DOI 10.1002/sys.21246
Citations Scopus - 2Web of Science - 1
2013 Chuang S, Howley PP, Hancock S, 'Using clinical indicators to facilitate quality improvement via the accreditation process: an adaptive study into the control relationship', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR QUALITY IN HEALTH CARE, 25 277-283 (2013) [C1]
DOI 10.1093/intqhc/mzt023
Citations Scopus - 2Web of Science - 1
2008 Howley PP, 'Keeping it real, keeping them interested and keeping it in their minds', Journal of Statistics Education, 16 1-16 (2008) [C1]
Citations Scopus - 3
2004 Ivanovic I, Howley PP, 'Examining the forward pricing function of the Australian equity index futures contract', Accounting and Finance, 44 57-73 (2004) [C1]
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-629x.2004.00101.x
Citations Scopus - 1
2004 Gibberd RW, Hancock SJ, Howley PP, Richards K, 'Using indicators to quantify the potential to improve the quality of health care', International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 16 i37-i43 (2004) [C1]
DOI 10.1093/intqhc/mzh019
Citations Web of Science - 16
Co-authors Robert Gibberd
2003 Howley PP, Gibberd RW, 'Using hierarchical models to analyse clinical indicators: a comparison of the gamma-Poisson and beta-binomial models', International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 15 319-329 (2003) [C1]
DOI 10.1093/intqhc/mzg044
Citations Scopus - 15Web of Science - 11
Co-authors Robert Gibberd
2003 Ivanovic I, Pinder S, Howley PP, 'An Examination of the Australian Wheat Futures Contract', Accounting Research Journal, 16 68-79 (2003) [C1]
2003 Howley PP, 'Teaching How to Calibrate a Process Using Experimental Design and analysis: The Ballistat', Journal of Statistics Education, 11 On line journal (2003) [C1]
Citations Scopus - 1
2001 Parkinson L, Sanson-Fisher RW, Perkins JJ, Girgis A, Howley P, Schofield M, 'The effect of a community action intervention on adolescent smoking rates in rural Australian Towns: the CART project', Preventive Medicine, 32 332-340 (2001) [C1]
Citations Scopus - 21Web of Science - 14
Co-authors Rob Sanson-Fisher, L Parkinson
2001 Parkinson L, Sanson-Fisher RW, Perkins JJ, McClintock A, Howley P, Gibberd RW, 'Effect of a community action program on adult quit smoking rates in rural Australian towns: the CART project', Preventive Medicine, 32 118-127 (2001) [C1]
Citations Scopus - 15Web of Science - 10
Co-authors Robert Gibberd, Rob Sanson-Fisher, L Parkinson
2000 Bellamy S, Gibberd RW, Hancock L, Howley PP, Kenne, Klar N, et al., 'Analysis of dichotomous outcome data for community intervention studies', Statistical Methods in Medical Research, 9 135-159 (2000) [C1]
Citations Scopus - 33Web of Science - 32
Co-authors Robert Gibberd, L Parkinson
1999 Ryan T, Howley PP, 'Control charts based on medians', JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL STATISTICAL SOCIETY SERIES D-THE STATISTICIAN, 48 441-442 (1999)
DOI 10.1111/1467-9884.00203
Citations Web of Science - 1
1999 Ryan TP, Howley PP, 'Control Charts based on medians', The Statistician, 48 1 (1999) [C1]
Show 14 more journal articles

Conference (8 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2012 Howley PP, Chuang S, Hancock SJ, 'Systems theory and clinical indicators: Facilitating quality improvement via the accreditation process', Handbook. Australian Statistical Conference, Adelaide, SA (2012) [E3]
2011 Howley PP, Chang SW, 'Systems theory and improving healthcare', Proceedings of the 4th Applied Statistics Education and Research Collaboration (ASEARC) Conference, Parramatta, NSW (2011) [E1]
2011 Chuang S, Howley PP, Lin S-H, 'Beyond the root cause analysis: The cessation of scabies outbreaks by the application of an Enriched System-Oriented Events Analysis model', Proceedings of the International Society for Quality in Health Care 28th International Conference, Hong Kong (2011) [E3]
2010 Howley PP, Hancock SJ, 'Bayesian methods for monitoring clinical indicators', Australian Statistical Conference (ASC2010) - Statistics in the West: Understanding our World. Program and Abstracts, Fremantle, WA (2010) [E3]
2009 Howley PP, 'Winning them over', ASEARC: Proceedings of the Third Annual ASEARC Research Conference, Newcastle, NSW (2009) [E1]
2009 Howley PP, Hancock SJ, Ford MC, 'Monitoring clinical indicators', ASEARC: Proceedings of the Third Annual ASEARC Research Conference, Newcastle, NSW (2009) [E1]
2006 Howley PP, 'Statistics in Education - Keeping It Real, Keeping Them Interested and Keeping it in Their Minds', ASC/NZSA 2006 Statistical Connections: Abstract Book, Auckland, New Zealand (2006) [E3]
2004 Howley PP, Gibberd RW, 'Using Hierarchical Models to Analyse Clinical Indicators: A Comparison of the Gamma-Poisson and Beta-Binomial Models', Conference Handbook, Cairns, Qld (2004) [E3]
Show 5 more conferences
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 9
Total funding $519,309

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20151 grants / $187,186

Building STEM students' numeracy for success in higher education$187,186

Funding body: Department of Education

Funding body Department of Education
Project Team
Scheme HEPP National Priorities Pool
Role Lead
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2015
GNo
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Commonwealth
Category 1CS
UON Y

20142 grants / $299,871

Inspiring Mathematics and Science in Teacher Education$297,871

Funding body: Office for Learning and Teaching

Funding body Office for Learning and Teaching
Project Team Doctor Judy-Anne Osborn, Doctor Kathryn Holmes, Doctor Elena Prieto-Rodriguez, Doctor Peter Howley, Doctor Andrew Kepert, Doctor Malcolm Roberts
Scheme Commissioned Strategic Projects
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2014
Funding Finish 2014
GNo G1301449
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Commonwealth
Category 1CS
UON Y

Faculty PVC Conference Assistance Grant 2014$2,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Science & IT

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Science & IT
Project Team Doctor Peter Howley
Scheme PVC Conference Assistance Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2014
Funding Finish 2014
GNo G1401216
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20101 grants / $7,492

Using clinical indicators to facilitate quality improvement via the accreditation process: the control relationship$7,492

Funding body: Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research

Funding body Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research
Project Team Doctor Peter Howley, Ms Sheuwen Chuang
Scheme ASSA International Science Linkages Bilateral Program
Role Lead
Funding Start 2010
Funding Finish 2010
GNo G1000737
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Commonwealth
Category 1CS
UON Y

20061 grants / $1,500

Australian Statistical Conference/New Zealand Statistical Association Conference 2006 July 3-6$1,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Doctor Peter Howley
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2006
Funding Finish 2006
GNo G0186545
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20042 grants / $10,920

Testing the robustness of newly developed reporting and analyses methods for clinical indicator data$10,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Doctor Peter Howley, Conjoint Professor Robert Gibberd
Scheme Project Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2004
Funding Finish 2004
GNo G0183404
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

ASC2004 Australian Statistical Conference in parallel with IBC2004 XXIInd International Biometric Conference, July 11-16, 2004$920

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Doctor Peter Howley
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2004
Funding Finish 2004
GNo G0184164
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20032 grants / $12,340

Employee Attitude Surveys and Human Resource Strategies: A Survey of Businesses in the Hunter Region$10,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Professor Mark Bray, Doctor Peter Howley, Conjoint Professor Kerrie Mengersen
Scheme Project Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2003
Funding Finish 2003
GNo G0182452
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

International Conference on Health Policy Research: Methodological Issues in Health Services and Outcomes Research$2,340

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Doctor Peter Howley
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2003
Funding Finish 2003
GNo G0183723
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y
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Research Supervision

Current Supervision

Commenced Research Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2015 Analysis of Performance Indicators in Oman Higher Education
Statistics, Faculty of Science and Information Technology
Principal Supervisor
2014 Bayesian Interval Estimation and Performance Measurement
Statistics, Faculty of Science and Information Technology
Principal Supervisor
2007 Measuring performance in hospitals and tertiary institutions
Statistics, University of Newcastle
Principal Supervisor

Past Supervision

Year Research Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2013 Improved Estimation and Regression Techniques with the Generalised Lambda Distribution
Statistics, Faculty of Science and Information Technology
Co-Supervisor
2010 Statistical Techniques for Analysing and Reporting on Healthcare
Statistics, Faculty of Science and Information Technology
Principal Supervisor
2010 The Role of Quality Gaps in Assessing the Performance of Management Programs
Business Management, Faculty of Business and Law
Co-Supervisor
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News

VC's Awards 2014

Vice-Chancellor's Awards Winners

December 9, 2014

Each year the University of Newcastle celebrates the remarkable achievements of our staff at the Vice-Chancellor's Awards ceremony.

Dr Peter Howley

Position

Senior Lecturer
School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Faculty of Science and Information Technology

Focus area

Statistics

Contact Details

Email peter.howley@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 4921 5518
Fax (02) 4921 6898

Office

Room V226
Building Mathematics
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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