Building Health Services Research expertise in front-line clinicians
This group of front-line clinicians will use Health Services Research (HSR) to solve practical care-delivery problems impacting their health services.
Throughout the 12-month program each Fellow will be released from clinical duties for one day per week to upskill in HSR through mentorship and formal training, while also working on their own research project. The cohort includes clinicians from a range of disciplines across nine MACH-affiliated health services.
“I am excited to share the knowledge, skills and networks gained during the fellowship with the staff, patients and families who frequent the Royal Children’s Hospital. I hope to assist in building HSR capabilities of allied health disciplines at my health service.”– Jen Corda, Physiotherapist, Royal Children’s Hospital
“The MacHSR fellowship… will provide me with the expertise to act as a resource person for others within the organisation and expand the use of co-design in other priority areas within Northern Health.”– Eleanor Johnson, Midwife, Northern Health
Meet our 2022 MacHSR Fellows
A/Prof Belinda Campbell
Deputy Director of Radiation Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Improving equity of care across Australia for patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphomas (CTCL).
Treatment journeys are individualised for CTCL patients and disparity exists in the provision of care for patients with these rare malignancies between Australian states and territories, and between regional and metropolitan areas. For those treated outside of a quaternary centre, such as Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, access to higher levels of specialised care and the opportunity to participate in clinical trials is limited.
This project will explore impediments to equitable access to care with a view to finding solutions that can be effectively implemented, improving equity of care whilst maintaining a patient-centric focus.
Dr Tim Chittleborough
Colorectal, general and trauma surgeon, Royal Melbourne Hospital and Royal Women’s Hospital.
Tackling the post-COVID waitlist headache at RMH.
COVID-19 resulted in a prolonged period of reduced surgical activity which has increased surgical waitlists. The pandemic is having an ongoing impact on the ability to conduct elective surgery due to reduced inpatient bed availability, reduced staffing and increased emergency surgery.
This project aims to quantify the elective surgical waitlist to identify factors impacting on the timely delivery of care. We will investigate if it is possible to increase efficiency within existing theatre resources and explore initiatives to reduce surgical waitlists.
Senior respiratory physiotherapist, Royal Children’s Hospital.
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) virtual care – remote monitoring and automated treatment plans.
CF is characterised by recurrent respiratory exacerbations which lead to irreversible lung damage. It is proposed that delays in treatment may lead to worse outcomes. Currently at RCH children with CF are reviewed four times a year, meaning that for the other 361 days of the year the burden of monitoring the health of the child falls solely on the family.
A remote monitoring system has been developed that increases symptom monitoring without necessarily increasing demand on the CF team. The system pushes out a symptom survey twice a week and if an exacerbation is detected an individualised treatment plan is automatically sent out. This project aims to pilot this model of increased symptom monitoring.
Operations Manager, Chronic and Complex Care Division, Western Health.
Co-design of a pathway to integrate primary and hospital care for chronic and complex disease patients.
One of the biggest barriers we face in being able to provide truly integrated care is the interface between hospital and primary care. This is particularly concerning for those patients living with chronic and complex conditions, where siloed care can have significant negative impacts on healthcare outcomes.
This project, using co-design, aims to determine how we can best address this problem; to facilitate better patient care and health outcomes through bridging this gap between hospitals and primary care.
Dr Anne Harrison
Physiotherapy Manager, Werribee Mercy Hospital.
Increasing engagement with the patient/carer-activated escalation pathway.
The REACH (Recognise, Engage, Act, Call, Help) patient/carer-activated escalation process for concerns about inpatient clinical care or health status is important because research suggests that empowering patients and their carers to engage with health professionals may result in earlier identification of deterioration and improved outcomes.
This project will explore the attitudes and perceptions of patients and their carers to this escalation process, using their lived experience to identify barriers and enablers to its uptake and develop evidence-informed improvements to the pathway with the goal of increasing engagement.
Clinical Pharmacist, Austin Health.
Investigating the use of novel virtual biologic clinics to help achieve values-based healthcare in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
Increasing patient numbers and increasing treatment costs in IBD are stretching IBD health service resources. The current funding model is not sufficient to meet the increasing needs of these patients. In time we may not be able to keep up with these increasing demands without negatively impacting the care provided to this often complex and difficult to care for patient cohort.
This project will investigate whether a virtual biologic clinic could have a positive impact on healthcare utilisation and patient reported outcomes with the overarching goal of determining if it could help deliver an alternative funding model, values-based healthcare.
Research Midwife, Northern Health and Lactation Consultant, Western Health.
Partnering with consumers to co-design comprehensive abortion care in Melbourne’s North.
Equitable access to contraception and abortion are fundamental components of sexual and reproductive health. Due to the sensitive nature of abortion care and vulnerability of the women who access these services, it is important that the needs of women are understood and prioritised to promote empowerment and optimise patient experience. There has been very little research partnering with women in this space.
Eleanor will lead a collaborative multidisciplinary research team that aims to address this gap in the literature and add to the growing body of evidence on the use of co-design in developing tailored health services to improve patient experience.
Social Worker, Royal Women’s Hospital.
Understanding access to advanced gestation abortion services.
Currently, the Royal Women’s Hospital is the sole provider of abortion care over 16
weeks gestation (outside of foetal anomalies) in Victoria. This project aims to give voice to the issue of insufficient abortion service through those who have lived experiences in facing barriers to access and by those who are providing this service in an unsustainable environment, as the sole operating service in the State.
Through interviews with stakeholders it will produce data that can be used to advocate for the decentralisation of abortion services in Victoria and highlight the gap in essential reproductive health services.
Cancer Nurse and Trial Coordinator, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne.
Exploring the uptake of evidence-based strategies to manage and prevent pressure injuries in the cancer setting.
There are existing guidelines to help manage and prevent pressure injuries, however pressure injuries are still occurring frequently. This project will review the uptake of evidence-based strategies to manage and prevent pressure injuries in the cancer setting. From there it will explore appropriate implementation and de-implementation processes to shift practices to evidence-based care and reduce low value care.
Although completed in a controlled acute hospital environment this research will have wider implications for pressure injury care in aged care settings and the community, where much cancer care takes place.
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