From the Director: Advancing child health and women in healthcare leadership

It has been estimated that ~60% of care is in line with evidence-based guidelines, ~30% is wasteful or of low value to the patient, and up to 10% may be harmful. Unnecessary or ineffective care costs money and time, that would be better spent on effective treatment.

Factors that contribute to unnecessary care include duplication of tests due to poorly integrated systems, and a lack of monitoring and feedback to inform clinicians when care may not follow current practice standards. This can be explored and strategies implemented to improve best practice, by harnessing the power of health data.

While electronic medical records (EMRs) are increasingly used across the health system, this data is not accessible to or not being utilised by clinicians to its full potential, to reduce unnecessary tests and improve clinical care.

Monash Partners’ Children’s Health theme recently completed a formal priority setting process, prioritising data-driven healthcare improvement and co-designed projects to improve health outcomes.

The Monash Partners funded children’s acute care data project: ‘Optimising the use of electronic medical records data to improve hospital care for children’ led by Adjunct Clinical Professor Simon Craig, is developing a Child Health Data Platform to more efficiently and effectively utilise child health data to address low value care and improve health care.

An exemplar project within this focuses on bronchiolitis, and will address an area of low value care to demonstrate impact. This research will inform healthcare improvement efforts within hospitals and across the health system. We look forward to bringing you developments of this research as they occur.

Meanwhile, the Advancing Women in Healthcare Leadership (AWHL) initiative, developed in 2020 engaging Monash Partners members, initially included nine organisations – (four were Monash Partners health services) and five medical and nursing Colleges. This work has now expanded to 21 partners and is funded by two NHMRC partnership grants and government and partner funding.

Key achievements to date span:

  • New knowledge that identifies enablers and barriers to leadership capacity, capability and credibility; effective interventions and strategies to advance leadership generally and specifically in women; and training and capacity building interventions, theories and practical applications including content and delivery methods
  • Strong partner and stakeholder engagement across 21 partners
  • Collective action including a community of practice for member organisations established, and another for health services
  • Policy engagement with partners and government
  • Evidence-based submissions to multiple consultations, and
  • International reach including invitations to share learnings and progress with the University of Warwick (UK), University of Glasgow (UK), and the National Center of Implementation Science (Canada). It is now expanding into Asia with government funding and has collaborative links into Africa.

We look forward to bringing you updates on how both these progress.