Healthcare Recovery Initiative
The three Victorian Research Translation Centres, Monash Partners, the Melbourne Academic Centre for Health (MACH) and Western Alliance, have formed a collaborative to research and translate evidence to improve the health of Victorians. The centres are committed to leading initiatives that accelerate translation of research into clinical care and deliver improved health outcomes.
Together with the Victorian State government the centres are developing projects that will contribute to the redesign and improvement of Victoria’s healthcare system and support a strong recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has provided an unprecedented window of opportunity for reform, including retaining and building on pandemic-driven innovations in service models and system design, and the opportunity to leverage the learnings from the COVID-19 emergency response to date to ensure we are able to mitigate the near and long-term effects.
The Victorian Collaborative Healthcare Recovery Initiative proposal has been awarded $800,000 within the Government’s recent $8 million funding announcement for research relating to the impacts of COVID-19. Funding will go towards supporting Monash Partners led programs to improve the value and cost-effectiveness of colonoscopies undertaken in Victorian health services; and, identify and prioritise virtual care initiatives used to enhance care for older adults for future scaling-up activities in Victoria. Both initiatives will use the Learning Health System Framework.
Formalised joint governance across the three Centres has been established through an Executive Committee, independently chaired by Professor Richard Larkins with additional Government, health service CEO and consumer representation. This committee will oversee the funding for this initiative.
Click here to download the Terms of Reference for the executive committee.
The Learning Health System (LHS)
The Learning Health System (LHS) provides a system in which routine data, from service delivery and patient care, can lead to iterative cycles of new knowledge generation and improvement in healthcare leading to system change. The LHS uses four different sources of evidence: stakeholder’s evidence, research evidence, data evidence and implementation evidence. The LHS is health improvement focused and research enabled, using evidence to integrate research into healthcare, generating real-time evidence. We bring in cutting edge research approaches and technologies to strengthen the ability of healthcare providers to respond to community needs.
Telehealth/virtual care project, led by Professor Terry Haines
Virtual care describes interactions between patients and/or members of their circle of care, occurring remotely, using any forms of communication or information technologies, with the aim of facilitating or maximising the quality and effectiveness of patient care. The Victorian Collaborative Healthcare Recovery Initiative - Virtual care project is seeking to identify and prioritise virtual care initiatives used to enhance care for older adults for future scaling-up activities in Victoria. Our academic team will use a co-production process with key stakeholders (including end-users) under a broader Learning Health System framework to scope the current landscape of virtual care activities, review available evidence on the strengths and limitations of different initiatives, and create new evidence examining the effectiveness, feasibility, acceptability, economic efficiency and alignment of these initiatives to current policy settings and programs. These activities will focus on three areas of care for older adults that encompass care interactions between older adults, their caregivers, hospitals, primary care, residential aged care, specialists, and community-based care providers. These areas were purposefully selected as older adults often have chronic and complex care needs shared between multiple providers, such that virtual care initiatives have great potential to improve care integration and outcomes from these interactions.
Supporting hospitals to optimise colonoscopy best practice, led by A/Prof Denise O’Connor
A new quality improvement project is being conducted to promote high-value use of colonoscopy in Victorian public hospitals. Colonoscopies are important for detecting and treating bowel cancer, Australia’s second most common cancer. However, colonoscopies are sometimes performed on people who do not require them, or are performed too often or not often enough. Optimising use of colonoscopies will reduce risks related to unnecessary procedures, reduce wait times for those who would receive benefit, and promote timely detection and treatment of bowel cancer.
Monash Partners, in collaboration with the Melbourne Academic Centre for Health and Western Alliance, have been funded to improve colonoscopy care by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services through the Victorian Healthcare Recovery Initiative.
This project will draw on expertise from clinical leaders and involve co-design of interventions in collaboration with the people involved in providing on-the-ground colonoscopy care in participating hospitals. The project team will support hospitals to implement interventions and monitor subsequent outcomes.
Key learnings from this important work will inform how to drive and sustain change in hospitals to optimise best practice in other key non-urgent elective procedures.
This project is expected to continue until the end of 2022.