Thirty healthcare staff are learning the skills to translate research into better health outcomes for patients.

The Graduate Certificate in Health Services Innovation is the first tertiary level qualification aimed specifically at enabling senior clinicians to develop, assess and implement innovations within the healthcare setting. It has been developed by the Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation (AusHSI) at QUT and Metro North Hospital and Health Service.

AusHSI Academic Director Professor Nicholas Graves said it can be difficult for busy healthcare staff to determine the highest value diagnostic, treatment and care options for patients without supporting evidence.

“A health service that cannot identify and respond to low value care, poor access to services and low staff morale is carrying a burden that will adversely affect everything it does and yet translating research into practice remains a challenge,” Prof Graves said.

“By introducing this qualification, we hope to help leverage our commitment to the ensure innovation becomes a part of our health system for the future. We hope there will be nothing more satisfying and career-enhancing for these professionals than to make a large and sustained improvement to the way health services perform.”
The academic program has been designed to address a perceived skills shortage in health economics and policy analysis as well as in implementation science, an emerging field that examines how to best implement research findings into practice.

Prof Graves said Australia is catching up with countries like the UK, Canada and the US in terms of translating knowledge from research into practice.

“AusHSI has spent five years championing health economics and implementation science, encouraging frontline clinical staff to introduce new evidence into practice,” he said.

As well as training in health economics, policy analysis and implementation science they will develop real world research projects, based in their workplaces and evaluated with assistance from AusHSI’s leading researchers.

Metro North Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Shaun Drummond said the graduate certificate is a commitment to both staff and patients to shift to value based healthcare decision making.

“Metro North is committed to delivering high quality healthcare and outcomes that matter most to patients. The graduate certificate is one way we are equipping staff with the knowledge to evaluate and implement projects in their work life,” Mr Drummond said.

“We have invested not only in the development of individual staff but in the cohort as a whole to create a network that will support colleagues to translate their research and quality improvement projects into clinical practice. This will deliver better outcomes for patients and empower staff with high value decision making.