• 25 AUG 16

    The organisational benefits of a strong research culture in a health service

    A systematic review published in Australian Health Review sheds light what impact investments that contribute to a research culture have on organisational performance of health services. Do research activities distract from clinical care, reducing efficiency and productivity? Or conversely, do they have benefits for health service organisations? For example, can a strong research culture lead to a more stimulating workplace that attracts and retains quality staff and encourages the uptake of evidence based practice, with flow on benefits for improved service delivery?

    The results provide evidence that a positive research culture and interventions directed at the health workforce are associated with patient, staff and organisational benefits. However, questions remain about the nature of this association, and more evidence is needed to help managers and policy makers to determine the return on investment in activities that contribute to a research culture.

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    • 25 AUG 16

    Significant differences in use of linked hospital data for research in Australia: NSW and WA leading the way

    A recent paper, Growth of linked hospital data use in Australia: a systematic review, published in the Australian Health Review highlighted large variations in the use of hospital data linkage for health services research purposes across Australian states. This study conducted by researchers at the Centre for Health Policy at the University of Melbourne showed that the large majority (83%) of the published literature which uses linked hospital data for health research were contributed by two states, Western Australia and New South Wales while other states significantly lag behind (see attached figure). The paper also highlighted the lack of publications utilising multi-state data through data linkage which could indicate the presence of significant barriers in conducting cross-jurisdictional research. There have been significant investments to build up Australia’s data linkage capabilities and in establishing a data linkage unit in each state. Given that appropriate infrastructure is now in place, it is important to identify and overcome the barriers limiting the gains from this investment and to start maximising the potential of using linked data in health services research.

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