Dr Olivia King1,2,3, Mr David Meade1, Ms Kait Brown2, Dr Rosalie Boyce1,2
1University Hospital Geelong, Barwon Health, Geelong, Australia, 2South West Healthcare , Warrnambool, Australia, 3Monash Centre for Scholarship in Health Education , Clayton, Australia
Background: Strategies to embed allied health (AH) research clinicians in health services are premised on the notion that research-active health services produce higher quality patient outcomes. High-performing allied health services in urban centers of several Australian jurisdictions have been first-movers to establish research infrastructure over the past decade. Higher self-ratings in individual research skills have been associated with more senior, metropolitan-located clinicians.
In this presentation we track and explore the start-up strategy and accelerator tactics deployed in a unique greenfield research infrastructure initiative funded as part of the 2018 Victorian research investment program. The case site partners a university hospital in one health service with a rural health service that jointly bid for a single position that subsequently staffed the position with a job-share working in an integrated model across both health services. The start-up and accelerator strategies were designed to produce a framework to guide the activities and identification of research priorities, capacity development needs and translation opportunities.
Method: The framework was informed by a review of the literature related to the implementation of clinician researcher and research capacity-building roles; and engagement with key shareholders through face-to-face individual and group meetings.
Results: A strategic framework was developed to guide the research, capacity-building and sustainability-enhancing activities of the AH research and translation co-leads. The framework consists of four program streams:
- AH research capacity-building
- AH workforce and governance research
- Engagement with Victorian Research Community of Practice
- Contribution to the region’s research and healthcare innovation strategy.
Within these macro-level program streams, meso and micro-level activities are detailed. These reflect higher-level expectations of the roles, the regional context and the unique characteristics and needs of the two key health services.
Discussion: Given the novelty and breadth of inaugural roles, due diligence must be paid to ensuring maximum research impact and community benefit. Previous research has focused on the individual, organisational and system-level enabling and inhibiting factors for research culture and capacity-building. This study adds value to the evidence base through its specific focus on a rural-urban partnership setting and the start-up implementation and accelerator strategies in a greenfield setting.
Olivia is a qualified podiatrist and credentialled diabetes educator. She completed her PhD (Health) which explored the role boundaries and differences in the scopes of practice of diabetes educators of allied health and nursing background, in 2018. She has recently been appointed (with Dr Rosalie Boyce) as Regional Allied Health Research and Translation Co-Lead for the Barwon South West region. She also holds an adjunct research associate role with the Monash Centre for Scholarship in Health Education. Her research interests include the allied health workforce, sociology of the professions and healthcare education.