Nationally HTSA works collaboratively with AHRA in progressing five agreed national priority areas. The provision of support from the MRFF RART program for these National System Level Initiatives (NSLIs), as listed below, aim to advance health services and research and the rapid translation of knowledge into improved health care across the country.
Each NSLI is led by a Centre or group and each has a cross Centre Steering Committee.
These projects were supported by the Australian Government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) as part of the Rapid Applied Research Translation program. (MRF9100005).
Health Systems Improvement and Sustainability (HSIS) Framework and health technology assessment platform
The Health Systems Improvement and Sustainability (HSIS) Framework and health technology assessment platform addresses the challenges facing Australia in the critical areas of health systems improvement and sustainability, that is the unwarranted variations in the quality and safety of care delivered by Australia’s healthcare systems, and the increasing pressures on healthcare budgets.
HTSA engages in the national activities and actively participates in the HSIS Steering Committee.
We also directly contribute at a project level, through a South Australian node, by investing in an Embedded Economist Project – an intervention consisting of an education and economist-in-residence program where researchers will actively engage with the health service to impact on patients through providing the best possible evidence to inform health services decisions. Professor Jon Karnon has been appointed to the SA node of the Embedded Economist project.
Women’s Health Research Translation Network (WHRTN)
This national collaboration which spans community, health services and academic institutions, will boost national and international collaboration on women’s health and research, build health workforce capacity, develop leaders in women’s health, and advance research and translation to deliver impact and better health for Australian women.
WHRTN is led by international multidisciplinary leaders in women’s health, nominated by Australia’s network of seven Advanced Health Research and Translation Centres (AHRTCs) and three Centres for Innovation in Regional Health (CIRHs). In South Australia the initiative is led by Professor Maria Makrides and Ms Karen Glover.
Building capacity in data driven health care improvement
HTSA actively engages with this project through membership on the Steering Committee and opportunities that include establishing the Health Informatics Hub with exemplar projects and developing a primary acute and sub-acute data project.
HTSA learnings from the AHRA Data Sharing Projects, AHRA Incubation Hub, and the AHRA Primary Care Initiative guide our work.
This initiative is aimed at addressing persistent challenges to wound care at systemic, policy and practice levels. Working on the priorities set by the national working group HTSA brings together experts and key stakeholders in South Australia to identify priorities from the national action plan.
Professor Alison Cowan and Professor Rob Fitridge represent SA nationally and also lead an SA based wound care project looking at a personalised care strategy for patients with diabetic foot ulcers.
They aim to develop a suite of biomarkers that can be used to identify people with diabetes who are at risk of acquiring a diabetic foot ulceration (DFU) and determine if people who already have a DFU are healing effectively. Early treatment and/or prevention of DFUs will reduce the potential risk of amputations and will improve the lives of the increasing number of people who develop diabetes.
Indigenous Researcher and Capacity Building
(Led by Health Translation SA)
The vision for this project, led by HTSA, is to support and grow the next generation of Indigenous researchers working in Aboriginal health. It includes training and support to develop explicit skills in knowledge translation and exchange and practical experience in the implementation of research evidence in the real-world context of Aboriginal health services and community.
It adopts a collaborative, Indigenous-led and consensus driven approach with the Steering Committee comprising two representatives (both Indigenous and nonIndigenous) from each Centre. After completing a range of foundational pieces of work in 2018, HTSA continued to lead this project in 2019 with progress underway in several areas:
Building a collaborative platform that will include:
- Providing individualised mentorship and development support to Indigenous researchers
- Establishing Research Masterclasses to train and develop capacity in Indigenous researchers and host organisations
Connecting Researchers to a range of initiatives including:
- Yearly Grant Writing and ‘Project Incubator’ Workshops
- Capacity Exchange Program
- Establishing a yearly AHRA Indigenous Research Showcase. (Planning has commenced for a significant event in early 2020)
- Building an evidence base of what works using a ‘living’ longitudinal observational study to support the growth and development of up to 25 Indigenous people engaged in research and implementation science.
HTSA is actively engaged with AHRA committed to improving the approach to, and engagement of, consumers and the community in health and medical research. During 2019 the focus was on the implementation of four following priority actions.
- Develop minimum standards for good practice
- Facilitate sharing of existing resources and expertise
- Sponsor research and evaluation projects
- Formalise alliances with leading agencies
HTSA’s Consumer Engagement Senior Project Officer directly supported work required under the four priority actions and facilitated involvement of local experts across HTSA partner organisations.
HTSA participated in a national consumer and community involvement workshop in August 2019 and supported the national research and evaluation projects in collaboration with Sydney Health Partners and NSW Regional Health Partners.
A key activity will be to identify and trial evaluation tools to assist in measuring the impact of community involvement in research. HTSA nominated to lead the development of a position statement which summarises the evidence supporting the importance of community involvement in research. This piece of work is due to be released in early 2020.