HARC Scholarship Program recognises future health leaders
Scholarship recipient Gai Moore
Scholarship recipient Gai Moore

Three early career researchers will now have the chance to work with leading international experts after winning the most recent round of Hospital Alliance for Research Collaboration (HARC) scholarships.

Alison Lee, Bea Brown and Gai Moore are the latest researchers to be awarded under the scholarship program, which aims to build future leaders with skills in using research in policy making who are connected to international and national experts in health services research.

Ms Lee, who coordinates the Partnering with Patients program at the Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC), will use her scholarship to research international best practice in measuring the impact of patient-based care in hospitals and developing the associated business case.

Measuring impact

“We know from evidence that a good patient experience can decrease length of stay, cost per case, adverse events, and increase staff retention rates but how do we help services measure that impact?” she said.

Ms Lee will work with US leaders in patient-based care. She hopes to gain knowledge on how best to measure the impact of a positive patient experience, to help the CEC better support Local Health Districts to incorporate patient-based care into their systems.

Ms Brown, a Research Fellow with the Sax Institute’s Implementation Research Group, will also work with leading international researchers in the US on the design and evaluation of the Institute’s prostate cancer project, which aims to ensure prostate cancer care in Australia is evidence-based.

“Following surgery for prostate cancer, currently less than 10% of care for patients at high risk of recurrence complies with published guidelines,” Ms Brown said.

Lost in translation

“So much of what evidence tells us works gets lost in translation. Implementation research — testing strategies that translate evidence into clinical practice — helps us find a way to make sure everyone benefits from innovation.”

Ms Moore, also from the Sax Institute, will visit the UK and Canada to investigate the best ways to present research findings to policy makers. Ms Moore currently works with policy and program agencies to increase their access to research, such as through the Sax Institute’s Evidence Check program.

“Internationally, a variety of methods are used to present evidence to policy makers and program agencies, like summaries of reviews, policy briefs, electronic repositories of research, and targeted messages,” she said.

”I’d like to know whether we are presenting our results in the best, most easy to understand way. It’s about translating the science into something decision makers can use.”

HARC is a partnership between the Sax Institute, the Clinical Excellence Commission and the Agency for Clinical Innovation. It aims to improve health and hospital services through research. The next round of scholarships will open in August.

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