Queensland’s work on AHRA National System Level Initiatives

29 March 2021

Representing Queensland, BDHP actively supports the leadership of two of the Australian Health Research Alliance (AHRA) National System Level Initiatives, advancing the business of translational research to improve health outcomes for all Australians.

Our team co-leads the Wound Care Initiative with the Western Australian Health Translation Network and in partnership with Wounds Australia. We also lead Working Group 2 of the Health Systems Improvement and Sustainability, which will deliver improved and sustainable health systems. While BDHP coordinates Queensland’s involvement in these initiatives, Queensland researchers have stepped forward to lead national project teams.

Wound Care

The AHRA Wound Care Initiative aims to address current wound challenges and reduce the health and economic burden of chronic wounds, estimated to cost Australia $3 billion and affect 400,000 hospital and residential-care patients annually. Better wound management, based on evidence-based research, will improve patient outcomes and lower the health burden.

The Wound Care initiative involves four projects. In Queensland, we are focused on leading two – building health professional knowledge and capacity with integrated training and education and developing a coordinated program of research excellence.

Associate Professor Christina Parker from the Queensland University of Technology and Dr Angela Jones from Monash Partners lead the training and education project. This team works with several Australian wound experts to consider relevant frameworks and review wound care education and training available nationally. After this, they will provide recommendations for building health professional capacity in wound care management.

Dr Kathleen Finlayson from the Queensland University of Technology and Professor Allison Cowin from the University of South Australia lead the research excellence project in wound care. With a group of wound care experts, this team is conducting a targeted review of research literature and registries to determine the national wound research profile. In future, they will recommend a program of wound research and establish a national research directory and biobank for wound research.

Health System Improvement and Sustainability

The AHRA Health System Improvement and Sustainability (HSIS) Initiative aims to drive safer, higher-quality patient care by supporting health professionals to recognise low-value care, make better decisions and change their clinical behaviour to reduce low-value practices.

Low-value care is health interventions or models of care that provide little or no benefits, may cause patient harm, or yield marginal benefits at a disproportionately high cost. It potentially wastes resources that could have been expended on alternative forms of care with greater benefits.

From Queensland, the Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation (AusHSI) Academic Director Steven McPhail leads Group 2 of this national initiative. The team is developing and piloting toolkits to support health professionals to identify and reduce low-value care. They will also explore ways to strengthen links across the care continuum for the adoption of programs that drive safer, higher-quality patient care. They will establish how to do this at scale, considering the competing priorities for health professionals.

For more information about Queensland activities to support the AHRA national initiatives, please email BDHP National System Level Initiatives Project Manager Emma White.

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