Health research workshop aims to inform and transform policy

Steve Wesselingh_FlindersWP
Professor Steve Wesselingh, who is Executive Director of SAHMRI, will make a presentation at the workshop.

Flinders staff will play a key role as researchers, health care professionals and managers, policy makers and consumer representatives share bold research ideas at the Transforming Health: Shaping the Research Agenda workshop at the University of Adelaide on Friday 17 July.

The workshop is part of an ongoing collaboration between the Health Services Research Association of Australia and New Zealand (HSRAANZ); the Primary Health Care Research & Information Service (PHCRIS) based at Flinders University; the University of Adelaide; the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and Cancer Voices.

It is the first part of their Reducing the Gap between Research, Policy and Practice series for 2015, which seeks to inform the major State policy initiative, Transforming Health.

Workshop convenors, HSRAANZ President Professor Jon Karnon (University of Adelaide); Dr Carol Davy (HSRAANZ & SAHMRI), Chair Ms Julie Marker (Cancer Voices), PHCRIS Director Professor Ellen McIntyre (HSRAANZ) and Dr Christina Hagger (PHCRIS), said they were excited by the response.

Dr Hagger, a spokesperson for the group, said that 28 abstracts were received from researchers and health professionals keen to share their research ideas to inform Transforming Health.

Eight ideas will be presented on the day to an audience of more than 100 researchers and research users. Topics range from evaluation, mapping patient journeys, to providing optimal care in SA hospitals for patients approaching the end of life.

“Now is the ideal time to discuss and develop research ideas that could be undertaken prior to and alongside the implementation of Transforming Health,” said Dr Hagger.

“We wanted research ideas, rather than confirmed proposals, to encourage researchers to generate productive collaborative relationships with research users.

“This allows research users to inform research directions and increase the value of research as a resource to improve health care outcomes.

“We asked for bold ideas, and we certainly received them. These are ideas that can do more than improve, and even have the potential to inform the impact of Transforming Health.”

The workshop will feature keynote presentations from Professor Dorothy Keefe, Clinical Ambassador for Transforming Health, and Professor Steve Wesselingh, Executive Director of SAHMRI and Honorary Director of the NHMRC Advanced Health Research and Translation Centre.

All research ideas will be collated in a formal report to be presented to the Minister of Health. In addition, this report will be widely disseminated.

Authors will also have the opportunity to update and expand their research ideas in the light of workshop discussions.

“Bringing together researchers and research users at the outset is the essence of knowledge exchange and we are pleased with the ongoing success of the ‘Reducing the Gap Between Research, Policy and Practice’ collaboration between HSRAANZ, PHCRIS at Flinders University, the University of Adelaide, SAHMRI and Cancer Voices,” said Dr Hagger.

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