Director’s 2020 Message

Welcome to 2020

NSW Regional Health Partners is still a new organisation but having an impact – by accelerating the translation of evidence into practice to improve the health and wellbeing of regional, rural and remote communities.

This year, we’ll be bringing you a lot more stories and results from our funded projects. We’ve started sharing messages around end of life decision making with the community and will continue this in conjunction with news about our end of life projects. We’re also working at the national level, especially on advocacy for investment in rural medical research and on the need for resources for local level evaluation in health services.

Closing the  translation gap

Currently a gap often exists between the best evidence known and the care patients actually receive. This ‘translation gap’ reduces the benefit of investment in research and creates needlessly poor outcomes for individuals and communities. Our graphic illustrates some causes for this gap.

While closing the translation gap is a priority for us, our 2019 experience suggests our most important actions should prevent the number of times that a gap exists at all!

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Preventing the translation gap

1. We are finding new ways to work with our health partners to identify their priorities and community health needs and to broker partnerships with appropriate researchers. We began this work in 2019 with our ‘Embedded Economist’ program which will be expanded in 2020. New ways of working can challenge everyone, but it’s the only way to create research that supports managers to make evidence-informed decisions.

2. Enhancing consumer and community involvement in research ensures that priorities and solutions are targeted to real problems. We are starting a solid program of work in this area in 2020, targeting improving researchers’ skills in involving consumers in their research.

3. Quality improvement work takes substantial amounts of health staff time, but some is not evidence-based and little contributes to the evidence base (the results, whether successes or failures, are not shared). When Professor Tim Shaw was asked last year about the difference between QI and implementation science, he said: ‘When QI is done well – properly documented and properly evaluated – this is implementation science’. We think QI should always be ‘done well’ and have been asked by the NSWRHP Board to support clinicians to strengthen their research skills in 2020. We recently awarded 52 staff scholarships to study knowledge translation and epidemiology and we’re planning more opportunities.

Let’s move forward together in 2020

Please get in contact with us to discuss your work and how you might become involved or how we can help you.
We are also happy to publicise relevant local research and to receive nominations of published papers of interest for sharing with commentary.