Dr Pieter Van Dam
Co-ordinator Professional Honours (Clinical Redesign)
School of Medicine
College of Health and Medicine| University of Tasmania
How the partnership began
The educational collaboration between the ACI and UTAS evolved from fortuitous timing. Professor Rick Iedema, who at the time held a conjoint position between UTAS and the ACI, lead the collaboration. The timing of the collaboration was perfect as the Commonwealth Government had funded UTAS to establish Health Services Innovation Tasmania (HSI Tas) to develop clinical redesign training programs aimed at building redesign capacity in Tasmania’s health system.
Out of the partnership grew the idea to unite the ACI’s CHR program with higher education academic qualifications. This aimed to handle the increased demand and to combine knowledge and expertise, while enabling students to achieve a university qualification.
The strategy was intended to use both the ACI and UTAS content to develop academic award courses. Adding training in research principles and methods in the form of an academic unit, Translational Research in Health Service Innovation, led to the creation of the Graduate Certificate (Clinical Redesign). In February 2016, after passing through all the obligatory university approval processes, the first students were admitted to the program.
The benefits of the partnership
This partnership benefits the recognition of both the ACI and UTAS as experts in the field of healthcare innovation. The Graduate Certificate allows the graduating students to become more rounded healthcare improvement experts who are capable of addressing process redesign problems and evidence-practice gaps. It also gives a higher academic recognition of their work. The collaboration in providing education has become a ground-breaking initiative in developing skills for the healthcare workforce leading to better student, patient and organisational outcomes. The Graduate Certificate is the first tertiary course in this field of health service improvement.
Now the Graduate Certificate course has been well established, the ACI and UTAS are exploring an evaluation study to determine the long-term outcomes of the program. The aim is for more collaborative research and this vision has started with the establishment of a Clinical Redesign and Ethics Working Group, with the intention to publish some of the great work that has been undertaken in clinical redesign.
Learning pathways: Professional honours (Clinical Redesign)
The Graduate Certificate (Clinical Redesign) has been designed to articulate with the second year of the professional honours and builds on the previous achievements made. The study pathway includes three units: Health Research Methods, Major Project A and Major Project B. During the year students will write a 10,000-word dissertation and draft paper for publication, with the support and guidance of UTAS and the ACI staff. Completing this pathway provides the option of direct access to enrolment in higher research degrees (including a PhD or Professional Doctorate).
The collaboration between the ACI and HSI Tas will continue to evolve, offering more exciting opportunities with many improvements in the educational programs already implemented over the past two years.