The Academic and Research Collaborative in Health (ARCH) is La Trobe’s clinical translation partnership with leading Victorian healthcare providers and regional partners, to deliver better health and social care to Australians.
Established in 2019, the ARCH uses an implementation sciences framework and is led by allied health and nursing clinicians. It brings together academics, clinicians, consumers, healthcare professionals, health and social care agencies, and policy makers skilled in the translation of interdisciplinary research.
The ARCH addresses major challenges in health and wellbeing by co-partnering with consumers and health industry partners to create and deliver evidence-based interventions, research, guidelines, translation resources and policies.
Read on to learn more about our recent achievements.
Reducing waitlists in outpatient clinics
Researchers from the Eastern Health ARCH are investigating how waitlists can be reduced in outpatient settings.
Using Eastern Health’s Epilepsy Clinic as a case study, the team, led by Annie Lewis, developed a strategy that reduced the Clinic’s waitlist from 599 patients to 24 in just eight months. "The waitlist problem we confronted at the clinic was significant," says Lewis, "and there was an initial belief that the backlog could only be addressed by funding extra neurologist clinic sessions."
The research team proved otherwise. Using an iterative process, they determined the needs of each waiting patient by sorting them, not according to priority, but into groups: for discharge, needing a file review by a neurologist, or needing an appointment. "Other outpatient clinics may be able to apply this process to reduce their waitlists using a modest budget," says Lewis.
Ageing and Aged Care Research Review
The ARCH has made a significant contribution to the Ageing and Aged Care Research Review, released by the Melbourne Academic Centre for Health (MACH).
"We are delighted to be collaborating with the MACH Advanced Health Research and Translation Centre on this major ageing research initiative," says Professor Meg Morris, Director of the Academic and Research Collaborative in Health. "Together it unites a great team of people from a wide range of professional backgrounds."
La Trobe recently joined the MACH as an Affiliate Member.
Examining healthcare resilience during COVID-19
Researchers are examining the psychological, social and behavioural sources of resilience used by health professionals during COVID-19.
In Victoria alone, over 3500 healthcare professionals have been infected with coronavirus, with 72.9% acquiring the disease in a healthcare setting.
Researchers from the Healthscope ARCH, in collaboration with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital, are now examining the psychological, social and behavioural sources of resilience which help professionals to navigate these challenging times.
"Preliminary findings indicate that some clinicians experienced a heightened sense of meaning during this time," says lead researcher, Dr Lydia Brown. "Teamwork, effective communication and the ability to respond to rapidly changing conditions are emerging as common resilience factors that have helped clinicians during the COVID-19 response."
Learn more about the Academic and Research Collaborative in Health (ARCH).