Translating practice into research: Outcomes from a successful health service / university partnership

Ms Sue Rowan1, Dr Danielle   Hitch2, Dr Genevieve  Pepin2

1Barwon Health, Geelong, Australia, 2Deakin University, Geelong, Australia

Aim: Clinical excellence and leadership needs to be supported by education and research. In Geelong, there is a strong regional identity which is clearly expressed in local – such as that forged between the Occupational Therapy departments at Barwon Health and Deakin University. From a long shared history of collaboration around education, the relationship between these two institutions has now evolved to facilitate mutually beneficial research activity. The aim of this paper is to review the outcomes of this partnership, highlighting the key performance indicators, benefits and challenges of such a relationship.

Method: The development of this relationship will be discussed using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR). The characteristics of the partnership will be described, along with the internal and external context for its development. An overview of the multiple stakeholders involved will be provided, and a critical analysis of the implementation process to date.

Results: Barwon Health participated in no formal research, grant applications or publications, and minimal conference presentations three years ago. Today, the Occupational Therapy department is participating in 7 ethics approved research projects and has a leadership role in 5 of these. Four peer reviewed journal articles have been published and over 20 conference papers presented.

Significance of the findings to allied health: Mindful and long term partnership with academia, the development of research champions, and utilisation of research students can create the right conditions for excellence in research capacity, capability and culture.