To make a difference, high quality health research needs to be taken up into routine practice by health care providers, managers, funders and regulators.

At Menzies we are building an evidence base to improve the methods through which enhancements to health care programs or practice are implemented widely.

We also support the direct application of evidence into primary health care programs and practice through a national research partnership. The partnership supports health services to use continuous quality improvement through One21seventy, and consultancy work with key primary health care partners such as the Department of Health and Ageing.  

Our research focus:
  • To build an evidence base for the implementation of innovations or new programs in Indigenous health care.
  • To investigate the use of large-scale research partnerships to support the implementation and improvement of Indigenous primary health care.
  • To conduct high quality evaluations or other consultancy work with key primary health care partners.
  • To build organisational capacity to effectively translate or implement evidence-based innovations in Indigenous health care.
Our research impact:

Our expertise and ongoing research in this area supports the uptake and sustained use of research products from other areas of research at Menzies, and from other research and health care partners across the country.

Specific illustrations of this include:

  • Menzies Sentinel Sites Evaluation of the Australian Government’s $800m Indigenous Chronic Disease Package (a key Closing the Gap initiative) provided six monthly updates to the government’s program manager, and helped improve the implementation of the many components of that package.
  • One21seventy’s CQI model and services help the Indigenous primary health care sector apply best practice guidelines in an ongoing way, and to assess their performance in delivering high quality care at local (health centre), regional and state and territory levels. One21seventy’s clinical audit tools are regularly updated with input from practitioners and experts to ensure they respond to any changes in the evidence of best practice.
  • The Audit and Best Practice in Chronic Disease Extension (ABCDE) project helped prepare the way for the large scale implementation of CQI in Indigenous Primary Health Care across Australia, and particularly informed the Australian Government’s Healthy For Life program, and the implementation of CQI programs in Queensland, the Northern Territory, South Australia, New South Wales and to a lesser extent, Western Australia.
  • The ABCD National Research Partnership continues to support the ongoing implementation, adaptation and refinement of CQI in those states and territories, by bringing together researchers, health care providers, managers, funders and practitioners to work together on the challenges of improving the overall quality of care delivered to Indigenous Australians.
  • Ross Bailie and Jenny Brands contributed significantly to the development of the Lowitja Institute’s Facilitated Development Approach to research, which helped lead the reform of Indigenous health research so that stakeholders from all levels of the system are involved in identifying research priorities. This has influenced the practice of many researchers and national organisations such as beyondblue.
  • The Healthy Communities Assessment Tool (HCAT) has been used in a number of States and Territories to assess and guide imprivement in the quality of community environments in remote settlements and small rural towns across Australia.
Key staff:
Collaborators:
  • The Lowitja Institute
  • La Trobe University
  • Northern Territory Department of Health
  • AMSANT
  • Queensland Health
  • Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Council (QAIHC)
  • Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia (AHCSA)
  • CUCRH (Combined Universities Centre for Rural Health), University of WA
  • James Cook University
  • University of Queensland
  • Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation
  • Western Australia Department of Health
  • More than 140 primary health care centres involved in ABCD National Research Partnership
  • Department of Health and Ageing.
  1. Gardner, K.L., Dowden, M., Togni, S., & Bailie, R. (2010). Understanding uptake of continuous quality improvement in Indigenous primary health care: lessons from a multi-site case study of the Audit and Best Practice for Chronic Disease project. Implementation Science, 5, 21.
  2. Brands, J. & Gooda, M. (2006).  Putting the users of research in the driver’s seat: the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health’s new approach to research development. Australian Aboriginal Studies, 2, 27-35.