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Tasmanian Collaboration for Health Improvement

Our Vision

The Tasmanian Collaboration for Health Improvement will improve health outcomes for all Tasmanians through a shared translational research agenda that informs the development and delivery of a well-integrated, people-centred and effective health system.

What is the Tasmanian Collaboration for Health Improvement (TCHI)?

TCHI is focussed on improving the health of Tasmanians through translational research – identifying and undertaking research which is important to the Tasmanian community, then ensuring that research is translated into policy and practice, and ultimately delivers tangible improvements in population-wide health care and health outcomes.

TCHI brings together researchers, policy makers, clinicians, health professionals, community organisations and most importantly, consumers, to identify priorities, collaborate on projects and connect the research with stakeholders and end users. Improving health outcomes requires a collaborative and coordinated approach, and TCHI will connect the key players required to deliver a focussed effort to benefit Tasmanians.

Tasmania faces some important regional health challenges, including poorer health outcomes due to chronic disease and an ageing population.

The Tasmanian Collaboration for Health Improvement seeks to address these challenges using innovative, research-informed approaches, leveraging the advantages that come from a single primary health network, a single university, and a single state health service.

Our principles

The principles we have adopted to further develop our leadership and realise our vision of a healthier Tasmania are:

  • Co-design in developing research priorities and translating evidence
  • Greater sharing of resources and expertise, including data and biorepositories
  • A focus on better prevention and management of conditions that are of greatest burden to Tasmanians
  • Taking a systems approach to addressing the complexity of health problems and their social determinants across the life span
  • Engagement with the wider health system, Tasmanian community and consumers
  • Commitment to developing current and future health professionals, researchers and leaders who can work together to respond in successful and cost-effective ways to the health needs of the Tasmanian population.

What is translational research?

Translational research means different things to different people. For TCHI, its about undertaking research which is relevant to Tasmanians and ensuring the outcomes of that research are translated into practice or policy.

Following are three practical examples of translational research projects that have made an impact on practice and/or policy in Tasmania (and beyond):

  • Reducing Use of Sedatives in Aged Care Facilities (RedUSe)

    The seminal RedUSe study, trialled in Tasmania and expanded to 150 residential age care facilities nationally, led to a significant reduction in the number of people in facilities taking benzodiazepines and antipsychotics, as well as dose reductions and improved staff knowledge

    Visit the RedUSe website

  • Empowering individuals to reduce the impacts of environmental conditions on their health (AirRater)

    AirRater was developed in Tasmania to address this issue by using innovative smartphone technology to empower individuals to reduce the impacts of environmental conditions on their health. Freely available to all Tasmanians and with national expansion underway, AirRater provides real-time, location-specific information on key environmental triggers and allows users to log symptoms and identify which conditions impact their health.

    Visit the AirRater website

  • Reducing postoperative pneumonia following abdominal surgery

    Working together with health system partners at two regional Tasmanian hospitals, physiotherapists have led an international trial to address the problem of postoperative pneumonia following upper abdominal surgery, the most common major surgery performed globally. Results showed that preparing patients with a physiotherapist before surgery not only reduced risk of chest infections but also lowered death rates. This has changed statewide practice, with plans to introduce physiotherapy into preoperative assessment clinics in all public hospitals.

    There has also been large international reach, with inclusion in “Up-To-Date”, the most-used medical guideline resource in the world, as part of best-practice approach to preventing postoperative lung complications. The work was also selected for highlighting to decision makers within the United Kingdom’s National Health Service’s National Institute of Health Research to better inform national clinical practice. Multiple national and international awards have also been conferred.

We're Getting Started

Delivering impactful research requires a robust framework

Before launching into our research program, it’s essential that TCHI is supported by a robust governance and strategy framework. And it’s critically important that this framework is developed in close consultation with stakeholders and consumers.

During 2020, TCHI will be working with a team of stakeholders, via an Establishment Reference Group, to formulate the principles, structures and processes that will guide the operation of TCHI into the future – ensuring the collaboration is relevant, effective and enduring.

Mrs Catherine Back                    The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (Tasmania)
Dr Michael Bentley General Practice Training Tasmania
Ms Connie Digolis Mental Health Council of Tasmania
Mrs Penny Egan Cancer Council Tasmania
Ms Heather Francis Royal Hobart Hospital Research Foundation
Ms Ngaire Hobbins Australian Association of Gerontology
Prof Garry Jennings AO Sydney Health Partners
Mr John Kirwan Royal Flying Doctors Service Tasmania
Mr Craig Limkin Department of Premier and Cabinet
Mr Graeme Lynch AM National Heart Foundation of Australia (Tasmania)
Ms Monique Mackrill Pharmacy Guild of Australia (Tasmania)
Ms Catherine Maloney Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH)
Dr David Midson West Coast Council
Prof Michael Pervan Department of Communities Tasmania
A/Prof Jan Radford College of Health and Medicine, University of Tasmania
Dr Viet Tran Tasmanian Health Service, Department of Health
Dr Mathew Wallis Tasmanian Health Service, Department of Health
Ms Rhonda Wilson ParaQuad Association of Tasmania
Prof Tania Winzenberg College of Health and Medicine, University of Tasmania

Get Involved - Become a Collaboration Member

Play a part in delivering innovative health solutions for Tasmanians

The Tasmanian Collaboration for Health Improvement invites you to become a member of the collaboration and participate in this innovative translational health research program.

We want to ensure stakeholders and consumers have a strong connection to the program – by becoming a member, you will receive regular updates on the design of the collaboration, and once established, information about opportunities to participate in activities and projects.

TCHI Partners

The collaboration Partners are overseeing the establishment of the collaboration and include: the University of Tasmania (College of Health and Medicine), the Tasmanian Government (Department of Health), Primary Health Tasmania and Health Consumers Tasmania.

The Partners are also working to ensure consumer views are included in this oversight, with appropriate consumer representation on management teams and reference groups.

Prof Alison Venn Director, Menzies Institute for Medical Research (College of Health and Medicine) University of Tasmania
Prof James Vickers Director, Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre (College of Health and Medicine) University of Tasmania
Prof Tony Lawler Chief Medical Officer, Health Professional Policy Advisory Services (Department of Health) Tasmanian Government
Dr Siobhan Harpur Chief Executive Officer, Public Health Services (Department of Health) Tasmanian Government
Mr Phil Edmondson Chief Executive Officer Primary Health Tasmania
Ms Susan Powell General Manager, Health Systems Improvement Primary Health Tasmania
Mr Bruce Levett Executive Officer Health Consumers Tasmania
Ms Debbie Evans Chief Executive Officer, Lifeline Tasmania External Consumer Representative

TCHI Members

The following organisations have registered as collaboration Members:

Allied Health Professionals Australia Arthritis and Osteoporosis Tasmania
Asthma Australia Australian Association of Gerontology
Australian College of Perioperative Nurses (Tasmania) Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine
Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association BDO Australia
Cancer Council Tasmania Centre for Health Services Research (The University of Queensland)
Colony 47 Community Care Tasmania
Cornerstone Youth Services Department of Communities Tasmania (Tasmanian Government)
Department of Premier and Cabinet (Tasmanian Government) Diabetes Tasmania
Drug Education Network Family Based Care Tasmania
General Practice Training Tasmania Kidney Health Australia
Lifeline Tasmania Local Government Association of Tasmania
Mental Health Council of Tasmania Monash Partners and Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation
Multiple Sclerosis Limited National Heart Foundation of Australia (Tasmania)
NHMRC National Institute for Dementia Research Northern Midlands Council
ParaQuad Association of Tasmania Pharmaceutical Society of Australia
Pharmacy Guild of Australia Public Health Association of Australia
Royal Flying Doctors Service Tasmania Royal Hobart Hospital Research Foundation
Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health South Eastern Community Care
SPHERE Maridulu Budyari Gumal Stroke Foundation
Sydney Health Partners Tasmanian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners West Coast Council
West Tamar Council

Contact Us

If you would like to know more about the Tasmanian Collaboration for Health Improvement, or our establishment activities in 2020, please contact us:

Mandy Richardson
Manager, Tasmanian Collaboration for Health Improvement (TCHI)

M: 0409793745