Researcher Spotlight: David Rodwell

Q&A with Dr David Rodwell, AusHSI Research Associate

Q: What expertise do you bring to AusHSI?
A: I have a background in psychological research focused on road safety, which itself can be conceptualised as a major public health issue. I have experience in conducting several different types of studies including experimental, intervention, qualitative and quantitative studies. Many of the projects that I have worked on have had components strongly related to implementation science and the introduction of new beneficial technologies to reduce harm for people.

Q: Why is health services research important?
A: I am new to the field of health services research, but I can see the immense importance of developing ways to improve the quality of health care. I recently had a family experience interacting with the public health system which led me to reflect on how it could have been better. Improvements could address ways in which health services can be made more effective for the patient, less anxiety-provoking for family members, more equitable, and less costly for the community to improve the lives of all Australians.

Q: What does health services innovation mean to you?
A: In short, taking ‘standard practice’ and making it better for the patient, the provider, the healthcare system, and the community. Health services innovation is about improving the lives of more people, more often, through out-of-the-box thinking and considered examination of research evidence.

Q: What inspires you most in your research?
A: There are lots of challenging (and sometimes monotonous) things when undertaking research. However, the fact that you are trying to answer a difficult question that is interesting and important, and that may lead to improvements in others’ lives (or even my own) is inspiring. I have a psychology background, so I’m really interested in how people think or behave. I’m inspired by the people who choose to participate in research, particularly qualitative research, which often involves talking to people about difficult things or sharing challenging aspects of their lives.