Professor Will Parsonage, Clinical Director, AusHSI
I was flattered by the words written by Nick Graves and Roman Kislov in their piece Better Healthcare With Hybrid Practitioners published on this blog a year ago, but I was also left wondering whether my own path to the role of Clinical Director at AusHSI had been one made more of random mutation than careful hybridisation.
I’ve been interested in the way health service delivery can evolve and improve for some time, but to have become an active participant as a clinician/researcher in this area owes as much to chance and opportunism as organised education, training and career progression. Like most health professionals, skills in economic evaluation, implementation science and knowledge mobilisation were never part of the crowded curriculum of my training, either as a clinician or as a clinical researcher and had to be acquired through serendipity.
To face the challenge of delivering healthcare in the 21st century, this needs to change. We simply cannot afford to leave training health professionals in these essential skills to chance.
This month sees the beginning of a new and exciting collaboration between AusHSI and our partners at Metro North Hospital and Health Service as the first cohort of Metro North health professionals embark upon a Graduate Certificate in Health Services Innovation. Over the next two years, on a part time basis, participants will receive training in implementation science, economic evaluation and health care delivery. The aim of the QUT qualification is to create reflective and critical health professionals who understand barriers and enablers to improving health services and embed good evaluation practices along the way. They will apply these skills and knowledge by implementing a workplace project in their final year. The course will be enriched by experiences in addition to the formal delivery of the Graduate Certificate such as individual mentoring, academic seminars, time spent at QUT and drop-in project planning clinics delivered by AusHSI staff and local clinical experts.
The Graduate Certificate sits central to the Metro North Research Strategy which identifies capacity building in health service research as one of three key themes and from AusHSI’s perspective the course has relevance across the health service.
This is the course I would like to have done 10 years ago. Instead I will be watching the development of these new hybrid practitioners, and their future contributions to the health service, with great interest.
Acknowledgement: My thanks to Dr Elizabeth Martin for help in preparing this article. Liz is the Study Area Coordinator Graduate Certificate Health Science (Health Services Innovation), QUT