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Research and Evidence Informed Practice in Allied and Scientific Health

The Allied and Scientific Health Office (ASHO) aims to enable excellence in allied health research, which is crucial to delivering high quality health care and evidence-informed practice to South Australians.

As part of this aim, ASHO is drafting a discussion paper on how to build allied health research and translation capacity in SA Health. This paper will be released for consultation with stakeholders in due course.

Allied Health Seed Funding for Research or Quality Improvement

The Allied and Scientific Health Office (ASHO) offers seed funding for eligible SA Health Allied Health Professionals (AHP) to support clinician-initiated research or quality improvement projects and build research and translation capacity in SA Health.

Allied Health Seed Funding between $500 and $5,000 is available for allied health research projects or quality improvement activities that enhance clinical care and are consistent with SA Health’s strategic plan.

Project Eligibility

Preference will be given to clinician-initiated projects that demonstrate outcomes directly related to patient care. Funding will not be given to projects already receiving funding from another funding source.

Applications must clearly articulate the potential impacts and clinical significance of the project. The proposed methodology should be feasible and link directly to the intended outcomes.

Relevant projects should:

  • involve some aspect of the mechanism, diagnosis, treatment or management of a health condition, from an allied health perspective
  • be clinician-led, involving at least one AHP within SA Health
  • address SA Health research and strategic priorities
  • have tangible outcomes that are achievable within 6-12 months.

Both research and quality improvement projects are eligible. Information about what constitutes a research project versus a quality improvement project is available via the Office for Research guidelines (PDF 172KB).

The purpose of a research project is to test a hypothesis and contribute to increased knowledge in a specific subject area. This generally requires formal ethics approval. The purpose of a quality improvement activity is usually to assess or improve a process or system using data routinely collected in practice.

As part of the proposed research or quality improvement project, possible items that may receive funding include, but are not limited to:

  • electronic survey or software subscriptions
  • data analysis costs
  • short-term backfill to allow staff time to complete data collection, data analysis or a pilot study
  • direct research costs including consumables or reimbursement of participant costs.

Applicants should not apply for resources that are readily available through their LHN, such as computers, library resources, software licences, etc.

Project Lead

The Project Lead must be an Allied Health Professional currently employed by SA Health and working in clinical practice, and must remain employed by SA Health for the duration of the project and reporting period.

Project Timeline

The project proposal should clearly outline a feasible timeline for project activities to be completed within 12 months. All funds awarded to successful applications must be expended before the end of the 2018-19 financial year (noting that invoices and salary journals must be finalised by May 2019 to meet end of financial year schedules). Project activities and reporting may be continued beyond the financial year if necessary, but must be finalised no longer than 12 months from when the funding is awarded.

Project Reporting

A key component of any project is reporting and disseminating the learnings. Applicants must outline how they intend to share the project outcomes within their work unit, across SA Health and outward to other stakeholders as appropriate.

In addition to project-specific dissemination strategies, funding recipients will be required to provide a written report to ASHO outlining the project outcomes and expenditure of funds. Recipients will also be required to present their findings at relevant staff forums and research seminars, including the SA Health AH Research Forum if requested.

Copies of any publication or media derived from a funded project will be sent to ASHO. Acknowledgement of the funding support provided by ASHO must be included in any presentation or paper arising from the research and arrangements regarding Intellectual Property will conform to SA Health policy.

Application Submission

  1. Download the Allied Health Seed Funding Application Form (DOCX 200Kb) 
    The form is designed for details to be typed directly into the Word document, with the exception of the Confirmation section, which should be completed by hand. Instructions in italics may be deleted to provide further space for project proposal content.
  2. Once complete, save the application form as a PDF with filename “[surname] Seed Funding Research Application”.
  3. Email the PDF to Health.AlliedHealthSeedFunding@sa.gov.au with the subject line “[surname] Seed Funding Research Application”.

Applications will be open until 5:00pm on Friday 12 October 2018. No late applications will be accepted.

All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application within 4 weeks of the funding round closing.

Enquiries

All enquiries can be sent via email to Health.AlliedHealthSeedFunding@sa.gov.au.

For assistance developing your research question or methodology, applicants may wish to utilise resources such as those available on the iCAHE Learning Hub, or contact iCAHE by email icahe@unisa.edu.au for access to Evidence Based Practice or Research Methodology PD session webinars.

International Centre for Allied Health Evidence (iCAHE)

The International Centre for Allied Health Evidence (iCAHE) works locally, nationally and globally to create new knowledge and translate evidence into safe, quality health care. iCAHE partners with researchers, clinicians, educators, policy makers, government, industry, professional and consumer groups and the broader community. 

iCAHE provides a wide range of tools, services and resources to support health practitioners, particularly the members of the Allied and Scientific Health Office of the Department for Health and Wellbeing, South Australia, in translating evidence into policy and practice. The following is a summary of the services we provide to ASHO members:

  1. Free one-hour Professional Development courses in Evidence based practice and Research Methodology
  2. Free resources including
  3. Journal club (request via iCAHEjournalclub@unisa.edu.au)
      • Training for facilitators (face to face or online via virtual classroom).
      • Support in
        1. developing a search strategy, searching for the most relevant evidence to underpin quality improvement activities, evidence implementation into practice considering local context
        2.  critical appraisal of the evidence, with a guide to local context applicability and decision making
  4. Statistical analysis assistance and support (request via iCAHE@unisa.edu.au
  5. Rapid reviews of the literature (request via ASHO office) 
      • A 12-week rapid review process can be conducted for those needing evidence to underpin their practice or policies
  6. Masterclasses (announced in the iCAHE website) 
      • iCAHE runs annual masterclasses to provide best practice updates in allied health service delivery models, quality and safety, evaluation strategies and measures of accountability

Health Consumers Alliance

International Centre for Allied Health Evidence (iCAHE) is visionary with its partnership with Healthcare Consumers Alliance (HCA). Consumer / patient engagement is a critical element in evidence-based practice, and is required in Australia for health service accreditation, and while it is attracting increasing community attention worldwide, there is very little evidence regarding the role of the Allied Health professional in translating this intent into effective practice.

iCAHE aims to make a difference to allied health interpretation of the evidence based practice components by focusing on the consumer aspects. This will be achieved by partnering with consumers, identifying exemplar allied health clinician / consumer activities (lived patient experiences) and attempting to understand consumer perspectives of healthcare consumption (Grimmer 2014).

Professional Certificate in Health Consumer Engagement

This Certificate resulted from collaboration between the iCAHE, University of South Australia and Health Consumers Alliance SA. It provides an opportunity to learn about health consumer engagement in the context of best evidence research and implementation. The Health Consumers Engagement Professional Certificate consists of two courses; Best Evidence, Policy and Practise for Health, and Application of Best Evidence in Health.

More information can be found via the University of South Australia

Allied Health Evidence Database

The Allied and Scientific Health Office has collated a database of resources providing links and summary information for evidence related to Allied Health practice. The database includes research papers, clinical guidelines, practice frameworks, conference presentations and other resources which can be used to inform clinical practice.

Resources can be filtered by Profession, to see only discipline-specific information, or can be sorted by clinical area or by operational theme (such as scope of practice, AH led services, AH extended hours services and so on). The excel table format allows users to sort and filter the resources to see only relevant resources and instructions for these functions can be found within the document.

For further information, corrections or additions to the resource list, please contact the ASHO at HealthAlliedandScientificHealth@sa.gov.au

Clinical audits

The ongoing partnership with iCAHE, offers Allied and Scientific Health Professionals in SA Health opportunities to undertake workplace based clinical audits on behalf of their department, clinical service or advisory group with research support. Information about previously conducted audits can be reviewed on the iCAHE Audits & Evaluations page.

ASPIRE for quality

The ASPIRE for quality is an evidence-based tool developed by the International Centre for Allied Health Evidence to evaluate clinical service performance in South Australian Local Health Networks.

The development, implementation and pilot evaluation of the ASPIRE was funded by SA Health's Allied Health and Scientific Office.

Clinical Guidelines Clearing House

SA Health Allied Health Professionals are provided with opportunities to extend their skills through access to the iCAHE website and Clinical Guideline Clearinghouse, training in evidence-based practice, journal club participation, Masterclasses and mentoring for staff publications. A series of Masterclass workshops have been run by iCAHE for AHPs across the themes of Evidence Based Practice and Outcome Measures and use of the iCAHE Outcomes Calculator.

The latest information is available through the iCAHE website.

Further information

For further information on evidence based practice is also available on the Standards and guidelines page.

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