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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 36(1)

Engaging medical staff in clinical governance: introducing new technologies and clinical practice into public hospitals

Alison J. Dwyer A B E , Gavin Becker A , Cindy Hawkins A C , Lisa McKenzie A and Malcolm Wells A D

A Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne Health, Grattan Street, Parkville, Vic. 3050, Australia.
B Austin Health, 145 Studley Road, Heidelberg, Vic. 3084, Australia.
C Southern Health, 246 Clayton Road, Clayton, Vic. 3168, Australia.
D Epworth Eastern, 1 Arnold Street, Box Hill, Vic. 3128, Australia.
E Corresponding author. Email: alison.dwyer@austin.org.au

Australian Health Review 36(1) 43-48 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AH10952
Submitted: 7 October 2010  Accepted: 20 June 2011   Published: 24 February 2012


 
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Abstract

Introduction. To enhance patient care, medical staff at major tertiary teaching hospitals are encouraged to innovate through introducing new technologies and clinical practices. However, such introduction must be safe, efficient, effective and appropriate for patients and the organisation, and actively lead by engage medical staff.

Method. This study outlines the development, implementation and evaluation of a framework for introducing new technologies and clinical practice to a major tertiary health service. Evaluation includes survey of medical Heads of Units (HOUs) for framework’s effectiveness, and comparison of level of medical staff engagement against a best-practice model.

Results. Over 2-year period: 19 applications, 7 approved. Successful external funding of $1.993 million achieved. Survey of HOUs in June 2009: response rate 59% (25 of 42 HOUs), with 11 of 25 respondents utilised the committee. Of those 14 of 25 who had not utilised the committee, low awareness of the committee’s existence (2 respondents). Most elements of the best-practice model for engaging medical staff were achieved. Recommendations include improvements to committee process and raising profile with medical staff.

Discussion. This study demonstrates an effective and successful clinical governance process for introducing new technologies and clinical practice into a major tertiary teaching hospital, supported by moderate levels of medical staff engagement.

What is known about the topic? To enhance patient care in an innovative research and teaching environment, medical staff at major tertiary teaching hospitals are encouraged to innovate and introduce new technologies and clinical practices. However, such introduction needs to be safe, efficient, effective and appropriate for patients and the organisation, and actively engage medical staff in overseeing such responsibility.

What does this paper add? This study demonstrates an effective and successful clinical governance process for introducing new technologies and clinical practice into a major tertiary teaching hospital, supported by moderate levels of medical staff engagement.

What are the implications for practitioners? All health services or hospitals with a focus for medical research and innovation, that incorporate new technologies into their clinical practice, should ensure governance processes similar to those outlined, to ensure best-practice evidence-based clinical and corporate governance. Effective engagement of medical staff in such processes is essential.



References

[1]  Media Release: RMH is the busiest hospital in Australia, 30 June 2008. Melbourne Health; 2008. Available at http://www.mh.org.au/2008-rmh-is-the-busiest-hospital-in-australia/w1/i1013347/ [verified 3 January 2012].

[2]  2012–13 New Technology Program Funding Round Full Submission Template. Department of Health, Victoria: 2011. Available at http://www.health.vic.gov.au/newtech/newtech.htm [verified 3 January 2012].

[3]  Karsh BT. Beyond usability: designing effective technology implementation systems to promote patient safety. Qual Saf Health Care 2004; 13: 388–94.
CrossRef | PubMed |

[4]  Reinertsen JL, Gosfield AG, Rupp W, Whittington JW. Engaging Physicians in a Shared Quality Agenda. IHI Innovation Series White Paper. Cambridge, MA: Institute for Healthcare Improvement; 2007.

[5]  Gallego G, Fowler S, van Gool K. Decision makers perceptions of health technology decision making and priority setting at the institutional level. Aust Health Rev 2008; 32: 520–7.
CrossRef | PubMed |


   
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