Eastern Health shines in research world rankings and helps to transform healthcare

Article by Ashlea O’Hea, Communications Adviser at Eastern Health. 

Box Hill Hospital (Eastern Health) came in at number 36 in the Times Higher Education global rankings of non-university and non-commercial research organisations: equal to the world-renowned Scripps Institute in the US. Box Hill Hospital was the first ranked hospital in Australia, being the second ranked Australian research organisation.

Times Higher Education (THE) is the UK’s most authoritative source of information about higher education. THE ranked hospitals and non-university medical institutes based on a weighting of the impact of their publications between 2013 and 2017.

“The result means the impact of Eastern Health’s research based on weighted citations is ranked highly globally and the highest ranked Australian hospital,” Eastern Health’s Chief Executive, Adjunct Professor David Plunkett said.

Eastern Health conducts research across all disciplines, with more than 600 trials currently active.

“Our success has been possible due to our multidisciplinary research strengths across medical specialities, nursing and allied health with a strong focus on translating research to improve patient outcomes. We have strong state-wide services research with Turning Point and Spectrum and an increasing depth of surgical research currently underway.”

“We have a proud history in research and innovation. We have always fostered a culture where ethical research is embedded in every day practice,” Adj Prof Plunkett said.

Recent highlights from Eastern Health’s research activity includes the launch of the DC MedsRec trial in March, which is a community pharmacy-based service for patients discharged from Box Hill Hospital with four or more medicines, designed to help reduce the risk of harm from dangerous drug interactions. The service is an Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) pilot project, managed by Eastern Health in partnership with Monash University.

Recent research has also contributed to community outpatient health clinics slashing their waiting times using a model of patient care known as Specific Timely Appointment for Triage (STAT).

The joint La Trobe University, Eastern Health and Department of Health and Human Services trial – supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council – resulted in thousands of outpatients spending significantly fewer days waiting to see a health professional.

Eastern Health and La Trobe health service researcher, Dr Katherine Harding recently received a prestigious Translating Research into Practice (TRIP) fellowship from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) to do further work on translating the STAT model into practice for paediatric services. In addition, the team (collaborating with Dr Patrick Carney) has received funding from the Eastern Health Foundation to find out if the STAT model can be applied to reduce waiting times in medical specialist clinics.

Adj Prof Plunkett said he was proud of Eastern Health’s commitment to research and the impact it is having, and will continue to have on patient care and health outcomes. “Research is a vital component of providing world-class healthcare, and we are excited about what the future holds for us in this space.”

For more information about our research, visit https://www.easternhealth.org.au/research-ethics