Healthcare research within Metro South Health (MSH) has advanced significantly since the establishment of the Centre for Health Research in 1998 to foster and facilitate research activity at the Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH). Over the years, focussed efforts on both the building a “state of the art” hospital and the progressive development of research capacity on the campus continued. Research spanned the spectrum from basic science to health services and population health research. The clear focus of the research effort however was on Translational Research. Translational Research takes basic scientific discoveries through to health or economic benefits on the one hand or translates the most current knowledge into best clinical practice and systems of care on the other. PAH was ideally positioned to undertake such Translational Research given the nature of the Hospital, its existing research strengths, its close interactions with the major research institutions in the State and the developing surrounding environment. This “translational” research activity was crucial for the Campus’ continued International competitiveness.
In 2014, the Clinical Research Facility was opened to provide participants with the special facilities and equipment needed to help them to investigate the causes of disease, and to conduct research studies of new medicines and medical equipment. The facility has been designed as a restful environment, with light filled spaces and comfortable, spacious treatment rooms and waiting area. The clinic is not a healthcare facility; however it is situated within the main hospital building. This is to ensure the rapid access to emergency medical teams should this be needed.
The PAH campus also house research biorepositories that collects and stores several ethically approved research tissue banks, biobanks, tumour banks and human biological biospecimens for use in health and medical research. These research biorepositories are important for:
Presently, the Centres for Health Research operates as the coordinating body for research at PAH fostering all forms of research from basic biomedical to translational, clinical, health service and population health research. The Centres also hosts the MSHH Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) to support the administration or research governance and ethics processes.
In Logan, the Research and Innovation Framework was recently introduced as one of the five strategic priorities of the Future Hospital Program. The Framework will provide a pathway for how Logan and Beaudesert Hospital will achieve their goal which is to be recognised as an organisation that supports and produces world standard clinical research and innovation with a focus on transforming evidence into practice to facilitate excellence in patient service delivery.
Whilst, the rapid development of research across MSH facilities is positive and encouraging, it is important to ensure synergy and integration of research activities under MSH. Therefore, a MSH Research Strategy will identify and facilitate opportunities for more effective partnerships, as well as access to information and communication across facilities, streams and projects.
The MSH Research Strategy aims to: