RISe research group

Digital Health Review


Review of Impact of Digital Health Initiatives on the Safety and Quality of Healthcare for the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare.

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has contracted RISe to identify elements of digitisation in health care that best improve the safety and quality of patient care and existing approaches to self-assess, monitor and benchmark uptake of recommended digital initiatives.

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The key components of this project are to:

i) Conduct a literature review and analyses of any grey literature surrounding programs and elements of digital health care which have enabled delivery of care aligned with best-practice and improved patient safety and outcomes

ii) Conduct key informant interviews showcasing digital transformation by leading national and international organisations.

Principal Investigator: Prof. Tim Shaw

Research Coordinator: Ms Candice Kielly-Carroll

Senior Research Fellow: Dr. Monique Hines

Funding: The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

Project timeline: 2017



Cancer Data Innovation Project


Sydney West Translational Cancer Research Centre (TCRC) Flagship project on investigating how can knowledge derived from electronic health records (EHRs) and be utilized most effectively to improve the quality of cancer care.

The purpose and scope of EHR data is expanding and understanding variation in care is critical to improving the quality, value and appropriateness of healthcare. In the current paradigm of healthcare information management, cancer data is mainly for external reporting purposes. Whilst the provision of timely, relevant and reliable clinical information to multi-disciplinary teams (MDTs) has shown to drive improvements in informed decision making and ultimately impact on the quality and cost of cancer care.

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This project proposes the empowerment and facilitation of clinicians interrogating and understanding the knowledge derived from EHR data. In the first phase of this project, we have established a Data Innovation Lab at the Westmead Institute of Medical Research as a collaboration with the University of Sydney Data Science Coalition and Westmead Breast Cancer Institute. We are conducting a proof-of-concept in the use of software that integrates complex breast cancer data and generates graphical representations needed to support the analysis and understanding of the data.

Principal Investigator: Prof. Tim Shaw

Research Coordinator: Ms Candice Kielly-Carroll

Funding: Sydney West TCRC

Project timeline: 2016-2021



Turning Point


A Sydney Health Partners project exploring the feasibility and acceptability of using electronic health record (EHR) data for delivering personalised training to health professionals.

The purpose and scope of EHR data is expanding and understanding variation in care is critical to improving the quality, value and appropriateness of healthcare. In the current paradigm of healthcare information management, cancer data is mainly for external reporting purposes. Whilst the provision of timely, relevant and reliable clinical information to multi-disciplinary teams (MDTs) has shown to drive improvements in informed decision making and ultimately impact on the quality and cost of cancer care. This project proposes the empowerment and facilitation of clinicians interrogating and understanding the knowledge derived from EHR data.

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In the first phase of this project, we have established a Data Innovation Lab at the Westmead Institute of Medical Research as a collaboration with the University of Sydney Data Science Coalition and Westmead Breast Cancer Institute. We are conducting a proof-of-concept in the use of software that integrates complex breast cancer data and generates graphical representations needed to support the analysis and understanding of the data.

Principal Investigator: Prof. Tim Shaw

Research Coordinator: Miss Anna Janssen

Funding: Sydney Health Partners

Project timeline: 2016-2021



Improving Experience for Patients with Lung Cancer


An initiative of the Sydney West Translational Cancer Research Centre investigating the impact on an online program for increasing patient self-efficacy for managing their care.

The purpose of this study is to develop an online program for increase self-efficacy and enhancing help seeking behaviour for advanced lung cancer patients in Western Sydney. It is anticipated that this program will improve the quality of life for this patient cohort as it will assist participants with managing the symptoms of their treatment. The Qstream spaced learning platform will be used to deliver the online program. Qstream is an innovative and evidence-based online platform developed out of Harvard Medical School that has been demonstrated to impact on participant knowledge and behaviour.

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The primary outcome being measured is the feasibility of using the Qstream program to deliver education to patients with a diagnosis of lung cancer in western Sydney. Secondary outcomes include evaluating the impact of the Qstream program on symptom identification and symptom management, as well as patient self-efficacy and help-seeking behaviour.

Principal Investigator: Prof. Tim Shaw

Research Coordinator: Miss Anna Janssen

Funding: Sydney West Translational Cancer Research Centre

Project timeline: 2015-2017



Leveraging e-Applications for Patients and their families (LeAP)


A collaboration between the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Westmead and The University of Sydney.

The Sydney Children’s Hospitals, Westmead is implementing a patient communication portal that is integrated with the electronic health record (EHR). The portal includes functions such as, text-based communication with clinicians, appointment scheduling and reminders, self-serve functions and, in future, education, results, summaries, care plans and family initiated content.

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It is anticipated that, through this portal and its integration with the EHR, patients and their carers will have timely access to team/clinician communication thereby reducing stress and enhancing their experience of care. The LeAP study is investigating the pilot of the patient portal to understand how it will impact on patients/carers and hospital staff.

Principal Investigator: Prof. Tim Shaw and Melanie Keep, Anna Janssen

Project timeline: 2017-2019



Digital Health & Informatics Network


Establishment of a collaborative, cross-disciplinary Digital Health & Informatics Network.

Digital health and informatics has the potential to transform all aspects of healthcare and research. This includes how care is delivered and assessed, how health information is managed and what online tools and mobile devices are being used to improve and maintain health and wellbeing in a more effective and efficient manner.

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The Digital Health & Informatics Network (DHIN) was created to bridge the gap in digital health and informatics. Our purpose is to improve efficiency, connect interests, promote collaboration in research, share current projects and resources in these areas, and stimulate purposeful networking via DHIN-hosted events and online engagement. This network will support how we can reduce inefficiencies in efforts and promote purposeful collaborations that will lead to cutting edge research and ultimately, improve healthcare delivery and quality of life.

Principal Investigator: Prof. Tim Shaw

Funding: Charles Perkins Centre, Brain & Mind Centre, Cancer Research Fund

Project timeline: 2017-2020



Education in Cancer Implementation Science Community of Practice


Furthering and sustaining the Education in Cancer Implementation Science Community of Practice.

Since the project commenced in 2013, the Cancer Implementation Science Community of Practice has successfully developed and managed a community of practice delivering education and networking opportunities to our membership across the Translational Cancer Research Centres (TCRCs) of NSW. We attract new and experienced professionals in implementation science research, including researchers, clinicians and allied health practitioners, health service delivery staff, quality and innovation staff and others working in complementary disciplines.

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Events bring local and international experts to share their work and skills in implementation science and its applications, best practice and learnings with the membership. We have delivered 30 events across the project lifetime, including webinars, workshops, seminars, symposia and conferences plus journal club meetings for our early-mid career researcher members. The community supports our members further by enabling networking and collaboration opportunities across the TCRCs and beyond. The project is bridging the gap between researchers in the translational pipeline with clinical patient care and service providers, particularly clinicians and allied health practitioners with hospital-based staff such as quality improvement and innovation managers.

Principal Investigator: Prof. Tim Shaw

Other collaborators: Dr Nicole Rankin - Sydney Catalyst TCRC and The Cancer Council NSW, A/Professor Chris Paul - Hunter Cancer Research Alliance TCRC, Dr Ann Dadich - Centre for Oncology Education and Research Translation (CONCERT), Professor Afaf Girgis - Centre for Oncology Education and Research Translation (CONCERT), Professor Jane Phillips - Sydney Catalyst/TCRN and Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite - TCRN

Project Officer: Charlotte Pointeaux

Funding: Cancer Institute NSW

Project timeline: 2013-2017



Qstream Projects


RISe has been actively involved in the implementation and evaluation of Qstream programs for delivering health education. The group is currently supporting a number of exciting Qstream projects across a range of areas.

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HETI Qstream Project

This program is supported by MESF grant from HETI. It has been designed to deliver training to junior doctors across multiple hospital sites in Western Sydney. The program launched in June 2017.

Oncology Registrar Masterclass series (SWTCRC Project)

The Qstream masterclass series is an educational initiative of the Sydney West Translational Cancer Research Centre. All programs in the masterclass series are developed to support registrars specialising in oncology across western Sydney. The first program being developed focuses on gynaecological oncology, and will be launching in mid-2017.



The eHealthMap Project


A collaborative core curriculum and resource repository for eHealth readiness across health professional degrees.

This project aims to provide future graduates across the University’s faculties of health with consistent, high-quality education experiences to develop and demonstrate essential eHealth core competencies. eHealthMap is a collaborative initiative that aims to ensure that all graduates of health degree programs receive the very best education experiences to develop core competencies required of an eHealth ready workforce.

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This project involves curriculum mapping and core competency identification, to deliver a shared online eHealth curriculum that also acts as a springboard for the dissemination of high quality multi-media re-usable learning and assessment resources drawn from the University’s eHealth Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). It aims to achieve vertical integration with workforce programs within Local Health Districts and more broadly, engagement with key stakeholders to support this.

Principal Investigator: Prof. Tim Shaw

Project Officer: Ms. Dee Quinn

Funding: Education Innovation Grant (2016), DVC Education, University of Sydney

Project timeline: 2017



The eHealth Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)


‘eHealth – More than just an electronic record’

The eHealth MOOC is a quality workforce development that has been acknowledged as a valuable resource in raising workforce capacity for integrating eHealth into practice. The MOOC has attracted significant interest from key stakeholders in workforce development, including Local Health Districts and State and Federal health agencies.

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Following on from the success and enthusiasm for the introductory eHealth MOOC, ‘eHealth – More than just an electronic record’, competitive funding has been secured from the University of Sydney (DVCE) to develop a deep dive ‘deep dive into health data’ MOOC that aligns with priority workforce learning needs.

Principal Investigator: Prof. Tim Shaw

Research Coordinator: Melissa Brunner

Funding: University of Sydney Strategic Education Grant

Project timeline: 2015 - ongoing



Opioid Treatment Accreditation Course (OTAC)


The Opioid Treatment Accreditation Course (OTAC) is run on behalf of the NSW Ministry of Health. It was developed in 1999 and has been run continuously by The University of Sydney since this time.

RISe developed and manages this NSW pharmacotherapy accreditation training package on behalf of the NSW Ministry for Health.

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The course has been running for over a decade, during which time it has been frequently revised in response to new innovations in online educational theory, legislative change and participant feedback. It currently utilises a unique model of online education which allows participants to transition from knowledge acquisition to demonstration of learning over the duration of the course.

Project Officer: Miss Anna Janssen

Funding: NSW Ministry of Health

Project timeline: 1999-2017



Health Sciences research