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Our expertise

Project management / organisational change

The CHI team, featuring professionals from a wide range of specialist areas, leads and provides project management support for a number of initiatives across Gold Coast Health.

The primary objective of these projects and the overall body of work is to develop contemporary and innovative practices to improve clinical outcomes. The projects that CHI undertakes fall under three pillars:

  • Reform: parts of the health service experiencing a particular challenge that might require time-limited attention or support
  • Redesign: more substantive structural projects that might reconsider organisational processes or ways of working across a service area. These projects are typically in response to contemporary best practice or evidence that there might be a better way of doing things and/or changes in other parts of the health service that have a knock-on effect
  • Innovation: these projects involve looking more broadly outside of ourselves to radically reconsider about how we can change the way we deliver care to address current and future health care needs across the population.

It is CHI’s mission – which is embedded across all projects and activities – to support Gold Coast Health to be recognised as a centre of excellence for world class healthcare.

For more information on our approach to project management, or to enquire how we might support your organisation in coordinating operational or organisational change projects, please contact Principle Project Officer Kathryn Morton on 07 5687 0195

Service evaluation and research

We have a dedicated research team that works closely with academic partners to undertake research, translate research findings into operational and clinical practice, and share lessons with other health services in Australia and internationally.
There are four mechanisms through which we are striving to embed and promote research across the Gold Coast community:

  • Ensuring that the projects CHI undertakes are evidence-based, informed by critical appraisal of contemporary evidence and best practice
  • All projects include rigorous evaluation and research – and that these findings are shared and published. This includes learning from successes as well as ongoing challenges
  • CHI works with a broad network of partners to share knowledge and undertake this research – promoting CHI’s work and contributing to a body of knowledge
  • Support project staff and others across the health service to develop their own research skills – critical appraisal, research design, evaluation and presentation skills.
Design Thinking

Design thinking promotes consumer-centric, innovative problem solving. It explores the desires, needs and challenges of the end user to fully understand a problem in the hopes of developing more comprehensive and effective solutions.Design thinking is client-directed and continually considers how what is being created will respond to the client’s needs. Design thinking is an iterative and experimental process, based on five principles.

Design Thinking Process

The Centre for Health Innovation is comprised of design thinking experts who foster new approaches to complex and persistent health care problems through human-centred problem solving, collective ideation, rapid prototyping and comprehensive testing prior to implementation of solutions. Ensuring the solutions are targeting the right problems, validations by consumers with lived experience is an essential component of the projects within CHI.

Using design thinking principles to create innovative, integrated and patient-focused models of care and health systems has demonstrated success in renowned health care organisations.

Design thinking has been applied by high performing health care organisations like Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic, and Intermountain Healthcare and is proven to be successful in consumer-focused problem solving, while identifying the right problems to solve and make the biggest positive impact.

At Gold Coast Health, design thinking has been integral in the redesign of integrated models of care, which entailed extensive clinical and consumer engagement to develop a person-centred approach to healthcare.

Relational coordination

Gold Coast Health is currently the only hospital and health service in Australia committed to using Relational Coordination (RC) to proactively develop a relationship-centred leadership culture and improve team performance.

RC is an evidence-based theory and model of organisational change, which focuses on using the power of relationships to improve quality and efficiency outcomes. It focuses on seven dimensions of relating and communicating:

  1. Shared goals
  2. Shared knowledge
  3. Mutual respect
  4. Frequent communication
  5. Timely communication
  6. Accurate communication
  7. Problem solving communication.

During an RC intervention, the RC Project Manager works with leaders and front-line staff to follow a methodical step-by-step process. When applied to a team, the RC process acts as a reflective approach to help identify issues and opportunities, develop responsive interventions and plan for improvement. It provides a safe way to talk about communicating and relationships between teams.

Collective information can be found under Relational Coordination Research Collaborative, Brandeis University, The Heller School for Social Policy and Management

Understanding patient flow: Appropriateness Evaluation Protocol (AEP) audit

Since the opening of Gold Coast University Hospital in September 2013, Gold Coast Health has experienced increasing demand for inpatient treatment due to a growing and ageing population in the region. Part of CHI’s role is to better understand patient flow challenges and to develop appropriate interventions to address and overcome these challenges.

‘Red2Green Bed Days’ are helping to identify and minimise waiting or wasted time in our health services (red days) and encourage more efficient or active care (green days).

On 31 July 2018, Gold Coast Health conducted Australia’s first ‘Appropriateness Evaluation Protocol (AEP)’ audit across 25 inpatient units across its acute campuses (excluding clinical areas where the tool is not validated such as the Women’s, Newborn, Children’s Division, Mental Health, Palliative Care and ICU). A total of 618 occupied beds were audited to measure the impact of interventions to improve acute patient flow and understand potential bottlenecks within the hospital.

The audit highlighted areas for improvement around inefficiencies in communication between teams and complex care coordination causing patients to remain in acute beds longer than medically required.

The audit will be repeated in future years to understand how these initiatives impact the appropriateness of care provided to patients.


Last updated 17 Jul 2019