Culture of research

May 2022

When EMF awarded a Research Capacity Building grant to Redcliffe Hospital in 2017, the aim was to bolster the burgeoning interest of clinical staff engaging in research.

Led by Emergency Department (ED) Director A/Professor Doug Morel, the team sought to build a culture of research underpinning quality clinical care.

These goals aligned with the EMF Research Capacity Building program – to reinforce and sustain research among emergency healthcare clinicians.

With the EMF grant and co-funding from the Redcliffe Hospital trust, a dedicated Clinical Research Coordinator was appointed to support and expand research capacity within the ED.

To overcome the risks associated with key-person dependency, exacerbated by the challenges of COVID-19, the team sought solutions to establish a sustainable structure to suit the hospital’s needs.

“If the process of research capacity development relies on a single individual, things can come to standstill when that person is not around” said ED Senior Staff Specialist and Research Lead Dr Jason Chan.

A rotating research nurse model has proven to be a successful solution at Redcliffe Hospital. The model sees three emergency nurses, Caroline Mitchell, Andy Hughes and Jessica Christie sharing the role and responsibility for driving research projects.

All three work within the ED and therefore understand the department’s change process. Each brings different clinical nursing experience, strengths and skills.

“Everyone plays a part. People also have their own responsibilities and can collaborate directly with their colleagues. The model supports continuity, allowing lessons learnt to be carried by the group as a whole,” said Dr Chan.

This cohesive approach helped create sustainable change, through shared goals and corporate knowledge of past achievements.

“We are trying to demystify research which we expand to include implementation. One way to engage is by demonstrating that research can lead to change. As a group it helps to work together. You have more voices, not just one person trying to champion,” said Caroline.

In 2020, Redcliffe Hospital partnered with the PROV-ED (Promoting value-based care in EDs) Project.

PROV-ED builds capacity for health service redesign and quality improvement by creating a model for widespread implementation of value-based ED initiatives with demonstrated outcomes.

Caroline filled the co-funded Local Project Champion position for the six-month partnership, during which three initiatives were chosen to trial.

These include CREDIT (Cannulation Reduction in Emergency Department Implementation Toolkit), funded by EMF and led by Professor Louise Cullen from the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

CREDIT has subsequently been implemented at Redcliffe Hospital, reducing PIVC insertion (peripherally inserted intravenous catheter) by 16 per cent, saving an estimated $207,965 annually.

For other hospitals with similar research goals and challenges, Caroline advocates the importance of good local knowledge of the environment you’re in and strong relationships.

“It’s about knowing who to ask when you don’t have the answers. Start talking to people, and things unfold quite naturally,” said Caroline.

For information about PROV-ED including Pitchfest 2022, contact or visit


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