We take a leading role in medical research to translate research findings into better patient outcomes. Collocated with St Vincent’s Hospital, and as part of the Darlinghurst campus, we are one of Australia’s largest and most successful bio-medical research hubs. The forging of new partnerships and ongoing investment into research has resulted in the provision of strategies to continually improve the prevention and management of disease.
Since 2001 we have evolved our research and evidence based practice - a movement currently influencing healthcare across the world. Significant resources have been made available and a number of interdependent structures and processes are in place to develop, expand and advance research.
In its formative period a series of seminars were conducted over several months, these seminars exposed staff to the value of using and evaluating published research and scholarship. Out of this activity, a hospital-wide journal club was formed at which nurses discuss and debate the merits or otherwise of this research and scholarship.
Nursing research institute
In 2009 St Vincents & Mater Health Sydney joined with Australian Catholic University to launch the National Nursing Research Institute. The joint venture empowers nurses to lead multi-disciplinary research and marks the start of a bright and vibrant future for nurse-led, clinically focused research that centres on patient outcomes. The institute unites academia, clinical practice and evidence implementation and brings together those who think about, investigate and ‘do’ the work of nurses.
Connecting clinicians across St Vincents & Mater Health Sydney the institute is leading patient-focussed research in areas such as venous thromboembolism prevention, bowel and fever management in intensive care, raised blood sugar levels and swallowing difficulties in acute stroke patients. The institute already boasts an impressive track record of research outputs.
In 2008 the gastroenterology, vascular and colorectal unit was formally acknowledged as a practice development unit with dedicated facilitators and the establishment of a philosophical framework to support this work.
Successful, today the practice development philosophy and framework spans across all clinical units and more resources have been deployed to maximise opportunities for nurses at all levels to be exposed to published research.
A theoretical and practical philosophy, practice development focuses on the improvement of care and services for the patient within real practice environments. The key characteristics are a strong patient focus, active engagement of nurses at all levels, a multidisciplinary approach to project work and recognition that all such work is evolutionary.
Practice development and research council
The practice development and research council is responsible for the development, implementation and dissemination of research at St Vincent’s Private Hospital and operates on the principles of shared governance.
Clinical nurses from all units/departments contribute to the life of the council by facilitating and leading locally derived and driven research and practice improvement projects. The visibility and tangibility of research is widely shared amongst nurses at all levels.
Nursing research funding
Over the last three years our nursing leaders have lobbied hard to develop funding mechanisms to support research at St Vincent’s Private Hospital. The following structures now set up in perpetuity to support nursing led research:
- St Vincent’s Clinical Foundation Multidisciplinary Patient Focussed Research Grants, $100,000 per annum is available.
- St Vincents & Mater Health Nursing Research Grants, $50,000 per annum is available.