Big data and the Learning Health System

Dr Joanne Enticott

Supporting researchers to get the most from big data in health to improve health, health systems and policy.  Big data, machine learning and risk prediction modelling are areas we have a current focus.  We underpin this research platform with the best-practices for LHS development and implementation, as well as also further developing the LHS field.

A Learning health systems (LHS) can be broadly defined as a cyclical and continually-updating process that collects and analyses health-systems data to inform practice and ultimately, improve healthcare. When correctly implemented, an LHS can be an extremely powerful tool for effectively gathering insights from big-data (such as electronic health records).

Health related data holds major promise and potential to improve healthcare, build systems that are resilient to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and inform current and future health system transformation. The Learning Health Systems (LHS) can be an extremely effective way to harness this data for healthcare improvement.

This platform supports researchers to get the most from big data in to ultimately improve Australian healthcare systems and deliver optimal health to Australians by: 1) identify and address the barriers to the full utilisation of healthcare data, and; 2) accelerate and implement an innovative National Learning Health System Data Management Platform underpinning a sustainable Learning Health System.

We draw on strategic partnerships and established governance and investment across the Monash Partners (MP) Learning Health System, the Monash University Helix data system, the Victorian Government Collaborative Healthcare Recovery Initiative, the Australian Health Research Alliance data driven healthcare improvement initiative, international partnership. We engage across acute (public and private), primary and aged care, academia, government and industry.

Clinical and Public Health Interventions and Trials

Prof Helena Teede, Dr Cheryce Harrison

Testing healthcare interventions with randomised controlled trials to improve the health and wellbeing, including a focus on women, babies and their families.

MCHRI brings considerate skills in clinical trials design, delivery and analysis.

Example activities :

Gestational diabetes is a growing burden worldwide and has a significant impact on health services. Around one in eight pregnant women will experience gestational diabetes, seriously affecting the future health of women and their children.

This platform currently involves two clinical trial projects

  • TOBOGM  - The Treatment Of Booking Gestational diabetes Mellitus Study
  • Bump to Baby and Me - Healthy pregnancy
  • Optimal Me

Community and Stakeholder Partnership

Professor Helena Teede, Dr Rhonda Garad, Amanda Hamilton

“The community are the funders and beneficiaries of health care, and health and medical research. We are all the collective custodians of our health and research systems. We must work together through research and healthcare improvement, to shape our health system to best serve our community.”Professor Helena Teede

MCHRI’s Consumer and Community Involvement (CCI) strategy is consumer and community centred.  Consumers are the focus at each stage and CCI is embedded across our six research projects and networks.

All MCHRI projects are coproduced in initiation, planning, execution and translation.  This optimises health outcomes as it ensures that community need and priorities are embedded in research and implementation.

Researchers work with consumers and the community to establish research questions and this guides our grant proposals.  This partnership continues during the research, and as research outcomes are translated into changes in practice and policy.

Digital Health

Researchers and IT Development: Susanne Baker, Dr Cheryce Harrison, Dr Rhonda Garad, Vanlalsiama

Senior team: A/Prof Amanda Vincent, Prof Helena Teede, A/Prof Lisa Moran

Creating a sophisticated, innovative, impactful and scalable digital health ecosystem that improves health outcomes for our community and provides accurate and efficient translation and decision support for our community and health professionals, which enhances health equity and access to evidence-based information and engagement.

This group develops engaging, sophisticated and innovative digital solutions to support patients and health professionals by translating the research knowledge created by MCHRI with worldwide experts to deliver evidence-based and cost-effective interventions to drive improved health outcomes at scale. We aim to combine accessibility, functionality and efficacy in our digital programs.

We deploy our domain knowledge and digital capabilities to use data and technology to help provide easier access to evidence-based information to improve health outcomes and health equity for consumers. We provide community and health professionals with digital tools to support informed treatment decisions and for better coordination of care.

Education and Workforce Capacity Building

Dr Rhonda Garad

Providing applied learning opportunities for health professionals based on the latest, high-quality evidence.

As a research and implementation centre, we both generate and disseminate evidence-based research. To ensure our research is implemented we have developed a suite of educational opportunities to upskill health professionals and build evidence-based practice within the health sector.

Our flexible education program caters to the needs of busy health professionals.

We provide short and long courses, accredited and credential courses, and mentoring options.

Health Economics

A/Professor Emily Callander

Promoting value and efficiency in the provision of women’s health care so that all may equitably benefit from high quality care that meets individual needs. We are working with consumers, health service providers and policy makers to bring health economic evidence to practice. We use routine health data, patient-reported data and novel economic modelling to help inform efficient, equitable health care.

Health care costs are increasing for all funders of care: individuals through out-of-pocket costs, government funders and private health insurers. There is also concern that this increase in expenditure on health care is not also resulting in improved health outcomes or experience with care.

This group is currently working to identify better ways of measuring value in the delivery of women’s health care; identifying and helping implement cost-effective options for care – which either produce better health outcomes or low costs, or both; and helping to ensure that all population groups benefit equitably from health care.

To do this we are working with consumer groups, clinical researchers, health service providers and policy makers to tailor health economic analyses and tools to support decision-making.

View the Women's Health and Wellbeing Technical Report.

Implementation and Healthcare Improvement

Prof Helena Teede

Providing a range of implementation learning and mentoring options that provide participants with the knowledge, tools and confidence to join the growing ‘improvement and innovation movement’, to meet the complex challenges of the 21st century.

Our implementation program draws on the expertise of renown leaders in the field, and from the highest quality evidence, to deliver a cutting-edge implementation program.

MCHRI has partnered with Warwick University in the UK, and Monash Partners, to develop a contemporary implementation and innovation program that addresses the systemic complexities of our current healthcare system.

This course challenges existing power structures by upskilling change leaders at every level of a healthcare organisation. Implementation science provides a deliberative and innovation process to initiate, deliver, measure, and sustain change. To meet the complex challenges facing healthcare in the 21st century, we need change leaders who will step-up and play their part in building resilient and effective healthcare systems.

Research, Translation & Guidelines

Dr Rhonda Garad, Prof Helena Teede

Leading the research and clinical communities in developing high quality international, clinical guidelines, that bridge the evidence–practice gap in a timely manner.

MCHRI is a leader in the development of clinical guidelines, and in effective and timely research translation.

MCHRI’s approach seeks to address systemic research-to-practice barriers, such as lack of integration between health and research, organisational and professional silos, pervasive competition, lack of collaboration, and a failure to engage relevant stakeholders.

MCHRI accelerates evidence synthesis, translation, and mobilisation of new knowledge through large-scale, extensive stakeholder engagement, and international partnerships between universities, research institutes and health services.  We integrate healthcare, research, and education, with a strong focus on evidence translation and health impact.

Current Projects:

  • MHRI is currently working collaboratively to as part of the Centre for Research Excellence in Women’s Health in Reproductive Life (CRE WHiRL).
  • This research will address neglected women’s reproductive health gaps in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, infertility and early menopause. Our work currently focusses on the:
  • Update the International Guideline on the assessment and management of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (Completion 2023)
  • Leading the Australian adaptation of the International Guideline on unexplained infertility (Adaptation work is due to start with an Australia guideline panel in June 2022)
  • Co-leading the Australian adaptation of the International Guideline on Early Menopause
  • More information at CRE WHiRL