Research, education & innovation
Alfred Health recognises the importance of continuing to research, innovate and teach in order to constantly improve care and develop healthcare leaders.
Our role is to discover and deliver the next generation of healthcare through:
- Research – translating medical research into clinical practice.
- Education – we continue to develop and foster our staff as a teaching hospital committed to excellence with patients placed at the centre of all that we do.
- Replication – by striving for new and improved practices and remaining at the forefront of healthcare developments and medical research. Other hospitals in Australia and overseas have followed our lead and adopted our innovative approach.
By continuing to research, innovate and teach, we can constantly improve care and develop healthcare leaders.
Discoveries in research
Over the past year, there were significant research developments that informed clinical practice in Australia and overseas:
- Alfred researchers answered the long-held debate over whether aspirin should be stopped before coronary artery surgery. The results of the 10-year international study showed no increased risk of surgical bleeding or need for blood transfusion associated with aspirin use.
- Scientists from The Alfred and Monash University made a breakthrough in targeting aggressive blood cancers through combination therapy, giving hope to people suffering from Acute Myeloid Leukaemia.
- At our Caulfield campus, early research results from the international drug trial of Anavex 2-73, which aims to address the symptoms of dementia, were positive.
- Also significant was the announcement of PrEPX, a new public health research study supported by Alfred Health, the Victorian Government and the Victorian AIDS Council. This study will expand access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (‘PrEP’) medication to prevent HIV infection in people who are at high risk.
The Alfred Research Alliance
Alfred Health is a leading partner in the Alfred Research Alliance with Monash University, Baker Heart & Diabetes Institute, Burnet Institute, La Trobe University and Deakin University.
This collaboration links health and medical research with education and healthcare delivery, providing the ideal environment for rapid translation of research findings into improved health policy and clinical practice.
Alfred Health clinicians and staff are working together with Monash Institute of Medical Engineering (MIME), combining medicine, engineering and industry to develop innovative medical technology.
The interface between medicine, science and engineering is proving to be one of the most exciting areas of medical research, with projects looking at 4D micro-imaging, nanotechnology, artificial skin for burns and wearable biosensors. Alfred participants from areas as diverse as plastic surgery, anaesthesia, respiratory physiology, cardiothoracic surgery, haematology and psychiatry are involved in various projects. All are aimed at helping the wellbeing of people with disability and illness.
More than 55 opportunities have been proposed and over 1.3M in joint funding was committed by Monash University, The Alfred Foundation, the Alfred Health Research Trust and CSIRO to initiate 21 new collaborative projects co-led by Alfred clinicians over the past year.
Also, 10 PhD scholarships have been awarded, with topics as diverse as:
- wearables for cardiac monitoring
- tissue engineering for burns and heart repair
- cancer therapeutics and diagnostics
- trauma decision support
Alfred trauma software to save lives abroad
The Alfred-developed software that provides computer-aided decision support to guide trauma care during the first hour of a patient’s arrival is receiving international recognition.
The Alfred became first trauma centre in the world to deploy real time decision-support software as part of routine patient care in 2008. Today, the technology that made this possible is being developed for use in the United States, India, Saudi Arabia and, now, China.
The software, known as Trauma Reception and Resuscitation (TRR), uses algorithms to generate real-time prompts that are triggered by patient physiological signs, diagnoses and clinical interventions.
Jamie Cooper, The Alfred’s Interim ICU Director, was awarded an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO), recognising his distinguished service to intensive care medicine in the field of traumatic brain injury as a clinician and to medical education as an academic, researcher and author. Professor Cooper manages an extensive portfolio of research and has published more than 230 journal papers, including ten papers in the New England Journal of Medicine, in intensive care medicine, including traumatic brain injury, blood transfusion, sepsis, acute lung injury, and resuscitation fluids.
Ms Catherine Beaufort, OAM, Radiation Oncology Centre Manager in Gippsland, was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her service to radiotherapy and international relations. She has developed a national training course for brachytherapy in Australia and was instrumental in making this training international through conducting training at the National Cancer Institute in Kuala Lumpur and mentoring radiation therapists at the ANGAU Hospital in Lae, Papua New Guinea.
Alfred Health's education program develops the capacity, performance and capability of our employees.
Alfred Health takes pride in being an organisation that strives to achieve the best possible health outcomes for our patients and our community by integrating clinical practice with research and education. We are a major tertiary referral teaching hospital, affiliated with Monash University, Deakin University and La Trobe University.
Our extensive education programs, both in medical and nursing, supports trainees and fosters development of technical and non-technical skills. Our dedicated education programs guides these junior staff into becoming excellent specialists in their fields.
As well as being responsible for the development of our own staff, Alfred Health is involved in numerous international programs, sharing our expertise with countries around the world.
Find out more about Alfred Health’s talented and highly skilled team, committed to achieving the best possible outcomes for patients while discovering the future of healthcare through education and research.