The Cumberland.au collaboration came into existence during 2014. The collaboration is made up of clinicians and non-clinicians (variety of professional backgrounds) who are interested in using design thinking, systems thinking and operations research methods to improve the health sector in Australia.
Agreement was reached between Cumberland.au and the Cumberland Initiative to work together.
Premier’s International Research Fund Grant
An application for funding to undertake some small pilot projects to demonstrate the usefulness of operations research and design thinking was made to the Premier’s International Research Fund in November 2014. The Cumberland Initiative (main partner) and AnyLogic were international partners for the grant application.
In June 2015 the grant was awarded to Mark Mackay (this grant can only have one grant holder named, but it relies upon the Cumbeland.au membership to succeed).
The grant has resulted in a number of opportunities to work with members of the Cumberland Initiative and these are detailed in the following sections of this document.
- Visiting academics
- Student research projects
- Key note speaking roles
- Potential for a visit by a politician
Professor Paul Harper, together with Dr Doris Behrens and Dr Jenny Morgan, visited Australia during February 2016. They attended the 3-day “Transforming Health through Modelling Workshop” in Adelaide and also met with Cumberland.au members in Melbourne and Sydney. Paul was a keynote speaker for the workshop and Doris and Jenny also presented findings from their work.
During his visit Paul Harper also met with the clinical ambassador of Transforming Health 1, Professor Dorothy Keefe, to advocate for the creation of a health modelling project where modellers are embedded in health units, which has been adopted in Cardiff.
Professor Adele Marshall visited Adelaide and Melbourne during May 2016. During her time in Adelaide Adele gave a talk at Flinders University on: “What could a mathematician possibly know about health systems? Insights for health managers based on modelling patient flow and infrastructure modelling, analyzing medical statistics and operations research in the United Kingdom”.
PhD Student Research Projects
PhD students from Cardiff and Queens University have or are currently based in Adelaide and are undertaking research based on South Australian health data.
- Laura Boyle (Queens) is working on a generalisable model of emergency department patient flow. Laura was based in Adelaide for 3 months of 2016. Several conference presentations have been given as a consequence of Laura’s work. Additionally, Laura has presented her interim findings at a seminar session held at the Royal Adelaide Hospital by ICU physicians. Laura has also presented her interim findings to senior management from the Flinders Medical Centre. We are currently negotiating additional data from Victoria via Cumberland.au members to help demonstrate the generalisable nature of the model. Laura was based at Flinders University during her time in Adelaide.
- Sarie Brice (Cardiff) is working on a systems model of the mental health system. Sarie is progressing the qualitative development of her model and will create a quantitative model based some aspect of the metropolitan mental health system (depends upon the data that is provided). Sarie is based at the University of Adelaide during her time in Adelaide and will complete her PhD in Cardiff.
Both students have participated in regular weekly research meetings with Nigel Bean (University of Adelaide, Maths) and Mark Mackay (Flinders University, Health Care Management).
Masters Student Research Projects
Three Cardiff University students are undertaking their student research projects in Adelaide.
- Elena Molliva is undertaking a project relating to cardiac patient flow
- Zihao Guo is undertaking a project relating to improving the process provision of artificial legs
- Joe Peake will be undertaking a modelling exercise relating to general medicine patient flow at Royal Adelaide Hospital
All students will be in Adelaide for a period of three months and will be based at Flinders University, although will spend time at the health units as appropriate.
The students have participated or will participate in regular weekly research meetings with Nigel Bean (University of Adelaide, Maths) and Mark Mackay (Flinders University, Health Care Management).
Adele was also interviewed by the local Australian Broadcasting Radio and a news story was published about her visit: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05- 19/maths-expert- says-stats-could- help-health- systems/7429934.