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Institute Director Professor Anna Peeters and Secretary of Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services Kym Peake

Deakin University launches new Institute for Health Transformation

Deakin University has announced a new Institute for Health Transformation with the aim to “guide a transformation of the way Australian health and care is promoted, designed and delivered”.

The institute will bring together more than 200 academics and researchers and will concentrate on three key goals: boost population health, improve patient experience and grow efficiency in the healthcare system.

Deakin vice-chancellor Jan den Hollander said she wants the institute to find innovative solutions to the big health issues plaguing the Australian health system such as an ageing population, obesity and quality cost-effective care.

“Meeting these challenges will require a transformational redesign of our health and care systems nationally,” den Hollander said.

“This new institute will work to transform how our environments impact on our health, improve the quality and experience of patient care, drive down the number of avoidable hospital admissions, and improve the sustainability of our health system.”

The institute will be a collaborative effort across many of the Deakin schools such as Health and Social Development, Nursing and Midwifery, and Medicine.

One area of research already underway is looking at the price of unpaid carers of those with dementia.

Lidia Engel, a Deakin health economics research fellow, will estimate the monetary value of an hour of informal care provided to people with dementia, using new methodology, accounting for carers’ experience and their preferences.

“So my main goal will be to estimate one hour of informal care provided to a person with dementia," Engel told Nursing Review.

"By knowing what it's basically worth to provide one hour of informal care to a person with dementia, we can also estimate a total cost, not just for us health economists to do these economic evaluations, but also to ... estimate the total cost of dementia."

Engel will start by conducting a literature review of informal carers and then move on to interviews with carers themselves. She hopes to start seeing results towards the end of the year.

Nursing Review also spoke with Alison Hutchinson, the Institute of Health Transformation’s deputy director, to find out more.

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