This month we profile PhD candidate Candice Donnelly. Candice is a Senior Research Officer in the Research in Implementation Science and eHealth Group at the University of Sydney. We asked Candice about her PhD Mobilising clinical practice data to improve oncology care and what digital health means to her.
Please tell us a little about yourself
I’m a Senior Research Officer in the Research in Implementation Science and eHealth Group at the University of Sydney. I work on the Cancer Data Innovation Program for the Sydney West Translational Cancer Research Centre so I’m quite often at Westmead Hospital where many of our projects are based. I also conduct health services research for state and federal governments in best-practice healthcare measurement and digital health implementation. When I started working on clinical data research projects, I saw potential in our complex (somewhat chaotic) data system to be structured and utilised in a meaningful way. Making sense of how that might work in oncology became my PhD, Mobilising clinical practice data to improve oncology care.
What is your research on?
My research aims to harness disparate data sources to generate relevant, timely and usable clinical cohort information for multi-disciplinary teams to monitor and improve the care that they deliver. To achieve this I am developing and testing a best-practice model for analysing, presenting and actioning multi-dimensional healthcare data with oncology teams at Westmead. This work has become increasingly important with growing opportunities to automate the measurement of quality of care, brought about by the widespread adoption of electronic health records.
What are the real world consequences of your research?
Our current measurement and feedback system is often disconnected from the clinical teams who directly impact change and there is limited evidence to support its effect on patient outcomes. At the end of my PhD, I hope to make policy recommendations to government agencies such as Cancer Institute NSW, Agency for Clinical Innovation or Clinical Excellence Commission, around the methodologies and resources required to support clinically engaging measurement and feedback as a patient-centred and integrated quality improvement approach within each healthcare organisation.
What does digital health mean to you?
To me, digital health is the opportunity to move from an intermittent and reactive healthcare system to a continuous proactive learning system.
Connect with Candice
A very big thank you to Candice for her time!