Health services research and implementation science

About us
Research in the area

About us

Health services research is a multidisciplinary field of science which investigates health services, its structures and processes and the patient journey through the healthcare system. This is a unique field of science as it brings together health, social, environmental, personal and organisational philosophies.

 The health services research group has provided research evidence on best practice for the delivery of safe and quality health care through cutting edge research on patient safety, clinical governance, models of care, evaluation and workforce redesign and innovation. The health services research group also uses evidence-based practice as a vehicle to improve the quality and safety of healthcare by accessing, synthesising and implementing best available evidence. In particular, researchers within this group, underpinned by the science of evidence implementation, shape, devise and implement behaviour and practice change strategies within healthcare settings. 

Researchers within this group work closely with health professionals, consumers, administrators and policymakers to ensure access to and delivery of quality and safe health care to all Australians. For example, currently, the researchers from this group are actively involved in shaping the future of healthcare service delivery for South Australians through the Transforming Health initiative, led by SA Health. 



Research Leader

Dr Saravana Kumar


Assoc Prof Susan Hillier
Assoc Prof Kerry Thoirs
Dr Shylie Mackintosh
Dr Julie Luker
Mr Mark Jones
Dr Ian Edwards
Dr Mandy Stanley
Ms Carolyn Murray
Dr Michelle Guerin
Ms Kate Kennedy
Ms Olivia Hill
Ms Zuzana Machotka
Dr Louise Wiles
Ms Liz Lynch


Research in the area

Examples of recent research projects in this area

  • Allied Health & Community Clinical Audit and Innovation Collaborative (Country Health South Australia Local Health Network)
  • Improving the quality and safety of malnutrition care: evaluating a new model of care utilizing Nutrition Assistants (Central Adelaide Local Health Network)
  • A modernised clinical intake process for children and their families (Country Health South Australia Local Health Network)
  • Developing skill sharing models in allied health teams in rural and remote settings (GNARTN)
  • Review of the evidence on barriers and enablers to improving the knowledge and experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cancer and their families (Cancer Australia)
  • The Victorian Clinical Registers: A Rapid Review (Department of Health, Victoria))Evaluation of the clinical supervision e learning courses (Country Health South Australia Local Health Network)

Examples of research iCAHE has contributed to in this area


Examples of student projects in this area


Ms. Kim Charlton (Kilpin) (Masters of Health Science, University of South Australia) "Perceptions of older people and community workers on contingency planning for falls: a qualitative descriptive study".


Dr. Michelle Guerin (PhD, University of South Australia) "Crossing the hospital-community interface: community services involvement in the discharge process of older individuals from hospital to community".


Dr. Lucylynn Lizarondo (PhD, University of South Australia) "The individual determinants of evidence-based practice in allied health using a structured journal club intervention".

Dr. Valentin Dones (PhD, University of South Australia) "The Pathology Underpinning Lateral Epicondylalgia and the Evidence Behind the Use of Common Provocation Tests in Diagnosing Lateral Epicondylagia". 

Ms. Dawn Mathers (Honours, University of South Australia) "It’s only thyroid cancer - A qualitative descriptive study of patients experiences of thyroid cancer"


Mr. Mukul Singla (Honours, University of South Australia) "Physiotherapists assessment of Patients psychosocial status - A Qualitative Descriptive Study" 

Ms. Olivia Thorpe (Honours, University of South Australia) "Self-reported participation in activity two months after hospital admission in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): A pilot cohort study".

Dr. Janine Dizon (PhD, University of South Australia) "An evidence-based practice program for physical therapists in the Philippines: Development, implementation and evaluation of an innovative model of continuing education".



Members of the Health Services Research and Implementation Science Group participate in a number of internal initiatives. These initiatives provide opportunities to share learnings, mentorship and ongoing professional support. In the “Evidence Update” initiative, group members share important and seminal publications with their peers by summarising the focus of the publication and its key findings. In the “Critical Friend” initiative, members of the HSR-IS grouping provide constructive, independent and fresh perspective on a range of issues (such as publication, grant proposal, conference presentation). This is particularly targeted at PhD students, junior researchers/academics and new staff who may require some foundational support and mentoring. 


Implementation Central (iCentral -, is a dedicated website which acts as a repository for resources specific to evidence implementation. It provides an overview of commonly used tools to implement evidence into practice (such as clinical practice guidelines, clinical pathways, practice protocols) and summarises the science underpinning evidence implementation. iCentral is also home to a number of resources including guideline clearinghouses, clinical practice guidelines appraisal tools, tools to assist in clinical practice guidelines' implementation and seminal literature and websites. Regularly, iCentral is updated with new and interesting feature articles on implementation science and short audio features on common topics relevant to evidence implementation specifically and evidence-based practice more broadly.


Areas of study and research

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