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Local Innovations Fund - 2014: Outcome


2014 Local Innovations Funding Project Grants
Preparing Students for Placement in Aboriginal Health

Tasmanian Aboriginal Council

This project addresses the identified need to expose more health science students to Aboriginal Health and prepares them for placement in Aboriginal Health Services. The project was undertaken collaboratively by the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC) and a team from the University of Tasmania’s Centre for Rural Health (CRH).

The aims of the project were to attract students to placement in Aboriginal health, increase their understanding of the nature and breadth of Aboriginal Health Service and give them realistic insight into the sorts of learning opportunities that may be available.

Emulating Dementia Cognition: Improving empathy through SLE

School of Health Science, University of Tasmania

Dementia is a common health condition which is expected to rise in incidence over the coming years. Healthcare workers will be exposed to an increasing number of people with dementia which they need to care for and comprehensive education on dementia is essential to provide the best care.

This project was designed to create an experience of dementia for students on placement in aged care facilities and aged care workers. The purpose of this is to increase the levels of understanding and empathy for clients/patients with dementia.

The objective of this project was to develop a learning resource using3D virtual/augmented reality video and 3D audio technology to simulate dementia patients’ experience of reality, cognitively using vision and audio.

A ten (10) minute scenario has been developed, with the involvement of a reference group, which has been set in an aged care facility.  This scenario highlights the major symptoms of dementia and will be viewed using the Oculus Rift (head mounted display) and headphones.

A pilot trial of this product will be undertaken in 2015.

Building Capacity for Undergraduate Inter-professional Learning in the Northern Integrated Care Service

(Launceston Clinical School), University of Tasmania

May to October 2014.  It built on a solid foundation of commitment to clinical learning and practice as well as research between the UTAS Launceston Clinical School and the Northern Integrated Care Service (NICS), Launceston General Hospital (LGH) clinicians and management.

The key objective of the project was to utilise the integrated clinical healthcare setting of the Northern Integrated Care Service, drawing on its multidisciplinary environment, to pilot and evaluate a suite of inter-professional learning activities aimed at bringing together students from a variety of disciplines in planned learning activities while on clinical placement.

E-Learning Quality Design Template Project

Tasmanian Health Organisation (South)

The objectives of the ELearning Quality Design Template project were:

  • Develop template courses to assist educators to develop eLearning modules based on quality learning principles as well as reducing development costs and time

Replace the current approach of simply converting PowerPoint into Flash videos with templates based on quality design that are just as easy to develop.

Building an ‘IT & E’ bridge to support work/clinical placements in the Aged Care Services Sector

Aged and Community Services Tasmania

The overall objective of this project was to identify, develop and implement an online solution that supports the facilitation of clinical/work placements in a cost effective and efficient manner.

An innovative tele-assistance system to support education in clinical procedures

School of Engineering, University of Tasmania

The safe and correct performance of clinical procedures requires practice and repetition. Students are usually taught clinical (practical) skills in a laboratory under direct supervision. However, this supervision is resource intensive and time-limited. In the absence of direct supervision, students can feel underprepared and lack the skills and confidence when they are asked to undertake procedures whilst on placement at a hospital and also on entering the workforce as a new graduate.

In an effort to improve this situation, a team from University of Tasmania comprising two faculty members from School of Health Science, a faculty member from School of Engineering and ICT, together with a software engineer utilised a grant from the Local Innovations Fund to build and trial a tele-assistance technology developed by CSIRO for teaching clinical procedures. This technology allows an instructor located at one site (eg a campus) to provide audio and visual cues to assist the learner performing a skill whilst on placement at a clinical site (eg a hospital), thus making guidance and expertise more accessible to students.  It has the potential to benefit and augment the training that health students receive in procedural skills and has application across all health disciplines.


Expressions of Interest process

An Expression of Interest for submissions for the Local Innovations Fund was distributed to TCEN members in January 2014.

The TCEN invited submissions to receive grants for innovative projects which would boost clinical training quality and/capacity through the TCEN. Submissions were to align with the aims of the TCEN, Clinical Supervision Support Program and/or the Simulated Learning Environments Program.

Submissions were to demonstrate a direct correlation with at least one of the below key strategies within the TCEN Work Plan:

  • Increase inter-professional clinical training within Tasmania, especially in HWA priority settings;
  • Increase the quality and support for clinical education and training;
  • Increase the use of Simulated Learning Methods to enhance and support clinical education and training.

Funding was available for a limited number of major projects up to $70 000. Additionally, a reserved amount was made available for modest projects up to $10 000.

The EOI closed on 28 March 2014 with forty (40) applications received state-wide. A Selection Panel was formed to review and assess all incoming applications.  The Selection Panel comprised of two representatives from Health Workforce Australia and the Project Manager of the TCEN.

An overview of successful projects can be viewed below.