ISCRR was established to have a positive impact on the Victorian occupational health and safety and injury compensation systems. Since establishment we have focused on translating research findings to achieve 'real world' impact.
This focus on research translation is central to the ongoing success of the institute and critical to maintaining the support of our partners. To achieve it, our staff work closely with WorkSafe, the TAC, the research community and community stakeholders throughout the entire research process.
Translation activities begin during project planning and design, ensuring that project plans address partner needs and are designed to produce findings that can be used in policy and/or practice.
During the course of any project, we focus on continuous engagement between researchers, funders and project partners, with an emphasis on effective communication of research status and research findings. We also support researchers to understand the potential implications of their findings for WorkSafe and the TAC, and support the TAC and WorkSafe to consider research findings and apply them through action.
Translation activity is supported through our formal governance mechanisms, and through a range of less formal interactions between our partners and researchers. We have a range of research communication channels, including public events, that draw the attention of the broader community to topics of interest.
ISCRR has also made significant efforts to assess the return on its investment in research. This has occurred through numerous independent reviews of the institute, as well as post-project evaluations conducted in collaboration with TAC and WorkSafe staff.
For example, an independent evaluation of our neurotrauma program reported substantial health and financial return on investment for the TAC.
Our research has produced multiple forms of impact, ranging from changes in health and wellbeing, financial benefits, and improvements in productivity or workplace safety. Research can also deliver less direct benefits, such as enhanced understanding of a complex issue, which ultimately aids scheme policy or practice.
Our approach to research translation also recognises that, while in some cases benefits can be delivered in the short term, most research outcomes unfold over longer time frames.
Finally ISCRR has contributed to the academic discussion on methods of translating research in public policy. Our staff have conducted multiple studies that assess research use by WorkSafe Victoria and the TAC, and identify opportunities to enhance research use within these agencies. This research has directly influenced our day-to-day operations and informs our research translation efforts.
Where to now?
ISCRR research is continuously leading to 'real world' impact.
For example, ISCRR research has recently either led or contributed directly to:
- The establishment of a new tool for assessing workplace health and safety before injuries occur, which is currently being integrated into new WorkSafe Inspector Checklists
- Bolstered understanding of Return to Work (RTW) and TAC/WorkSafe policy amongst GPs, thanks to our development of the new Certificate of Capacity and associated training tools/resources
- A projected financial Return on Investment of $83.4million for the TAC and major improvements in their client wellbeing, as delivered by our Neurotrauma Research Program (figures estimated by an independent review of the program)
- Improvements in the design, implementation and evaluation processes for significant new programs at the TAC and WorkSafe, including the Health Benefits of Safe Work Initiative, the WorkHealth Improvement Network, the WorkSafe Streamlined Treatment Program and TAC 2015.
- New treatment payment policies around spinal injection therapy (radiofrequency denervation), and implantable pain therapies via neurostimulation and intrathecal infusions, influenced by our latest Clinical Effectiveness Reviews in these areas
Watch this space for more updates on the ongoing impact of our work.