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									                                                                                        POSITION DESCRIPTION

POSITION DETAILS
POSITION TITLE           Research Fellow/ Senior Research Fellow – Statistics/Biostatistics


SCHOOL /                  Health Informatics Research & Evaluation Unit.
DEPARTMENT

FACULTY / PSU             Faculty of Health Sciences

CLASSIFICATION            Level B / Level C

CLASSIFICATION            N/A                                      CLASSIFICATION               N/A
DATE                                                               CODE

REPORTS TO                Director, Health Informatics Research & Evaluation Unit


PRIMARY FUNCTION
Design and develop statistical models and methods, and undertake data processing and statistical analyses of
complex clinical error and work practice datasets. Participate in the design of an intervention trial. Prepare research
publications, presentations and grant applications.


OVERVIEW OF THE SCHOOL / DEPARTMENT AND POSITION CONTEXT

The Faculty of Health Sciences is the largest health sciences faculty in Australia consisting of ten disciplines, six
research groups and two research centres.

The Health Informatics Research & Evaluation Unit (HIREU) is one of the internationally leading research
centres focused on the development and application of techniques to investigate how information and
communication technologies (ICT) can enhance the safety and effectiveness of health care delivery and patient
outcomes. The HIREU has a multi-disciplinary and experienced research team. Our research is underpinned by
a systems perspective requiring the application of multi-methods to the investigation of the impact of ICT in
health. As such our research team is characterised by their talent and enthusiasm for working within and across
discipline areas and sectors.

This position is funded by a five year NHMRC Program Grant on patient safety which is led by researchers from
the Universities of Sydney, NSW and South Australia. The NH&MRC Patient Safety Program
http://www.aihi.unsw.edu.au/IHIWeb.nsf/page/Patient+Safety+Program seeks to make significant advances in
investigating how and why patients do not always received recommended care and errors occur, with a focus on
the roles of teamwork, safe medication use and the application of information technology to support improved
decision-making.

We are seeking an enthusiastic, experienced and innovative researcher with a strong background and advanced
skills in statistics/biostatistics to lead the design and application of analysis strategies related to a number of
patient safety–related datasets generated by this program of research. The research required in this role
provides a unique opportunity to develop innovative statistical models and analysis for highly detailed and
complex data arising in state of the art studies of the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of health care services
provided by clinical staff in the hospital setting.

The RF/SRF will be part of a very active team of multi-disciplinary researchers. The RF/SRF will have access to
a range of senior researchers in the fields of health informatics, clinical sciences, pharmacology, statistics and
organisational behaviour.

Patient safety is a National priority and we are seeking a researcher ready to take on a career defining role in
this area. The role will provide opportunities to excel in the design, development and application of statistical
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analysis strategies for complex patient safety-related datasets, and provide input into the design of an
interventional study to reduce interruptions and errors in clinical work.




KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
   This role requires the completion of a program of work which initially comprises three stages of             Daily until
1. research:                                                                                                    stage is
                                                                                                                complete

   Stage 1) Undertake the processing and analysis of a dataset relating to a controlled before and
   after study of the effectiveness of an electronic medication management system on prescribing
   errors in hospital inpatients. The large dataset consists of prescribing error data from multiple
   hospitals over time and will require the development and application of a range of statistical
   modelling techniques for correlated data.

   Stage 2) Requires processing of a large complex observational dataset of health professionals’               Daily until
2. work and communication patterns. These data include data on all individual tasks undertaken by               stage is
                                                                                                                complete
   hospital staff and their associated time, as well as data on multi-tasking and interruptions.
   Existing analysis strategies for data of this type do not exist. Thus, this role will involve
   investigation, design, development and application of appropriate analysis strategies to answer
   questions related to, for example, changes in communication and work patterns over time,
   relationship of work patterns between professionals, the impact of interruptions and multi-tasking
   on patterns and efficiency of work. It is envisaged that this will require advanced statistical
   modelling techniques, complex generalised linear models and mixed models analysis and an
   understanding of temporal stochastic processes.

   Stage 3) Involves participating and providing input into the research team regarding the design of           Daily until
3. a clinical intervention trial focused on reducing interruptions to clinical staff in hospitals with a key    stage is
                                                                                                                complete
   outcome measure being errors to clinical work. This trial is planned to run in years 2 and 3 of the
   appointment.


   Flowing from this work the RF/SRF will be expected to participate in publications from these                 As
4. analyses and lead on publications regarding some of the analysis techniques developed during                 required
   the program of research

   Further, the RF/SRF will be active in participating in grant applications around this program as             As
5. well as develop related areas for further research.                                                          Required




KEY RELATIONSHIPS
INTERNAL

MAIN CONTACT                                            FREQUENCY            PURPOSE

Director, Health Informatics Research &                 Weekly               The Director of the HIREU is leading the
Evaluation Unit.                                                             specific research projects on which the
                                                                             RF/SRF will be working and thus there
                                                                             will be very regular contact to discuss




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                                                                        the program of work to be undertaken.


HIREU Research Unit members                                             The HIREU works as a very integrated
                                                                        team of researchers. The RF/SRF will
                                                                        participate in range of unit related
                                                                        activities such as seminar programs,
                                                                        team meetings etc

EXTERNAL

MAIN CONTACT                                         FREQUENCY          PURPOSE

Clinical staff from a range of hospitals             Every couple of    Interaction with clinicians will occur to
participating in the program of research             months as          better understand the data being
                                                     required           investigated to discuss findings and
                                                                        gain feedback etc. This will also include
                                                                        hospital site visits.


Research members of the NHMRC Program                Monthly            The RF/SRF will participate in monthly
Grant                                                                   program grant meetings with the patient
                                                                        safety team which are held at the
                                                                        Australian Institute of Health Innovation
                                                                        at the University of NSW. This will allow
                                                                        the RF/SRF to report progress with their
                                                                        program of research and also to obtain
                                                                        feedback and contribute to the entire
                                                                        Program of funded research.



DECISION MAKING AND DELEGATIONS OF AUTHORITY
The RF/SRF will work closely with the key senior researchers, but will have autonomy over their respective role
in the research program.



POSITION DIMENSIONS
STAFF DATA

NUMBER OF DIRECT                     Nil
REPORTS TO THIS POSITION,
CLASSIFICATION AND
NUMBER OF INCUMBENTS.

NUMBER OF REPORTS VIA                Research assistant staff may at times work with the RF/SRF to support the
SUBORDINATES (INDIRECTLY)            work specified above.
TO THIS POSITION,
CLASSIFICATION AND
NUMBER OF INCUMBENTS.

FACULTY/PSU SIZE                     The Faculty of Health Sciences has over 200 academic staff.

SCHOOL/DEPARTMENT SIZE               The HIREU has 15 staff members.

FINANCIAL DATA




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    SALARY BUDGET                           Nil

    NON-SALARY BUDGET                       Nil

    GRANT BUDGET                            Nil

    OTHER AMOUNTS                           Nil


    KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS
    CRITERIA                                                                             ESSENTIAL      DESIRABLE

    PhD in statistics or biostatistics; or public health/epidemiology with a masters          X
    qualification in statistics/biostatistics; or equivalent


    Advanced statistical modelling skills                                                     X


    Extensive experience with statistical packages such as SAS, SPSS, R                       X


    Proficient in complex generalised linear models and mixed models analysis                 X


    Understanding of temporal stochastic processes                                            X


    Demonstrable experience in processing complex data sets including                         X
    computational algorithms for converting data into files suitable for statistical
    analysis

    Experience in linking datasets                                                            X


    Excellent inter-personal and communication skills                                         X


   Research track record with peer-reviewed publications                                     X


   Excellent understanding of research issues in a health environment, including data                       X
    quality assurance

   Success in research grant acquisition, Required for appointment at level C                X

   Demonstrable understanding of evidence-based health care, quality and safety                             X
    concepts in health

   Experience in liaising with health professionals and researchers                                         X

   Experience in higher degree research student supervision                                                 X

   Active engagement in professional and continuing educational activities                                  X


    EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY / AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
    Demonstrated understanding of the incorporation into University life of the principles of Equal Employment




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Opportunity and Affirmative Action; and ability to work positively with staff and students from a diverse range of
backgrounds.


OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY
Understand your OHS responsibilities and actively ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of yourself and others
at work in accordance with your delegated authority, as described in the University OHS Policy and Guidelines.


ORGANIZATIONAL CHART



                          Dean
                     Faculty of Health
                        Sciences



                                                       Director
                                                  Health Informatics
                                                Research & Evaluation
                                                    Unit (HIREU)




                     Business                Senior               Research          Specialist     Post Docs
                     Manager                Research             Fellows x 1        Research          x1
                                           Fellows x 3                             Assistants x2




                                Research                                           PhD
                                Assistants x5                                  Students x 3




SIGNATURE
DELEGATED OFFICER

SIGNATURE



DATE




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