Creating better health outcomes for communities across the region

October 2020

Source: Mackay Institute of Research and Innovation Newsroom (ROCKet trial recruits 50th patient)


The Mackay Institute of Research and Innovation (MIRI) based at the Mackay Base Hospital, is a real-world example of how embracing innovation and thinking at a regional level can impact healthcare outcomes nationally.  

Many of MIRI’s programs are paving the way forward for better patient outcomes across Australia by introducing new health treatments to the region’s health professionals.

MIRI’s work with the Choosing Wisely Australia Initiative encourages health professionals to review the evidence of treatments, scrutinise health practices and create an open dialogue between doctors and their patients. 

Health professionals from the Mackay Hospital and Health Service are leading the change on the ground by encouraging less unnecessary treatments on patients and more transparency around available health treatments. 

The approach opens up communication between doctors and their patients to help health professionals in areas of low-value care and build care programs around the needs of each patient. 

The Choosing Wisely Australia initiative gives MIRI access to healthcare stakeholders from across Asia-Pacific to discuss whether tests, treatments and procedures are delivering its intended benefits or causing harm.

Like any scientific profession, the medical community must constantly update their knowledge to create better health outcomes for their patients which is why the Mackay Hospital and Health Service is leading innovation in regional healthcare through its dedicated research centre. 

Medical research led by MIRI helps bridge the gap between best practices in healthcare and the needs of the Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday community, by working directly with professionals in clinical and tertiary health settings to improve their quality of care.

Choosing Wisely Australia is just one of the ways MIRI is improving  health outcomes in the region. The organisation also researches a range of health issues affecting regional Queenslanders from trauma care in the tropics to the management of maternity leave and return to work policies.

In partnership with James Cook University and other reputable health institutions, some of MIRII’s other research programs includes understanding whether applying ice before a vaccination can reduce pain and ways in which hay fever can be better managed among young patients.

The clinic’s participation in the international clinical trial called ROCKet has continued to boost MIRI’s reputation as one of Queensland’s top regional health services, currently ranked 8th out of the 26 participating sites across Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong.

The ROCKet trial examines the use of ketamine as a means to reduce chronic post-surgical pain for patients, a complication affecting more than 12 per cent of patients each year and affecting the lives of both families and the communities that rely on them.     

These are just a few ways MIRI is driving innovation in healthcare by researching new treatments, forming partnerships with a range of stakeholders and working with health professionals to improve patient outcomes in the region.

Open communication between health professionals and their patients combined with innovation and research from MIRI will continue to improve health outcomes for regional communities around the world. 

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