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Safer Care Victoria (SCV) is committed to supporting purposeful engagement of the healthcare workforce and those with lived experience by fostering collaboration and peer learning within the healthcare sector. We have renewed purpose, clarity, and energy to deliver on our key responsibilities. We must have clear priorities, so our efforts have maximum impact.  

We have reviewed and refined our clinical engagement strategy and we're excited to establish a number of Learning Health Networks (LHNs), which will bring together clinicians, those with lived experience, academics, and improvement specialists to improve patient outcomes.  The LHNs will enable available data to be optimised.

The LHN model will allow us to capitalise on learnings from safety reviews and sentinel events and to progress a Safety-II focus. In healthcare, we have well-developed Safety- I responses, which focus on what went wrong and making recommendations. Safety-II promotes prevention of an error by learning from and promoting actions that go well. LHNs provide the opportunity to benefit from Safety-I and Safety-II systems to increase the improvements being made in a particular area of focus. 

LHNs respond to the need for SCV to focus on key priorities while also maintaining broad engagement. They will help us align our work to key responsibilities, ensuring we're focused in our approach on the delivery of outcomes. LHN priority areas will be reviewed every three years to determine and inform future iterations of respective LHNs and to ensure they align with our strategic priorities and those oof the broader Victorian health care system. 

In addition, the Clinical Conversations webinar series provides a platform for people to explore speciality areas of healthcare by sharing and discussing key learnings from lived experience in the sector. 

What is a Learning Health Network?

LHNs bring together clinicians, those with lived experience, data experts, researchers, health system leaders and improvement specialists to use data and evidence to improve clinical care and patient outcomes.  Their function is to gather and analyse evidence to implement decisions and monitor the effectiveness.   

Characteristics of a LHN include:  

  • a shared vision to align multiple stakeholders around a common goal  
  • co-production: facilitating collaboration at scale among multiple stakeholders to co-produce information, knowledge, and resources to create improvement  
  • transparent data sharing: generate a rich data stream to gain insights and rapidly respond to the gap between current and desired performance   
  • widespread capacity to change systems: apply a quality improvement method to rapidly test, spread, and scale ideas to achieve new levels of performance  
  • a culture of trust: encourage curiosity, shared learning, contribution, and respect  
  • governance: operate within a framework for governance and management for the design, implementation, and cycles of evaluation to improve outcomes.  

A LHN is established to achieve 5 things:  

  1. Create a rich data stream 
  2. Analyse and test insights 
  3. Make decisions 
  4. Rapidly implement those decisions 
  5. Close the loop by checking reliability and effectiveness of that implementation. 

For more information on LHN, download SCV LHN overview.

Our Learning Health Networks 

Acute Care stream 

Acute care LHN 

Status – to be established in early 2023 

Working across acute care specialities, the Acute LHN will work with clinicians, consumers, researchers and health services to drive improvement and increased safety across the acute care hospital setting in Victoria.   

For more information, contact acutecarelhn@safercare.vic.gov.au

Perioperative LHN  

Status – fully established  

This LHN brings together a diverse group of clinicians, consumers, academics, researchers, and data experts to work collaboratively to create sustainable improvements for planned and emergency surgery in Victoria. It will be in place for 2 years.  

  • Clinical lead: Prof. David Watters   
  • Advisory group: Established  
  • Data group: Established  

For more information, contact perioperativelhn@safercare.vic.gov.au

Maternity and Newborn LHN  

Status – in development  

The Maternity and Newborn Learning Health Network brings together consumers, clinicians and researchers to improve safety and quality of healthcare, experiences and outcomes for women receiving maternity care in Victoria. This LHN will be in place for 3 years. 

  • Clinical lead: Dr Penny Sheehan 
  • Consumer lead: Bronwyn Hogan 
  • Advisory group: Established  
  • Data group: Established  

For more information, contact maternityandnewbornlhn@safercare.vic.gov.au.  

Continuing Care stream

Continuing Care LHN 

Status – to be established in early 2023 

For people with complex and long-term health needs, health care can occur in a range of settings, often outside of acute hospital wards. The continuing care LHN works with consumers, clinicians, researchers and health services to make this sort of healthcare as safe as possible. 

For more information, contact continuingcarelhn@safercare.vic.gov.au

Cardiovascular LHN  

Status – in development  

Cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) is one of the leading cause of death and disability in Australia. The Cardiovascular LHN brings together consumers, clinicians, researchers, and health services to drive improvement in the safety and quality of cardiovascular care in Victoria. This LHN will be in place for 3 years. 

  • Clinical lead: Dr. Mark Horrigan 
  • Consumer lead: TBA
  • Advisory group: Established  
  • Data Group Chair: Dr. Ben Clissold  

For more information, contact cardiovascularlhn@safercare.vic.gov.au

Mental Health Learning Health Network  

Status – in development 

Webinar series to be launched December 2022, with an aim to have advisory group and data group fully established in February 2023. 

The Mental Health LHN brings together a diverse group of mental healthcare workforce (clinical and non-clinical), individuals with lived experience (consumers and carers/family), alongside academics, researchers, and data experts to collaboratively create sustainable improvements to the Victorian mental health system in response to the Royal Health Commission’s recommendations. Improvements will be bolstered by the LHN’s focus leadership, workforce development, partnering with lived experience, and capability building. 

For more information, contact mentalhealthlhn@safercare.vic.gov.au.

Page last updated: 01 Dec 2022

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