News

Observations lead to innovation

Jan 18, 2017

The research you support will help uncover the cures and treatments of the future, but it will also help discover improvements for patients right now...

The research you support will help uncover the cures and treatments of the future, but it will also help discover improvements for patients right now. The GMRF Innovation Grants Program empowers nurses and other allied health professionals at Greenslopes Private Hospital to use their experience and knowledge to help improve outcomes for their patients. 

Senior Physiotherapist Pauline Teng observed the recovery process for patients who had received a total knee replacement. Immediately following the procedure, patients received two attachments; pain relief in the form of a patient controlled analgesia (PCA) and an indwelling catheter. Because of these attachments, two staff members were required to assist with patient mobilisation, transfer, and assistance with hygiene care. 

“The attachments were impeding early mobilisation after surgery and making patients feel hesitant in their movements,” Pauline says. “They’d feel sicker with the attachments in and it impacted on how mobile they viewed themselves.”

Pauline believes early mobilisation is crucial to good recovery. Participation in exercise classes immediately following a total knee replacement has been shown to improve patient’s mental and physical wellbeing. The use of a PCA attachment impedes on a patient’s ability to join these classes until three or four days after surgery.
“I’d love to see patients on fewer attachments. This would enable them to move with less restriction, participate in classes, and generally able to do more for themselves,” Pauline says.

Pauline applied for a GMRF Innovation Grant so she could investigate whether the use of opioid analgesic patches compared to PCA will improve early mobilisation for patients and therefore lead to discharging from hospital sooner.  Pauline was awarded an Innovation Grant in November 2016, along with two other recipients – totalling over $32,000. By researching the impact of attachments, Pauline aims to shorten recovery time and improve overall patient wellbeing.

“This grant is so important to us because it can lead to improved outcomes for our patients. It reassures families that we’ve got the latest evidence and are doing everything we can for their loved ones,” Pauline says.

The GMRF Innovations Grant Program is proudly supported by Thynne Macartney Lawyers, Hanrick Curran, and our generous donors.