What We Do

The HealthInfoNet‘s translational research aims at providing the knowledge and other information needed for practitioners and policy-makers to make informed decisions in their work.

Knowledge exchange at the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet

These days, there is so much research and other information being produced that most busy workers find it difficult to keep up to date with the latest developments in their field. Our work, which falls broadly in the area of implementation research, is concerned with ensuring that the results of research reaches those in the sector to inform their everyday policy and practice.  This is also known as knowledge exchange research and aims to make research and other information available in a form that has immediate, practical utility for practitioners and policy-makers in the area of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. The cornerstones of effective knowledge exchange is information that is timely, accessible and relevant.

Implementation science is the process of investigating factors that affect how a new policy or intervention may be used or implemented in real-life settings [35138]. Essentially it is about getting the research rubber on the road to make a positive difference to the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. For time poor health workers, this is a real and concerning issue.  It has been argued that the gap between what we know and what we do is far greater than the gap between what we know and what we do not know.  The HealthInfoNet is committed to closing the know do gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. Our activities in this area are guided by a number of principles that ensure that we work in authentic partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other stakeholders including:

  • Engaging with users to co-design, co-construct and co-produce resources that meet the needs of users.
  • Ensuring that we engage in culturally responsive and safe ways with all people.
  • Striving to enact socially transformative, decolonising and socially just practice.

The HealthInfoNet provides different types of knowledge exchange products, tools and resources as part of our digital evolution strategy. Our digital evolution strategy recognises that users require access to information in a variety of formats that capitalise on emerging information technologies. The HealthInfoNet is primarily engaged in second and third generation knowledge production. First generation knowledge is essentially ‘hard’ scientific knowledge generally produced in the primary research phase, second generation knowledge involves a process of synthesising available knowledge on a given topic or area to distil the critically relevant information and to make it more comprehensible, while third generation knowledge refers to the knowledge tools or products designed to ensure that ideas and practices are adopted and used [35137][23241].

A range of knowledge exchange resources are produced as part of of our digital evolution strategy including:

  • Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status: an annual report that includes information on illness, hospitalisations, and deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Topics include chronic diseases (such as diabetes), social and emotional wellbeing, ear and eye health, infectious diseases (such as hepatitis), and health risk and protective factors (such as alcohol and nutrition).
  • Summary of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health: a shorter version of the Overview.
  • Health topic reviews: studies of health topics in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that include information on:
    • health conditions and how they can be prevented and/or managed
    • hospitalisation
    • deaths
    • key developments
    • policies and strategies.
  • Programs: information about programs or projects related to health topics including a short description, contact details for the organisation and links to any related publications.

Resources produced as part of our digital evolution strategy include:

  • animated infographics
  • static infographics
  • short films.

Since 2000, the HealthInfoNet has produced close to 200 Knowledge exchange resources as well as 40 overviews, summaries and health topic reviews on a wide range of health conditions affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

We also provide an integrated social media presence to facilitate communication and information sharing among practitioners with shared interests (known as communities of practice).  Our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and other social media platforms are integrated with our Yarning Places to provide a range of opportunities for collaboration, relationship building and information sharing.


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