Centre for Healthcare Resilience and Implementation Science

Centre for Healthcare Resilience and Implementation Science

World-class research meets real world gains with the Centre for Healthcare Resilience and Implementation Science (CHRIS). We are leaders in the study of complexity science, human factors, resilience in the healthcare setting, implementation science and patient safety. We work on complex problems, adopting evidence and translating this into practice to improve delivery systems and design new models of care for healthcare systems of the future.

Ultimately our research is focussed on delivering health reforms and systems improvement to patients, policy makers and healthcare providers. We are methodically sophisticated, multidisciplinary and draw on assembled and collaborative expertise in areas including health systems, policy, medicine, nursing, psychology, anthropology, sociology and complexity science. We are internationally respected and partner widely in Australia and overseas including with the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards, BUPA, Children’s Health Queensland, NSW Clinical Excellence Commission, Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC), the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua), the OECD, the Society for the Study of Organising for Health Care and the World Health Organisation.

Importantly we also contribute to undergraduate medical, postgraduate health services management, and public health and doctoral education.

We are uniquely positioned to investigate the myriad, dynamic interactions between interconnected webs of clinical professionals, their patients, healthcare technologies, communication systems and equipment. We enhance understanding of the big picture of healthcare delivery and guide policy into practice.

Our research underpins new models of care, fashions improved services for patients, builds better policy, provides an evidence base for what people do, and transforms the systems through which care is delivered.

Centre mission

A Centre undertaking research of national and international standing with a core interest to investigate health sector issues of policy, culture, systems, governance and leadership.


We are :

  • The people who look at sustainable health systems and make them meaningful
  • World class systems researchers
  • Experts in understanding and developing models of improvement for healthcare
  • Promoting exciting cross-disciplinary research with multiple internal and external partners, in Australia and across the world.


Our principles for projects:

  • Utility and usefulness
  • Highest quality results
  • Feasible and realistic
  • Propriety - conducted ethically
  • Accurate reporting and faithful interpretation of results
  • Pursuing inclusivity.

Six CHRIS objectives

The Centre has six main objectives. These are:

  • To undertake internationally recognised inter-disciplinary research and development projects on clinician led approaches to organising and managing clinical work across the full spectrum of care.
  • To provide a focal point for initiating and managing collaborative research and development projects on clinician led approaches to the organisation and management of clinical work. involving partners drawn from other groups within the Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, other departments within the University, Federal, State and Area health authorities and potential collaborators in other universities both within and external to Australia.
  • To provide a supportive environment for developing research skills of young health researchers from both clinical and social science disciplines.
  • To develop an international research reputation not simply in health but also in the base disciplines from which Centre members are drawn viz., policy studies, multi-disciplinary teamwork, improvement studies, discourse analysis, sociology, organisational behaviour, social theory, anthropology, health informatics and clinical studies.
  • To be an internationally recognised reservoir of knowledge and expertise on clinical work management issues with a capacity to respond to requests for advice and consultation.
  • To facilitate the development of education and training activities both within and outside the University in support of clinical governance.

Research areas

Patient safety and appropriateness of care

With a suite of unique projects examining the level of appropriate care delivered to patients in Australia, we are in a strong position to identify areas for improvement and to recommend effective and practical interventions to optimise care for all Australians. Read more.

Complex systems

Healthcare is increasingly recognised as a complex adaptive system, comprised of multiple levels of interacting agents, including diverse organisations (e.g., hospitals, not-for-profits, governments, professional bodies), groups (e.g., medical teams, online patient communities) and individuals (e.g., doctor, nurse, patient, carer, pharmacist). All of this interconnection leads to nonlinearity, making understanding, influencing and improving the healthcare system a challenge of the greatest magnitude. Read more.

Health outcomes

Improving estimates of the burden of injury and disease is integral for priority-setting and to evaluating the impact of preventive strategies. Examining health outcomes following the provision of healthcare can also be instrumental in guiding where improvements need to be made in health service delivery and health policy. The health outcomes stream is conducting large-scale, population-based studies in the areas of paediatric trauma, dementia and care transitions, unwarranted clinical variation, and a case-control study of adult injury and health service use. Read more.

Human factors and resilience

While the rate of medical error remains stubbornly high at around 10 percent in modern hospital systems, there are considerable untapped opportunities to improve care by turning our attention to what healthcare systems do well. Instead of focussing on why systems sometimes fail, resilience science engineering seeks to understand how dynamic and highly complex organisations and systems, like healthcare, usually get things right. Read more.

Implementation science

Much is made of the patient experience, but what does it mean to be the recipient of a long-term care plan, and what do we know of patients’ experiences of consultations where important, often life-changing conversations take place? How do patients respond to an unexpected diagnosis or a prognosis of long-term ill health, and how would patients wish to be better supported during clinical interactions? The Implementation Science stream employs qualitative and multi-methods approaches to address health services research questions aiming to clarify the social, emotional, and physical determinants of ill-health. Read more.

International healthcare reform

Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite brings his international reputation for health services and systems research to uniquely focus on comparative international health reform efforts. He has published widely on health policy, management and systems reform and co-edits two book series in this field: one, on international efforts to understand resilient healthcare, and another on 152 different countries’ reform activities. The books, used to inform future policy direction, include many low-, middle- and high-income countries and their efforts to make systems improvements. Read more.

Our people

Our people come from diverse backgrounds – academic, industry, clinical and professional. You can find people with expertise in patient safety, human factors, resilience engineering, health reform, health outcomes, systems improvements, implementation science and social networking. We have people from disciplines including medicine, nursing, and allied health professions (including speech pathology and physiotherapy). We have scientists and social scientists with expertise in fields as diverse as psychology, sociology, neuroscience, economics, public health, clinical governance and biostatistics.

Jeffrey Braithwaite

Founding Director AIHI & Director CHRIS

Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite

Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite is a leading health services and systems researcher with an international reputation for his work investigating and contributing to systems improvement. He has particular expertise in the culture and structure of acute settings, leadership, management and change in health sector organisations, quality and safety in healthcare, accreditation and surveying processes in international context and the restructuring of health services.

Academic staff

Professional staff

Visiting appointments

Higher degree research students


Kristiana Ludlow


Sheila Pham


Luke Testa


Chiara Pomare


Hossai Gul


Mia Bierbaum


Michael Golding


Bala "Renuka" Chittajallu


Clare Farrell


Kristy Burns


Nicole Phillips


Katie Adriaans


Tinny Hon


Alexander Alevras

Our projects

Our projects focus on developing clinician led approaches to organising, managing and evaluating healthcare across the full spectrum of health care; developing the research skills of early career health researchers; developing an international research reputation of knowledge and expertise on health organisation management and healthcare quality; and to develop education and training activities in support of governance and a resilient, sustainable health system.

Key projects

Our resources

CHRIS has developed a suite of resources relevant to researchers, clinicians, medical practitioners, healthcare and government policy makers, students, and industry.

Our resources


  • Methods for analysing ‘work-as-done’ including Functional Resonance Analysis Method (FRAM)
  • Methods for analysis of linked population data collections
  • Methods for assessing health outcomes
  • Methods for assessing the appropriateness of healthcare
  • Methods for soft systems

Models and approaches

  • Complexity science approaches to problem solving
  • Improvement models for enhancing organisational culture
  • Models for sustainable health systems
  • Social network analysis
  • Study designs for examining health systems at scale

Content owner: Australian Institute of Health Innovation Last updated: 12 May 2020 11:33am

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