Health Services Research Unit

About Health Services Research Unit HSRU

  • The Health Services Research Unit (HSRU) at The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) is the first paediatric HSR unit in Australasia. Founded in 2015, it aims to grow paediatric expertise in HSR. 

    Led by Professor Harriet Hiscock, the unit works in partnership with the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI). The HSRU supports the development and use of the best available evidence to increase the quality, accessibility, and value of healthcare. It provides real-time information to guide approaches to delivering the best and most cost-efficient comprehensive care for children. It aims to reduce disparities and to improve health outcomes for children across Victoria and Australia.

    Why is health services research important?

    Health Services Research (HSR) is a multi-disciplinary scientific field that examines:

    • How people get access to healthcare practitioners and services
    • How much care costs 
    • What happens to patients as a result of this care

    With the growing cost and demand for health services and the complexity of health care delivery, interest in health services research has increased globally.

    Health services research helps to identify the most effective ways to organise, manage, finance, and deliver high quality care and improve patient safety. This kind of research is more concerned with delivery and access to care in contrast to medical research, which focuses on the development and evaluation of clinical treatments.

    Studies investigate how social factors, financing systems, organisational structures and processes, medical technology, and personal behaviours affect access to healthcare, the quality and cost of healthcare, and quantity and quality of life.