Retrospective Impact Evaluation Continuing to Prove Challenging Irrespective of Setting: A Study of Research Impact Enablers and Challenges Cloaked as an Impact Evaluation?; Comment on “‘We’re Not Providing the Best Care If We Are Not on the Cutting Edge of Research’: A Research Impact Evaluation at a Regional Australian Hospital and Health Service”

Document Type : Commentary


1 Hunter Medical Research Institute, Newcastle, NSW, Australia

2 College of Health, Medicine and Wellbeing, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW, Australia


The original article provides a detailed and insightful presentation of enablers and detractors for research participation, translation, and impact, at a regional Australian hospital and health service. This information builds on existing knowledge, from the perspective of a non-metropolitan healthcare organisation. It stands to inform all healthcare organisations keen to embed research into their institutions. However, what the article fails to do is present the results of the research impact evaluation in a systematic and useful way for the reader to assess the benefits of research investment by a healthcare organisation including delivery of better quality care and improved patient outcomes. This commentary suggests why such information is critical to justify continued research investment by healthcare organisations and to showcase the potential benefits of the embedded research model. It also discusses the limitations of undertaking impact evaluation retrospectively and suggests that a prospective approach coupled with proper data collection systems and processes upfront could help future reporting of organisational research impact.


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  • Receive Date: 09 October 2022
  • Revise Date: 13 December 2022
  • Accept Date: 18 December 2022
  • First Publish Date: 19 December 2022