Researcher biography

Dr. Melinda Martin-Khan is a health scientist who is focused on improving patient quality of care and patient outcomes through strengthening collaborative health service research with clinicians and consumers. Dr. Martin-Khan is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Health Services Research working in the Ageing and Geriatric Medicine Program (incorporating the Centre for Research in Geriatric Medicine) and the Telehealth Program (incorporating the Centre for Online Health). Previous to becoming a full-time academic, Dr. Martin-Khan has had over 13 years administrative experience as a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in aged care health services in New South Wales and Victoria.

Dr. Martin-Khan has more than 12 years research experience involving the development, measurement, evaluation and translation into practice of systems for improving the quality of care, patient outcomes, and organisational processes, for people with dementia, and other at risk populations.

In 2009, Dr. Martin-Khan completed a doctorate degree in the field of medicine, by validating the accuracy of cognitive assessment by videoconferencing for the diagnosis of dementia. Establishing a telememory clinic in parallel with the research project to test and garner feedback on protocol design and translation recommendations was an early use of co-design in practice. Co-design (from protocol to implementation and translation) has continued to be important.

Dr. Martin-Khan has developed and sustained an international track record in improving care processes and systems, principally in telehealth and more recently in the use of quality indicators and a focus on public health using ehealth strategies (including dementia risk reduction & dementia registries). In collaboration with Princess Alexandra Hospital, she was instrumental in establishing the telehealth memory clinic which has a weekly telehealth appointment available as part of the standard specialist memory clinic service. Dr. Martin-Khan developed a set of Outcome Quality Indicators (QIs) which have been incorporated as the QIs for the interRAI Acute Care Assessment Instrument (for all adult patients at admission) and interRAI Acute Care - Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment instrument (for all older patients referred for specialist assessment), and are available internationally wherever the interRAI assessments are administered.

Specific research interests include the development of quality indicators, measuring and reporting organisational quality of care outcomes, incorporating telehealth systems into mainstream health care, and communicating dementia risk reduction messages using ehealth. Research achievements have included the validation of the accuracy of diagnosing dementia via videoconferencing; confirming the reliability of online geriatric assessment for discharge decisions; development of outcome, process or structure quality indicators in acute care, emergency department and transition care for older adults (and where applicable, people with cognitive impairment). Current projects include the implementation of a whole of hospital admission acute care assessment system including the use of quality indicators as quality improvement processes; the evaluation of telehealth video conference clinics to support general practice aerial support clinics in remote Australia; a trial dementia clinical quality register in Queensland using routinely collected data; and a dementia risk reduction ehealth strategy using a chronic disease framework to increase public awareness about dementia.

In 2017, Dr. Martin-Khan began a role as lead investigator for the NHMRC Boosting Dementia Grant for improving the identification of patients with cognitive impairment or dementia in acute care. She has been an investigator on grants (Australian and international) of over $14.5M, six of which were NHMRC funded.

In the field of geriatrics, dementia and quality of care, Dr. Martin-Khan has over 97 publications, including 55 papers in peer-reviewed journals, 5 books and 1 book chapter on related topics. Dr. Martin-Khan continues to present her work through publication, national and international conferences and local meetings.

Dr. Martin-Khan is the Chair of the Research Collaboration for Quality Care (RCQC); Chair of the interRAI Instrument Development Working Group for the Community Cognitive Assessment Instrument (CCIA), and the interRAI Acute Care Working Group.