The Improvement and Innovation Program aims to champion continuous improvement and innovation across Victoria's health system and lead system level improvement and innovation by building Victoria's health service capability.

This includes strengthening capability in building organisational systems and structures, workforce capability and development, along with culture and behaviours, to support a continuous improvement foundation for systematic innovation to build on.

The program facilitates connections across the participating health services to assist health services in tackling local access, efficiency and service quality and safety challenges, as well as system-wide priorities.

Evolution of the program

Originally launched as the Redesigning Hospital Care Program (RHCP) in 2008, the program has led to a range of tangible improvements in patient care and organisational efficiency across wards, theatres, emergency departments, clinics, imaging and pathology services, hospital pharmacies, transport services and medical supply chains. As part of the program, staff within participating health services are supported to identify, implement, sustain and spread successful improvement and innovation work.

The management and oversight of the program shifted from the Department of Health and Human Services to Better Care Victoria (BCV) in 2016. The integration of BCV secretariat with Safer Care Victoria (SCV) in 2017 provided a great opportunity to broaden the scope of BCV and drive further integration of the improvement and quality agenda across Victoria. 

The RHCP was reviewed in 2017 to explore the general program experience with, and the value of, the RHCP; contribution of the RHCP to the wider organisational improvement program; enablers and barriers to sustainability and scaling within organisations and on a system-level; and opportunities for the future direction of the RHCP. This review led to the re-launch of the RHCP as the Improvement and Innovation Program in the 2017-18 financial year.

The program is overseen by the System Improvement, Innovation and Leadership branch of SCV. This team works with health services to deliver measurable improvements in the quality, safety, efficiency and effectiveness of their organisations and across the Victorian health system. The program is supported by a dedicated steering committee comprising members from Victorian health services, BCV Board and committees, SCV and the Department of Health and Human Services. The program has a renewed focus on aligning program initiatives to state-wide improvement priorities and concentrating efforts towards leading system level improvement, rather than single service improvement. 

Program details

In the 2018-19 financial year, funding is provided to 32 participating health services (including Ambulance Victoria) to support the engagement of a full-time Improvement and Innovation Advisor (or two people job-sharing part time). Within each participating health service, an Executive Sponsor is nominated for the program, who supports the Advisor in the execution of their improvement and innovation role. Activities are run throughout the year to facilitate knowledge sharing across participating health services and build Advisor and organisational capability for improvement.

The role of the Advisor is to:

Advisor role  

Advisors are expected to have a broad range of knowledge, skills and experience in the following capability areas:

Program details

As a key component of the program, where required, BCV and SCV provide a range of professional development opportunities to develop and support staff in the Advisor roles.

Participating health services in 2018-19

The following 32 Victorian health services are currently participating in the program:

Albury Wodonga Health Echuca Regional Health South West Healthcare
Alfred Health Goulburn Valley Health St Vincent's Health
Ambulance Victoria Latrobe Regional Hospital Swan Hill District Health
Austin Health Melbourne Health The Royal Children's Hospital
Bairnsdale Regional Health Service Mercy Health The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital
Ballarat Health Services Mildura Base Hospital The Royal Women's Hospital
Barwon Health Monash Health West Gippsland Healthcare Group
Bass Coast Health Northeast Health Wangaratta Western District Health Service
Bendigo Health Northern Health Western Health
Central Gippsland Health Service Peninsula Health Wimmera Health Care Group
Eastern Health Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Organisational Strategy for Improvement Matrix (OSIM)

Each participating health service is required to complete the Organisational Strategy for Improvement Matrix (OSIM) self-assessment tool and process annually. OSIM is a capability measurement tool and process used to identify, measure and monitor organisational accelerators and barriers to improvement. In other words, it can help health services determine how supportive of improvement or 'change friendly' their organisation is at a point in time.

The OSIM toolkit is available for download here.

Need more information?

Email BCV at or call 03 9096 2761.