Emerging Practice Survey

The response by governments to the COVID-19 global pandemic in 2020 required a rapid and innovative response to the significant disruption of service provision by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Victoria and to their contracted service providers. To understand more about emerging practices and adaptations to service models, the Latrobe Health Assembly (LHA) together with the DHHS commissioned a first stage rapid evaluation.

CEU evaluation

CEU Research Team

  • Associate Professor Joanne Porter (Lead)
  • Dr Vaughan Reimers
  • Dr Michael Barbagallo
  • Michelle James
  • Elissa Dabkowski
  • Val Prokopiv

The evaluation analysed how successful service organisations were in adapting to the rapidly changing environment. It examined how staff responded to new and emerging practices and their confidence in the ability to continue deliver an effective service.

Key research questions included:

  • What is the impact of COVID-19 on emerging practices?
  • How do employees feel about the emerging practice changes to their organisation?
  • What changes do employees foresee the organisation will maintain post-COVID-19?

Key findings

The participants, who represented 42 organisations in the Gippsland region, noted the need for services to be reviewed in light of this period of accelerated implementation of online service delivery and a more hybrid approach be adopted in the future. The success of a combination of service delivery options would be reliant on the ability of organisations to adequately prepare their staff and provide the infrastructure and comprehensive training programs while working in partnership with clients.

Key recommendations included:

  1. adequately resource staff in order to implement virtual service delivery.
  2. provide essential training and skill acquisition for staff.
  3. organisational flexibility to accommodate a variety of work environments.
  4. further research to explore the impact of the changes to service delivery on the client experience, health outcomes and work productivity.