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Laying foundations for gold-standard healthcare

Cite Magazine

For Curtin alumna Rachel Morris, coming to work is more than designing the bricks and mortar of a medical facility. To her, it is about creating an environment that is user friendly, productive and efficient – traits that, when combined, translate to happier, healthier staff and high-quality patient care.

With a background in radiation therapy, Rachel began to make a shift towards leadership and management in 2010. Three years later, Rachel graduated from Curtin’s online Master of Health Industry Management (via Open Universities Australia), with a high distinction average.

“I was inspired by different managers and colleagues in several roles,” Rachel says. “I wanted to contribute back into a team and gain the tools I need to create an efficient, happy workplace.

“The health industry course seemed parallel to a MBA but with a health focus, ideal for the work I was interested in as it gives a well-rounded balance of all aspects of management, from the psychological concepts of managing people, to the financial and organisational aspects.”

Now a project officer in Bendigo Health, Victoria, Rachel works together with the healthcare staff and private companies to design and upgrade medical facilities and develop newer, more efficient ways of working. From physical design, to equipment selection and logistics, Rachel work varies from day-to-day and from department to department in Bendigo Health; it all depends on where her knowledge and skills are needed.

In particular, Rachel hopes to use some of the strategies she developed during her thesis to implement Electronic Medical Records (EMR) in Bendigo Health.

“I want to reduce the long travelling distances patients have to do to get treatment, and to provide a comprehensive gold-standard service, especially the integrated cancer centre,” Rachel says.

“The efficiencies the technology (EMR) offers can physically translate into happier, healthier staff, which then flows onto the patients.”

Rachel’s drive to create a happier workplace does not steam solely from her passion for quality service and care, for her it is also personal.

“I have had a family member go through radiation therapy and have seen firsthand the positive effect that happy motivated staff has on providing care,” Rachel says.

“I can personally relate to it and I want to ensure other peoples loved ones are also treated in the same way.”

Originally hailing from New Zealand, Rachel hopes to continue to be in a positive team that helps create safe working environments with a positive culture.

And future goals? Apart from becoming fluent in Maori and French, she’d really like to land a Marlin.