Deborah Debono has teaching, clinical, research and administrative experience. Deborah’s academic qualifications, coupled with nursing experience in metropolitan, rural and remote acute health care settings provide her with research expertise as well as a first-hand understanding of clinical settings. Deborah has had considerable experience with quality improvement projects in both teaching and research roles. As a researcher, Deborah investigates the influence of context, culture, technology, and social relationships on clinicians’ practice. Her doctoral research focused specifically on the role of workarounds in the delivery of health care. Deborah’s PhD was conferred in 2015.
Deborah is currently the Director of Studies of the Health Services Management Program in the Faculty of Health at University of Technology Sydney (UTS). By profession, Deborah was a nurse (Gold Badge recipient) and midwife (Gold Badge recipient) with experience in remote, rural and metropolitan acute care settings. Deborah graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Psychology and Sociology. Her honours thesis (Psychology) investigated automatic and controlled cognitive processing in the elderly. Prior to joining UTS Deborah worked at the Australian Institute of Health Innovation (AIHI) at Macquarie University as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, and at AIHI UNSW as a Research Officer. Previously, Deborah worked in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW for over ten years, initially as a research assistant on trials related to nicotine patches, smoking cessation and medical education about tobacco and subsequently as the postgraduate research student support officer.
Deborah has research experience across a diverse range of areas including investigation of: service provision for young people with mental health and intellectual disabilities; consumer engagement; health services accreditation; medication administration; nursing leadership; quality improvement initiatives in healthcare (e.g. central line bundles, structured handover process, electronic medication management systems); teaching medical students about smoking cessation; and teaching medical students about patient safety. She has also had experience as a clinical trials coordinator in a hospital based drug trial.
Deborah’s research contributes?to a growing?international body of?literature?related to?implementation science, health and organizational behaviour change, patient safety and resilience in healthcare.??She is an internationally recognised expert on the use of workarounds healthcare. Identification of workarounds is pivotal to illuminating gaps between how work is imagined to be done (work-as-imagined) and how it is actually done (work-as-done). Understanding these gaps is fundamental to effective implementation of strategies to improve quality and safety of service delivery.
Can supervise: YES
Deborah’s research interests are quality improvement, patient safety, health service delivery, workarounds, vulnerable populations, and ancillary staff. As an early career researcher Deborah is developing a strong track record of academic outputs, grant activity and academic service.
Current Teaching Areas:
Director of Studies, Health Services Management Program, Faculty of Health
Subject Coordinator and Lecturer:
92638, Foundations of the Australian Healthcare System, Master of Health Services Management, Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney
92297, Health Systems and Change, Master of Health Services Management, Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney
Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Australian Institute of Health Innovation (AIHI), Macquarie University