Associate Professor de Villiers Smit

MBChB, FACEM

Associate Professor Smit is currently Director of Alfred Health Emergency Medicine (incorporating The Alfred and Sandringham Hospitals), and Director of the Emergency & Trauma Centre at The Alfred Hospital. He is also the Deputy Program Director for Emergency and Acute Medicine (ED, ICU, General Medicine, Cardiology, Neurology, Stroke, Paediatrics and Hospital in the Home). The combined emergency departments see and treat close to 100,000 patients per annum. The Alfred Emergency & Trauma Centre (E&TC) is the busiest trauma centre in Australasia and is internationally regarded by the World Health Organisation as one of the best in the world.

Achievements
Since his appointment as Director, Associate Professor Smit has been focused on developing a world class service model for emergency care. This model is underpinned by academic evidence and achievement as demonstrated by an enviable training program for undergraduate and post graduate students, and by an internationally recognised research program.

Associate Professor Smit has lead a team that redesigned patient care in The Alfred Emergency & Trauma Centre and this work has resulted in a2010 Public Health Care award for improving access performance. Hhas been central to the development of the Timely Quality Care (TQC) model; a whole-of-hospital redesign project to enhance patient experience and care quality by improving timeliness of interventions and investigations through the emergency episode and admission to discharge. Since the introduction of TQC, Alfred Health has managed to consistently meet all Department of Health and Human Services targets. The Alfred Hospital is currently one of the top three performing hospitals in Australia and the best performing major hospital in the state of Victoria. The Alfred Hospital was the “2015 Premier’s Health Service of the Year”, as awarded at the Victorian Public Healthcare Awards and this achievement is due in no small part to the TQC implementation. This innovative model of care, especially the emergency department component, has been widely adopted by other health care networks.

Associate Professor Smit has spoken on numerous occasions, both in Australia and internationally, on various aspects of the TQC model. In July and December 2016 Associate Professor Smit was invited to present the TQC model to the NSW Ministry of Health.

In addition to TQC, Associate Professor Smit has been actively involved in the removal of hospital-initiated ambulance diversion (Bypass) in Victoria, working very closely with Ambulance Victoria and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Research
The E&TC is the most research-active emergency department in Australia and is recognised internationally for research outputs. The E&TC is currently involved in more than 60 active research projects with in excess of $15 million in funding. The E&TC regularly publishes in excess of 60 publications per year and attracts multiple international research fellows. Associate Professor Smit has oversight of this departmental activity.

Associate Professor Smit is actively involved in research and to date have published 46 manuscripts in Medline-indexed journals. Associate Professor Smit has personally been involved in attracting close to $ 2.8 million in research funding, including being Chief Investigator on two NHMRC project grants and an Associate Investigator on another.

Education
Throughout his career Associate Professor Smit has been heavily involved in medical education; most noticeably as Director of Emergency Medicine Training, and Assistant Professor in Accident and Emergency Medicine, at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Associate Professor Smit is currently a member of the Emergency and Trauma Masters Academic Board, which will oversee the introduction and governance of a Masters Degree in Emergency and Trauma Medicine (in collaboration with Monash University).

Associate Professor Smit has also examined a number of Monash University BMedSc Students’ theses. Associate Professor Smit has an active leadership role in specialty multi-disciplinary teaching both nationally and internationally through a program of educational events created by the E&TC. This program delivered much-needed training in emergency clinical care and academics to over 900 students in 2017 in Australia, as well as the Middle East, China, India and Europe.