Associate Professor Robert Boots

Academic Title-Associate Professor

Royal Brisbane Clinical Unit
Faculty of Medicine

Overview

Associate Professor Robert Boots is a member of the clinical team at the Burns, Trauma and Critical Care Research Centre.

Rob is the Deputy Director of the Department of Intensive Care Medicine and has qualifications in both respiratory medicine and intensive care. He has a strong background in clinical epidemiology and research with his main research interests management of burns and prevention of ventilator associated pneumonia. He has served as Deputy Director of Clinical Training and Chairman of the Medical Emergency Response Training Program at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. Rob received training in clinical education from the Harvard Macy Program for Physician Educators in Boston USA and the Bulstrode and Hunt program of the Royal College of Surgeons (Edin). He was a key stakeholder in the development of the business case and the despite of the Queensland Health Clinical Skills Development Centre whoch opened in 2004. After serving for 4 years as the Chairman of the Queensland Regional Committee of the Joint Faculty of Intensive Care he was electived to the Board of the College of Intensive Care Medicine in 2010 and presently serves as the Censor. He is a local examiner for the RACP and regular lecturer for the RACP training program in Brisbane Rob is involved with many projects as a main investigator and supervises postgraduate students attached to the research unit.

Research Interests

  • Pulmonary Infection in Ventilated Patients
    Presently investigating the use of inhaled heparin in the prevention of ventilator associated pneumonia
  • Asthma management in the ICU
    Current survey of practice in Queensland
  • Effectiveness of Telemedicine in ICU patient Care
    Extensive effectiveness review of the existing program in Bundaberg Base Hospital
  • Effect of ICU outpatient review in the outcomes of patients with sepsis
    A randomised trial of a clinical outpatient review of patients who have been discharged from the intensive care unit for sepsis to assess their physical and emotional status. This is the present project in a suite of projects related to the rehabilitation of ICU patients.
  • Effective Recommendations based on Multi-Source Data
    Collaboration with the Engineering Department of University of Queensland with Prof Xue Li. Large-scale data collected from multiple sources such as the Web, sensor networks, academic publications,and social networks provide a new opportunity to exploit useful information for effective and efficient recommendations and decision making. In this project, we propose a new framework of recommender systems that is based on analysing relationships between different types of objects from multiple data sources. A graph model will be built to represent the extracted semantic relationships and novel linkage analysis based algorithms will be developed for ranking objects using the data of an established clinical information system in the ICU.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Newcastle
  • Master of Medical Science (Clinical Epidemiology), University of Newcastle
  • FRACP
  • MBBS, The University of Queensland

Publications

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Supervision

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Available Projects

  • We are looking for a health science higher degree student interested in new health care delivery paradigms and their impact on patient centred and health organization outcomes in relation to the introduction of a novel telemedicine service into assist in patient care at Bundaberg Base Hospital. The project intends to cover a broad spectrum of health care impacts including clinical communication, organization impacts, financial implications and direct patient outcomes. The project has enough broad focus to meet requirements for a PhD and would be suitable for students interested in a career in health outcomes and organizational research. Research would be based within Brisbane with the possibility of several field trips to Bundaberg. The anticipated time frame for completion would be 2 years allowing a period of 12 months of consolidated Thesis preparation. A preliminary protocol has been formulated which the student is expected to develop further and progress. An experienced team of researchers and clinicians under the Centre will support the research student for Burns, Trauma and Critical Care Research of the University of Queensland.

    Telemedicine by the use of audiovisual technologies is increasingly being used to assist in patient care by intensive care units unable to be staffed by consultant intensivists. Models of care range from complete remote 24-hour surveillance requiring direct video observation to a consultation liaison service only requiring conventional telephone links. There has been a rapid adoption of such services especially in North America where access to on-site intensive care specialists is limited for the volume of intensive care being undertaken. The key task is to ascertain the most appropriate service requirements that would assist in care for a given patient circumstance.

    A telemedicine intensive care consultation service has been introduced into Bundaberg Base Hospital. Bundaberg Base is a regional 200-bed hospital in Queensland, Australia. The model of care is an “open ICU” with primary teams having admission rights for patients not requiring mechanical ventilation. Ventilated patients were admitted under the care of the anaesthesiology staff with the primary medical teams continuing their consultation. There were no credentialed intensive care medical specialists. Patients requiring more that two days of mechanical ventilation had been traditionally referred to the nearest tertiary ICU. In 2009 a new model of care was established with equipment and staff funding support from Queensland Health. An intensive care specialist undertook regular daily ward rounds for one hour between Monday-Friday via a videoconference link from the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital Intensive Care Unit. This specialist was available for the remainder of the day to deal with additional queries via telephone or video link consultation. Ward rounds used a mobile wireless web-camera as part of a computer videoconferencing system. Additional duties of the Intensivist including coordinating the patient transfer to a tertiary unit or organising additional specialist review where appropriate.

    Study Questions1. What has been the impact of a Telemedicine ICU Ward Round in a regional hospital on patient outcomes?2. What has been the impact on the regional intensive care unit operations since the introduction of a Telemedicine ICU Ward Round?3. What is the nature and type of the communications between health care staff during Telemedicine ICU Ward Rounds to a regional ICU?4. What are the staff attitudes to Telemedicine ICU Ward Rounds in both the resource and the regional intensive care unit?

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book

  • Gomersall, Charles D., Joynt, G., Cheng, C., Yap, F., Lam, P., Torrance, J., Ramsay, S., Boots, Robert, Graham, C., Freebairn, R., Shivakumar, I., Holley, A., Udy, A. and Loew, C. Basic Assessment and Support in Intensive Care. Hong Kong: Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2006.

Book Chapter

  • Boots, Rob (2012). The lung in multiorgan failure. In Jordi Rello, Jeffrey Lipman and Thiago Lisboa (Ed.), Sepsis management: PIRO and MODS (pp. 103-128) Berlin, Germany: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-03519-7_9

  • Boots, R., Udy, A., Roberts, J. and Lipman, J. (2010). Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics of antibiotics. In G. Dimopoulos (Ed.), Infections of the Respiratory System (pp. 557-589) Athens, Greece: John B. Parisianos Medical Publications.

  • Udy, Andrew, Roberts, Jason A., Boots, Robert J. and Lipman, Jeffrey (2008). Dose adjustment and pharmacodynamic considerations for antibiotics in severe sepsis and septic shock. In Jordi Rello and Marcos I. Restrepo (Ed.), Sepsis: New strategies for management (pp. 97-102) London: Springer-Verlag. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-79001-3

  • Paterson, David L. and Boots, Robert J. (2000). Aspergillus. In George A. Sarosi and Scott F. Davies. (Ed.), Fungal diseases of the lung (pp. 123-162) Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Chang, A., Hodges, P. W. and Boots, R. (2003). Using a tilt table improves minute ventilation in critically ill patients. In: 14th International Conference of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy. 14th International Conference of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy, Barcelona, Spain, (). 7-12 June, 2003.

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • We are looking for a health science higher degree student interested in new health care delivery paradigms and their impact on patient centred and health organization outcomes in relation to the introduction of a novel telemedicine service into assist in patient care at Bundaberg Base Hospital. The project intends to cover a broad spectrum of health care impacts including clinical communication, organization impacts, financial implications and direct patient outcomes. The project has enough broad focus to meet requirements for a PhD and would be suitable for students interested in a career in health outcomes and organizational research. Research would be based within Brisbane with the possibility of several field trips to Bundaberg. The anticipated time frame for completion would be 2 years allowing a period of 12 months of consolidated Thesis preparation. A preliminary protocol has been formulated which the student is expected to develop further and progress. An experienced team of researchers and clinicians under the Centre will support the research student for Burns, Trauma and Critical Care Research of the University of Queensland.

    Telemedicine by the use of audiovisual technologies is increasingly being used to assist in patient care by intensive care units unable to be staffed by consultant intensivists. Models of care range from complete remote 24-hour surveillance requiring direct video observation to a consultation liaison service only requiring conventional telephone links. There has been a rapid adoption of such services especially in North America where access to on-site intensive care specialists is limited for the volume of intensive care being undertaken. The key task is to ascertain the most appropriate service requirements that would assist in care for a given patient circumstance.

    A telemedicine intensive care consultation service has been introduced into Bundaberg Base Hospital. Bundaberg Base is a regional 200-bed hospital in Queensland, Australia. The model of care is an “open ICU” with primary teams having admission rights for patients not requiring mechanical ventilation. Ventilated patients were admitted under the care of the anaesthesiology staff with the primary medical teams continuing their consultation. There were no credentialed intensive care medical specialists. Patients requiring more that two days of mechanical ventilation had been traditionally referred to the nearest tertiary ICU. In 2009 a new model of care was established with equipment and staff funding support from Queensland Health. An intensive care specialist undertook regular daily ward rounds for one hour between Monday-Friday via a videoconference link from the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital Intensive Care Unit. This specialist was available for the remainder of the day to deal with additional queries via telephone or video link consultation. Ward rounds used a mobile wireless web-camera as part of a computer videoconferencing system. Additional duties of the Intensivist including coordinating the patient transfer to a tertiary unit or organising additional specialist review where appropriate.

    Study Questions1. What has been the impact of a Telemedicine ICU Ward Round in a regional hospital on patient outcomes?2. What has been the impact on the regional intensive care unit operations since the introduction of a Telemedicine ICU Ward Round?3. What is the nature and type of the communications between health care staff during Telemedicine ICU Ward Rounds to a regional ICU?4. What are the staff attitudes to Telemedicine ICU Ward Rounds in both the resource and the regional intensive care unit?