Dr Barakat-Johnson is an internationally renowned clinician researcher with a special interest in skin integrity, implementation science and financial and policy implications of skin integrity issues. Dr Barakat-Johnson has extensive experience as a leader in pressure injury prevention and wound management and is currently the Skin Integrity Lead at Sydney Local Health District (four hospitals and five community health centres). She has also worked in the field of complex and chronic care for over 18 years.
Dr Barakat-Johnson has contributed to her specialty through her involvement with various international collaborative projects, journal articles, and various conference presentations. She has received numerous awards recognising her innovation including the Baxter health awards for ‘centralising wound products in an approach to reduce health care costs’and ‘the development of pain education package for clinicians and patients’. She was awarded as the Employee of the Year for ‘Pride in Workmanship’ in 2005.
In 2015, Dr Barakat-Johnson was successful in a PhD Clinician Scholarship by Sydney Research totalling $120,000. Her PhD research ‘Getting to the bottom of hospital-acquired pressure injuries in one local health district: Translating knowledge into practice’ was a practice change project across one health district in Sydney that was guided by implementation science. The study involved over 1,000 nurse participants and over 1500 patients and resulted in a 51.4% decrease in hospital-acquired pressure injuries (HAPI) incidence, 71.6% in prevalence and a 23.2% cost reduction (over $827,000 per annum). This project led to positive patient outcomes and was awarded the ‘People’s Choice Award’ at the Research Innovation Symposium held in 2017.
Dr Barakat-Johnson is currently the lead investigator of a two-year statewide translational research study funded by the Translational Research Grant Scheme, as well as a randomised control trial being conducted across four hospitals funded by the NHMRC Medical Research Future Fund grant and a prospective study using artifical intelligence in digital wound assessment. She has achieved almost $1.5 million in research funding since completing her PhD. She chairs statewide committees related to wound care and currently serves on the editorial board of the Wound Prevention and Management Journal. She is regularly invited by state, national and international bodies to consult on skin integrity, implementation science and pressure injury prevention. Michelle was recently awarded the "Winner of Excellence in Innovation in Research" 2019 NSW Health Nursing and Midwifery Awards.