The final lecture series was on knowledge translation. The first session was Knowledge Translation: Innovating Rehabilitation Clinical Practice from Jenni Moore.
First off, what is “knowledge translation?” According to the Canadian Institute of Health Research, knowledge translation is “the dynamic and iterative process that includes the synthesis, dissemination, exchange and ethically sound application of knowledge to improve health, provide more effective health services and products, and strengthen the health care system.”
Let’s look at step one in that process first: create and adapt guidelines. This is where a select group of experts on a topic take the available research, analyze it, make a decision on how to best tackle that topical question in real life and then publish a clinical practice guide (CPG). If a CPG doesn’t exist if the topical area of interest, pick up the systematic reviews and you can do you’re own review using the COSMIN checklist or GRADE or the Tidier checklist.
Then comes the challenge of implementation. This is where the clinician needs a little guts to step out on a limb and try something new. This sounds fairly simple, but truly it’s not. First, you have to take the research and make sure you understand how to recreate whatever was done in the study. There are so many studies out there that had some great results, but didn’t go into enough detail to recreate whatever they were doing in real life. That renders the research completely useless to the clinician. And if you can even figure that out, sometimes the logistics of doing a treatment takes a little thought and planning. Then you need to do the activity several times to really feel comfortable doing it… or at least I do.
So here, we are. We’re comfortable doing the activity. Time to re-assess if this is working. Enter: the clinician scientist who collects the data.
Next we re-analyze the activity with the new data. Is this really working? Does it hold up against newer (or maybe older?) strategies?
Those answers start the cycle all over again with new knowledge.
Translating knowledge into the clinic and continuously reassessing like that improves care delivery, increases outcomes transparency, improves processes, improves public health, generate new knowledge, allows for comparison of clinicians outcomes to benchmarks and links them to patients’ outcomes.
Remember, therapy is ever evolving, and so should we!