With financial support from the Oxford Academic Health Science Network and Health Education Thames Valley, 7 clinicians have embarked on an exciting 3 year journey to learn how to critique and use research evidence. Each person has a unique interest and passion in refining their clinical practice to promote high quality clinical care for patients and their families. Many described the dilemma – where on the one hand they were encouraged to be critical of current practice, yet when they questioned practice, they were told ‘this is the way we have always done it’, or more worryingly ‘this is the way we do it here!’ All clinicians want to contribute to and use research to update and inform their clinical practice. Yet their topics and journeys are uniquely different:
- Debbie has previously established care pathways for patients with kidney disease, and now wants to understand what goes wrong in these pathways, to identify areas for continual improvement.
- Francis is keen to identify whether recommendations in limited resource settings are based on research evidence or resource issues.
- Kate plans to explore opinions and perceptions of the current system for drug prescribing, in order to recommend a simplified, cost-effective approach.
- Joe wants to know whether participation in regular physical activity will reduce the length of admission for adults with acute mental health problems.
- Kay plans to better understand and manage the information and support needs for relatives and carers of patients newly diagnosed with cancer.
- Steven wants to investigate observed variances in diagnostic radiography, in order to establish and implement efficient best practices.
- Rob has identified the cultural difficulties of routine best practice and challenged its basis in the research evidence.
With academic supervision and network mentoring, each clinician will clarify their research questions and develop implementation plans to enact clinical improvements. Watch this space!