The Operations Manual: A Mechanism for Improving the Research Process

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BackgroundThe development and use of an operations manual has the potential to improve the capacity of nurse scientists to address the complex, multifaceted issues associated with conducting research in today’s healthcare environment. An operations manual facilitates communication, standardizes training and evaluation, and enhances the development and standard implementation of clear policies, processes, and protocols. A 10-year review of methodology articles in relevant nursing journals revealed no attention to this topic.ObjectivesThis article will discuss how an operations manual can improve the conduct of research methods and outcomes for both small-scale and large-scale research studies. It also describes the purpose and components of a prototype operations manual for use in quantitative research.ConclusionThe operations manual increases reliability and reproducibility of the research while improving the management of study processes. It can prevent costly and untimely delays or errors in the conduct of research.

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