It’s Time to Increase Community Hospital-Based Health Research

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


In 2007, the National Institutes of Health developed a research roadmap,1 which included translational research to bridge the gap between scientific discoveries and clinical practice. On average, only a small proportion (less than 15%) of new scientific discoveries enter routine clinical practice,1 and for those discoveries that do enter routine clinical practice, it takes nearly two decades to reach the general population.2 This is a result of the fact that randomized controlled trials that are generally conducted in academic centers often fail to bridge the gulf from efficacy to effectiveness and do not allow for adaptation of interventions to local circumstances and populations.3 In Ontario, academic research hospitals make up 5% of all hospitals; therefore, most patients receive medical care in nonacademic research hospitals (community hospitals). However, the majority of health research is conducted in academic research hospitals. To bridge the gap between scientific discoveries and clinical practice, we must find ways to increase health research activities in community hospitals.
Before we develop strategies to promote community hospital-based health research, we need to understand the barriers that physicians who work in community hospitals face. As the Research Lead team in a community hospital trying to engage physicians in conducting health research, we recognized that community physicians often do not have formal research training or protected research time to conduct research.4 With this in mind, developing a research coaching framework in the community hospital setting may aid in facilitating research through building research skills and confidence amongst staff. Similar to the framework used at Niagara Health in Ontario, where physicians and research teams are coached by the Research Lead office, such a program can effectively run with minimal resources, serving as a platform for physicians and staff with research ideas to form interprofessional teams, thus alleviating time commitments of physicians interested in conducting research. Through regular meetings, teams can be guided through the research process from conducting a literature review through final manuscript preparation. Coaching programs may be an effective stopgap measure for community hospitals with limited funding to build research infrastructure.
    loading  Loading Related Articles