Doctors’ tough task: make healthcare and research more patient-oriented as resources get stretched

Canada’s doctors face a challenging task: help shift healthcare and health research to being more patient-oriented and do so with high levels of efficiency that safeguard the current healthcare system in which resources are already stretched. Effective knowledge translation (KT) – turning research knowledge and innovation into new strategies, action, devices, etc., that improve patient care and healthcare systems – provides the evidence needed by healthcare professionals and policy-makers to determine how to meet the challenge of delivering the best care in a cost-effective manner.

Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute scientist Dr. Stirling Bryan, director of the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation (C2E2), explains that the desire for improving KT can be seen in the creation of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) Initiative in 2013.

The objective of SPOR is to foster evidence-informed health care by bringing innovative diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to the point of care, so as to ensure greater quality, accountability, and accessibility of care.

“The implementation of SPOR has knowledge translation as a central component,” says Dr. Bryan. 

“There is much to learn particularly considering the constraints that research and many other health care areas are facing,” he adds.

C2E2 has created such an opportunity for learning with its fourth annual lecture on September 30th featuring guest speaker Dr. Deborah Cook who practices critical care medicine at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and is Professor of Medicine, Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics and Academic Chair of Critical Care at McMaster University.

In her lecture, Dr. Cook will share her experience of successfully integrating clinical and economic evidence to inform individual practice and policy using PROTECT (Prophylaxis for Thromboembolism in Critical Care Trial) as a case study of her work. She will also share her experience in leading a research program on preventing blood clots in critically ill patients, her team’s post-trial knowledge translation work, and the lessons she has learned.

“Dr. Cook is a major figure on Canada’s health research scene. She has an outstanding track record in terms of the productivity and major contributions she’s made to improving patient care in the intensive care unit through evidence-based research,” says Dr. Bryan. 

“She has been able to both produce the highest quality academic research and ensure that it has impact, which is a powerful combination.”

“Learning from people like Dr. Cook – who has had such success in the knowledge translation field – is critical for us at this point as we engage with, and roll out, the SPOR initiative in B.C. and throughout Canada,” says Dr. Bryan.

The lecture is free and open to the public. However, it will hold particular appeal for individuals working in clinical research fields as well as those operating in a policy environment who want to better understand evidence-driven practice.  

For more information about the C2E2 2015 Annual Lecture, or if you would like to attend, visit and register by September 18.