November 1, 2016
Evidence to Care: Improving Care through Knowledge Translation
Leading. Inspiring. Transforming.
For Holland Bloorview, the link between ground-breaking research and innovative care is paved with more than just good intentions. Indeed, successfully transferring best evidence into best practice requires a comprehensive process with visionary leadership, a solid methodology, an understanding of research, dedicated resources, committed team members with the ability to partner with clinical areas and a constant reminder of who you’re working for – our clients and their families.
Holland Bloorview’s Evidence to Care (EtC) team is at the heart of this process.
Evidence to Care (EtC)
Led by Dr. Shauna Kingsnorth, EtC facilitates Knowledge Translation, or “KT”, a collaborative, integrative, inter-professional approach used across clinical programs to bridge the gap between research and best practices in care.
“KT is an emerging field,” explains Dr. Kingsnorth. “We help demystify childhood disability research by constantly asking, ‘How do we collaborate with, or support, clinicians to integrate knowledge translation into every day practice?’”
The end result is a magic formula that is improving care across our organization.
Evidence-based. Flexible. Collaborative.
In truth, it’s not magic. On the contrary – effective KT is based on a clear, focused methodology. “We constantly work to tackle gaps in the evidence-to-practice process by staying true to KT best practices on the identification, synthesis and application of research,” says Dr. Kingsnorth.
EtC follows this approach diligently. A 2014 evaluation conducted by Cathexis Consulting confirmed that Holland Bloorview’s approach to KT was “deliberate, flexible and collaborative.”
EtC Priorities – Identified by Clients, Developed Through Partnerships
The EtC team knows first-hand that effective KT requires being open to new, emerging ideas. In fact, Holland Bloorview’s KT projects are often identified by the hospital’s clinicians, clients and their families. “It makes the work even more meaningful,” Dr. Kingsnorth adds.
While clients may help identify the priorities, it’s establishing partnerships with clinical professionals that really helps put research findings into practice. Dr. Kingsnorth continues, “As leaders in this area, we strive to create an evidence-friendly culture where clinicians, clients and families actively turn to research evidence, and feel comfortable doing so.”
It’s no surprise that with a collaborative team and a focused methodology, Holland Bloorview’s EtC has emerged as a KT leader. Kelly Warmington, Program Manager of Knowledge Translation at SickKids, says, “With one of the strongest organizational models for KT, the Holland Bloorview EtC team truly accelerates research utilization. Their collaborative approach, expertise and genuine commitment to improving the lives of children makes them a role model for KT, pediatrics and rehabilitation.”
Completing the Full Circle
By transferring research knowledge into evidence-based best practices, EtC reaches throughout Holland Bloorview and beyond.
The results can be seen in two EtC projects – Chronic Pain Assessment Toolbox and the Peer Support Best Practice Toolkit – that are already used throughout the health care sector.
Based on these results, health care organizations are now turning to Holland Bloorview’s EtC team for inspiration and direction. “This kind of KT is a tremendous asset in health care right now,” explains Melissa McGuire from Cathexis. “Not all hospitals have that valuable resource that Holland Bloorview does.”
“We complete the full circle of putting knowledge into action,” says Dr. Kingsnorth. Most importantly, this inspiring story has helped the lives of children with disabilities.