Taking Full Advantage of Innovative Research
Approximately $100 billion is invested internationally each year in biomedical and health research. Much of this money, however, is wasted because research findings are never fully implemented into the health-care system.
Proper implementation of research, also known as knowledge translation helps patients, doctors, hospital managers, and policy-makers understand all of the available health-care alternatives, and their respective benefits and risks, enabling them to make informed decisions.
As Canada Research Chair in Knowledge Translation and Quality of Care, Dr. Sharon Straus is spearheading research to advance the science and practice of knowledge translation by providing a unique model that nurtures collaboration among researchers and trainees in various fields in Canada.
Knowledge translation is already contributing significantly to a number of health goals, such as efforts to develop self –management tools to reduce falls in osteoporosis patients and to optimize research on the use of osteoporosis medications in high-risk patients.
Straus’s research integrates methods from fields such as human factors engineering, computer and information science, and clinical research in order to meet the complex demands of health-care. Her phased approach to knowledge translation involves doing a systematic review of the literature, developing knowledge translation interventions, performing exploratory studies followed by large-scale trials, and implementing and performing ongoing evaluation of the resulting successful knowledge translation interventions.
Ultimately, the work of Straus and her team will help capture the benefits of health research, improve quality of life for Canadians, and enhance productivity by decreasing illness.