Strategic Direction #2: Strengthen knowledge translation to achieve health benefits for individuals and populations
The Canadian Institutes for Health Research define knowledge translation as 'a dynamic and iterative process that includes synthesis, dissemination, exchange and ethically-sound application of knowledge to improve the health of Canadians, provide more effective health services and products and strengthen the health care system.'
The Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry has moved boldly to recognize the importance of knowledge translation (KT) as a significant part of its academic mandate. Furthermore, achieving progress towards Schulich Medicine & Dentistry’s vision is highly dependent on moving research findings to application through guideline development, utilization and health policy development to achieve patient and community impact followed by outcome assessment.
Although knowledge translation is not highly developed across Schulich Medicine & Dentistry, there are several pockets of excellence in this area. Examples include:
- The Evidence Based Perioperative Clinical Outcomes Research(EPiCOR)Group - a multidisciplinary collaboration between Anaesthesia & Perioperative Medicine, Surgery, Pharmacy, and Pharmacology whose mandate is to provide comprehensive systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and assessments of new and existing health technologies including medical devices and equipment, surgical and other interventional procedures, and drugs and diagnostic techniques in order to inform important perioperative clinical and economic questions with the best available evidence. In addition, EPiCOR has collaborated with international groups to perform evidence-based systematic reviews and consensus statements.
- Diabetes research in London has contributed significantly to health policy with the development of provincial and national diabetes programs focusing on First Nations communities, and the development of a National Diabetes Strategy and primary care initiatives. The Ontario government has launched a diabetes strategy and a diabetes registry, informed by research in diabetes. Furthermore, research has contributed to the development of the internationally recognized Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada. “It is critically important for researchers to engage in knowledge translation and advocate for the application of evidence in health policy development and clinical practice.” Professor Stewart Harris
It has been emphasized that knowledge translation is bi-directional, engaging both researchers and knowledge users. It is the interaction with knowledge users that will help to identify knowledge ‘gaps’ that may guide in setting new research agendas.