Conference 2017 Demystifying research: how to make it happen
In the current climate, there is an unprecedented need to demonstrate the clinical effectiveness and value of healthcare interventions. Health professionals need to ensure that their decisions are evidence-based, and able to withstand financial and clinical scrutiny. When planning a piece of work to evaluate an aspect of clinical practice, the first step is to identify whether the intention is to undertake research, a service evaluation, a quality improvement project or an audit. It is also important to be clear about when an ethical review is necessary for governance and insurance purposes, and to ensure that the final paper will be publishable. There are multiple ways to engage with research, including undertaking a project in practice, completing a higher degree, seeking external funding or pursuing a clinical academic career. Research is not something that can be done alone – it requires teamwork. Having completed a piece of research, there is then a professional and moral duty to disseminate the findings appropriately, not only at conferences, but also in peer-reviewed publications. Given that engaging in evidence-based practice is a regulatory standard of proficiency, the challenge is for all health professionals to produce at least one high-quality piece of evidence during their career, and disseminate their work in a peer-reviewed academic journal in order to help develop and protect the future of their profession.
Keywords: clinical academic career, clinical effectiveness, healthcare, research, resources.