Efficient Hospitals Are Mostly Research Active Institutions

Efficiency in hospitals increases when they are engaged in active clinical and basic research. The positive effect that promoting research can have on improving the working of health centers have been documented by many studies that focus on this cause and effect relationship. Research has the potential of identifying superior interventions, relevant mechanisms, infrastructure improvements, and targeted care processes.

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The significance of research is evident in the fact that both the policy makers and the general public support sustained trials and studies through financial grants, funds, charities, and donations. It is, therefore, only the next step to tie up efficiency in hospitals with their research potential and output.

The outcome of a patient’s recovery depends primarily on their care process and these processes will differ majorly between hospitals that are actively research driven than those where medical professionals are not in a research active setting. Hospitals with an active research fueled environment are more likely to follow clinical guidelines closely, absorb knowledge and practice on new evidence.

In a study conducted in 2008, in patients with acute coronary syndrome it was found that mandated care process compliance was better along with lower mortality rates in the health centers that participated in clinical trials in acute coronary syndromes.

Clinical trials and requirements of research also lead to acquisition of innovative technology and new skills that in turn fuel their systematic application throughout the health center thereby improving outcomes. This was evidenced in Netherlands where following a large-scale study of a new surgical technique in colorectal cancer led to improved outcomes that affected the national statistics positively. The training and quality assurance that was associated with the study brought about this efficiency in the care process.

Research in hospitals should always be welcome and promoted to reap benefits of its contributions that ensure high standards of safety and quality in providing healthcare. There is even usefulness to negative clinical trials that can be easily overlooked, the indirect benefit of not adopting ineffective interventions, bypassing side effects, and economizing of resource use.

Dr Nancy Blake, Nursing Director for Critical Care Services in the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles actively encourages and supports nurses to involve themselves in research. Research builds a base of solid evidence for efficient practices benefiting not only patients but also the care providing team of medical professionals in the hospital. The bottom line remains that evidence based practice needs evidence reiterates Dr Blake.

According to a study by the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and the IE Business School, hospitals with considerable research output in the form of scientific publications, clinical trials, etc. are significantly better at attending and caring for patients. This study ties up the relationship between efficient and research active hospitals. ‘Hospitals that can produce more knowledge in terms of scientific publications are also going to be better hospitals, in both diagnosis and treatment and surgery. As such, they contribute to reducing the patient’s average stay in hospitals,’ summed up Josep A. Tribo, one of the authors of the study.

The study further points out many more positive impact factors that a research active hospital or institution can translate into efficiency and better patient management which include skilled human resources, heightened diagnostic activity, and investments among others. The study strongly recommends promoting basic research in particular to effect long-term efficiency, reduced health care costs as also a host of other indirect benefits.

The Ottawa Hospital Foundation and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) believe that research is the beginning of best patient care. It leads to more accurate assessments, better diagnoses, and safer drugs or simply an efficient healthcare system. A pioneer among hospital-based research institutes, they have many successful clinical trials and researches that are now adopted in hospitals around the world. ‘For hospitals, it is research that saves lives and health-care dollars.’

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