Accelerating translation of spinal cord research into care at Parkwood Hospital

Mar. 24, 2011

The Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF), in collaboration with the Rick Hansen Institute (RHI), has selected St. Joseph’s Parkwood Hospital as one of the Canadian centres to promote excellence in spinal cord injury best practices.

clincians and staff at the Parkwood Hospital spinal cord research program

With the ONF/RHI support researchers and clinicians at Parkwood Hospital will review research evidence and existing clinical guidelines to identify best practices, implement these into practice, evaluate their effectiveness, then share the successful practices with other rehabilitation facilities throughout Canada.  The three initial areas of focus will be bladder function, pain and pressure ulcers in those with a spinal cord injury (SCI).

“Discovery-based research is not automatically translated into patient care,” says Jane Hsieh, associate scientist at Lawson Health Research Institute (Lawson) and the implementation science lead overseeing the project. “Sometimes it takes years to translate the research into care, and sometimes it never happens at all.”   

The ONF/RHI initiative supports the process of best practices implementation by removing barriers, such as demands on clinicians’ time, inadequate training and support and insufficient resources to successfully implement new procedures, to allow faster implementation of treatment discoveries. “Through this initiative focus will be not only on the intervention but the implementation process as well, which is critical to sustaining the improvements in patient care,” notes Kent Bassett-Spiers, CEO of the ONF.

In the ONF/RHI initiative Jane will be working closely with Dr. Dalton Wolfe and Anna Kras-Dupuis. Dr. Wolfe is an associate scientist with Lawson and a SCI research expert, who will assist with organizing research evidence and determining which SCI practices to implement. Anna Kras-Dupuis is a clinical nurse specialist with a wealth of experience implementing new practices into routine clinical care.  This team will work closely with clinicians on the SCI rehabilitation program to ensure the successful implementation of new patient care practices.

St. Joseph’s Parkwood Hospital is one of four Canadian centres selected by the ONF/RHI.  The other centres are the Lyndhurst Spinal Cord Centre which is part of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, Institut de Réadaptation Gingras-Lindsay de Montréal, and Institut de Réadaptation en Déficience Physique de Québec with the potential for additional sites in Alberta.

About St. Joseph’s Health Care London
St. Joseph’s Health Care London is an accredited teaching hospital owned by the St. Joseph’s Health Care Society and governed by a volunteer Board of Directors from the community. St. Joseph’s Health Care London includes: St. Joseph’s Hospital, Parkwood Hospital, Regional Mental Health Care London and St. Thomas, Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care and a host of programs and services throughout Southwestern Ontario.

About Parkwood Hospital
As part of the St. Joseph’s Health Care, London family of services, Parkwood Hospital provides complex care, rehabilitation, palliative care, specialized geriatric services and veterans care for both inpatients and outpatients.

About Lawson Health Research Institute
As the research institute of London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph's Health Care, London, and working in partnership with The University of Western Ontario, Lawson Health Research Institute is committed to furthering scientific knowledge to advance health care around the world.

About The Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF)
The ONF funds Ontario-based, applied health research in the areas of spinal cord injury, acquired brain injury and injury prevention with a particular focus on moving research to practice and policy. The Foundation has funding support from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.

About The Rick Hansen Institute (RHI)
The Rick Hansen Institute is a collaboration of people with spinal cord injuries, researchers and service providers committed to addressing priority needs and generating solutions for people with SCI.

About Neurotrauma
Neurotrauma (acquired brain or spinal cord) injuries impact over half a million Ontarians and create a cost burden to the province in the order of 2 to 3 billion annually.

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For more information, please contact:
Anne Kay, Communication and Public Affairs
St. Joseph’s Health Care London
Phone: 519 685-4292 ext. 42470
Page: 519 649-9238

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