With more research being encouraged at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), there is a call for health professionals to make the transition from research findings to policy action and application.

This was stressed today by Acting Director of Support Services, Louise Bobb, as she addressed the 11th Annual Professor E. R. Walrond Scientific Symposium on behalf of the QEH’s Chief Executive Officer, Dexter James.

As she encouraged members of staff to come forward with research proposals, she said: ??"Last year, the [QEH] Board approved the establishment of an Internal Research Review Committee to fast track the facilitation and processing of applications for staff who would like to conduct research at the QEH. To date, we have approved at least 10 applications.

"The Committee is empowered to approve internal applications for members of staff once such applications meet the usual criteria. These include: rigor in methodology, ethical considerations, approval by Head of Department and relevance to the QEH. I look forward with interest to receiving many more applications."

Ms. Bobb noted, however, that in spite of the QEH being able to facilitate research, the agonising question remained: "To what extent the findings from all this good work contributes to and impacts on evidenced-based medicine, evidenced-based decision making and health policy planning?"

To this end, she said the Board was challenging organisers of the symposium to encourage researchers to move the findings of their papers to the next level – that is, research into policy action and application.

"It is only through action and application that research can impact lives and improve the quality of care within our public health institutions," Ms. Bobb stressed.

Acknowledging that it was the Board’s request for organisers to present "more on preventive medicine and submissions in operational research", she added: "These are areas that would be of tremendous value to the QEH and indeed the health system in Barbados, especially in the context of challenges facing the health system today."

And, she queried whether the country was "truly achieving the desired outcomes in our many health promotion strategies against the non-communicable diseases of diabetes and hypertension?

"A lot of the "WHY" questions still need to be answered," Ms. Bobb, maintained as she concluded by urging organisers to stimulate the interest among nursing colleagues in areas such as quality, manpower and workforce planning.


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