Bridging the Divide: An Analysis of Allied Health Quality and Research Projects

Amy M. Dennett, Nicholas F. Taylor, Judi Porter, Jane Evans, Anne L. Horne-Thompson, Katherine E. Harding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: A range of activities are conducted in health care settings aiming to improve health care processes and outcomes. In many settings, these activities are classified into two broad domains of "quality improvement" and "health services research" each with its own methods, continuing education, support structures, and governance systems. We aimed to explore differences and similarities in the purpose, methods, and outcomes of approved allied health projects conducted under each of these domains at a large metropolitan health network. METHOD: Using observational methods, we evaluated allied health quality improvement and research projects approved through the relevant governance systems in a single health network during a 12-month reporting period. Project leaders were surveyed, and project documentation was evaluated using the SQUIRE tool. RESULTS: Allied health professionals were motivated to undertake both quality improvement (n = 13) and research projects (n = 15) to improve health care. Research projects were more likely to be disseminated externally, but quality improvement projects were more frequently reported to result in internal practice change. Methods were well documented for research projects, but this information was frequently lacking for quality improvement projects. Research projects were also more likely to be supported by external funding than quality improvement projects. IMPLICATIONS: Allied health clinicians conducting improvement activities using research and quality improvement projects share common goals. There are likely to be opportunities to enhance value and implementation of findings into practice by bridging the divide between health service research and quality improvement activities in health networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-35
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

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