Last year, more than 800,000 medical research papers were published in peer-reviewed journals, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. While the scientific and clinical evidence presented in these articles is essential to the advancement of medical care and understanding, many health care organizations find it challenging to efficiently review, learn and integrate vast amounts of data into clinical practice.
“Patients expect that the care they receive will be based on the best available evidence,” said Jeanne-Marie Guise, M.D., M.P.H., a professor of obstetrics and gynecology, medical informatics and clinical epidemiology, and public health and preventive medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine. “However, it can take years for a new research finding to move from the pages of a medical journal into a health care provider’s exam room. This needs to change.”
Taking the first step to impact such change, Guise and a team of researchers at the University of Michigan Medical School and the Kaiser Permanente Northwest Center for Health Research, have developed a roadmap for redesigning the interface between health care and research.
The group’s recommendations – published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine – put into practice the capabilities of the learning health system. The concept was first proposed by the Institute of Medicine to align science, informatics and culture to continually improve health care delivery.
“We envision transitioning high-quality, peer-reviewed evidence into a digital repository that will allow health care providers to efficiently search, and keep up with, the totality of available evidence on any given medical topic,” said Guise, who also serves as the director of the Scientific Resource Center for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Evidence-based Practice Center Program. “While we’ve only just started to develop this process, we believe eventual access to real-time evidence will better inform clinical practice and improve overall individual and population health.”
This research was supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (contract HHSA29020120004C).