Injury Prevention: From Research to Practice
1TBD, International Safe Community Certifying Centre, Australia
Injury Prevention from Research to Implementation
The translation of research into practice has been a longstanding barrier to the effective implementation of evidence-based practice in a real-world environment. This challenge applies as much in injury prevention and safety promotion as it does in clinical medicine. The skills required to bridge this gap are the same skills that successful emergency physicians use in everyday clinical practice: team work, effective communication, problem solving skills, understanding the patient’s needs in context and applying best available evidence in a way that is acceptable, achievable and effective for that particular patient.
Three types of experts are required to design and implement effective interventions capable of being disseminated and adopted by the wider community: researchers (i.e., content experts), clinicians, practitioners and policy makers (i.e., process experts), members of the target community (i.e., context experts). Integrating the expertise of all stakeholders is required to ensure that comprehensive, evidenced based interventions are also practical and relevant to the real-world injury prevention.
Emergency Physicians are well placed to facilitate a reality based public conversation about the impact and underlying causes of injury and violence on our society. We can provide valuable statistical information. We can also provide a first-hand account of the personal and social cost of injury and violence on our patients. In an area replete with political and commercial stakeholders with a vested interest and extensive resources to shape a public conversation that capitulates to their agenda, Emergency Physician have a powerful strategic voice as credible, impartial, experts acting solely in the public interest.
Prevention is better than cure. It is also very effective. Applying best practice to a trauma victim in the resuscitation room has potential to achieve a 5% reduction in mortality. Undoubtedly worthwhile and important. However, this is eclipsed by best practice prevention programs. For example, evidence informed, effectively implemented, prevention programs in road trauma have delivered between 12 to 25% reductions in mortality. Better still. Emergency Physicians are well positioned to do both.