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Translational Research & Best Practice Implementation

In order to advance the objectives of our four core programs (Cure, Care, Commercialization and Consumer), RHI supports translational research and best practice implementation activities.

What is translational research?

Translational research is a branch of medical research that attempts to more directly connect research with patient care by turning basic discoveries (developed, for instance, through multi-centre research studies) into new treatments and approaches that tackle the most pressing needs of individuals with SCI.

RHI supports and undertakes translational research studies to generate knowledge about SCI and to seek ways to improve outcomes for people with the injury. These research projects are critical to the outcomes of RHI. The Rick Hansen SCI Registry (RHSCIR) supports our translational research activities by collecting core data from Canadians with SCI during their transition through acute care, rehabilitation and community integration, and throughout their life journey. This data will be available to all participating members to engage people in relevant translational activities, and help identify gaps and priority needs.

What is best practice implementation?

Best practice implementation is the interventions, programs/services, strategies, or policies which have demonstrated desired changes through the use of appropriate, well-documented research or evaluation methodologies. They have the ability to be replicated, and the potential to be adapted and transferred. A best practice is one that is most suitable given the available evidence and particular situation or context. 

The success of cure strategies will depend on changes in practice within the existing the health care delivery system. The time to implement best practices is currently 17 years. This needs to be dramatically shortened to ensure Canadians with SCI will benefit in their lifetime.

One of our goals is to become a world leader in promoting and implementing best practices for the care of people with SCI. Within our own clinical and research network, we are uniquely positioned to influence behaviour change, and ultimately move SCI research into action.

The overall aim of RHI’s best practice implementation projects is to lead the process of improving access to and adoption of knowledge, in order to help support evidence-based decision-making in SCI care in Canada and internationally.