Citizens, healthcare systems and healthcare industries can only benefit from health research findings if they are translated into healthcare policy and practice. Yet evidence suggests that too often, healthcare and health policy decisions do not make use of the best evidence. Recognition of the gap between evidence, policy, and practice has led to the development of a new field in health research: knowledge translation research. This field aims to improve our understanding of why evidence-to-practice gaps occur and determine strategies to address the problem.
Under the leadership of Dr. Jeremy Grimshaw of the University of Ottawa, over 50 Canadian experts in knowledge translation research teamed up to create Knowledge Translation Canada, a network whose members have undertaken an ambitious program: to identify and study solutions to ensure that Canadian decision-makers have the tools and the skills necessary to effectively translate knowledge. Research is being done in partnership with Canadian hospitals and community agencies. Also, the network is creating innovative training courses with a view to establishing national training standards in knowledge translation and developing practical tools to help Canadian decision-makers (including patients, healthcare professionals, managers, and policy-makers) make better use of research evidence.
By generating important information for knowledge improvement, this research program aims at ensuring that Canada reaps the benefits of health research and ultimately improves its citizen's health and quality of life. Université Laval is one of six Canadian centers participating in Knowledge Translation Canada. The others participating universities are the University of Ottawa (the leading center), McMaster University, the University of Toronto, the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta.