Does a Biomedical Research Centre Affect Patient Care in Local Hospitals

Published in: Health Research Policy and Systems, 2017

Posted on RAND.org on February 10, 2017

by Catherine A. Lichten, Grace Marsden, Alexandra Pollitt, Vasiliki Kiparoglou, Keith M. Channon, Jon Sussex

Read More

Access further information on this document at Health Research Policy and Systems

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

BACKGROUND: Biomedical research can have impacts on patient care at research-active hospitals. We qualitatively evaluated the impact of the Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (Oxford BRC), a university-hospital partnership, on the effectiveness and efficiency of healthcare in local hospitals. Effectiveness and efficiency are conceptualised in terms of impacts perceived by clinicians on the quality, quantity and costs of patient care they deliver. METHODS: First, we reviewed documentation from Oxford BRC and literature on the impact of research activity on patient care. Second, we interviewed leaders of the Oxford BRC'€™s research to identify the direct and indirect impacts they expected their activity would have on local hospitals. Third, this information was used to inform interviews with senior clinicians responsible for patient care at Oxford's acute hospitals to discover what impacts they observed from research generally and from Oxford BRC's research work specifically. We compared and contrasted the results from the two sets of interviews using a qualitative approach. Finally, we identified themes emerging from the senior clinicians'€™ responses, and compared them with an existing taxonomy of mechanisms through which quality of healthcare may be affected in research-active settings. RESULTS: We were able to interview 17 research leaders at the Oxford BRC and 19 senior clinicians at Oxford's acute hospitals. The research leaders identified a wide range of beneficial impacts that they expected might be felt at local hospitals as a result of their research activity. They expected the impact of their research activity on patient care to be generally positive. The senior clinicians responsible for patient care at those hospitals presented a more mixed picture, identifying many positive impacts, but also a smaller number of negative impacts, from research activity, including that of the Oxford BRC. We found the existing taxonomy of benefit types to be helpful in organising the findings, and propose modifications to further improve its usefulness. CONCLUSIONS: Impacts from research activity on the effectiveness and efficiency of patient care at the local acute hospitals, as perceived by senior clinicians, were more often beneficial than harmful. The Oxford BRC contributed to those impacts.

Research conducted by

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.