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Keywords:

  • Academic-service partnership;
  • academic medical center;
  • evidence-based practice (EBP);
  • nursing research;
  • healthcare delivery

Abstract 

Purpose: To describe the development of an academic-health services partnership undertaken to improve use of evidence in clinical practice.

Approach: Academic health science schools and health service settings share common elements of their missions: to educate, participate in research, and excel in healthcare delivery, but differences in the business models, incentives, and approaches to problem solving can lead to differences in priorities. Thus, academic and health service settings do not naturally align their leadership structures or work processes. We established a common commitment to accelerate the appropriate use of evidence in clinical practice and created an organizational structure to optimize opportunities for partnering that would leverage shared resources to achieve our goal.

Findings: A jointly governed and funded institute integrated existing activities from the academic and service sectors. Additional resources included clinical staff and student training and mentoring, a pilot research grant-funding program, and support to access existing data. Emergent developments include an appreciation for a wider range of investigative methodologies and cross-disciplinary teams with skills to integrate research in daily practice and improve patient outcomes.

Conclusions: By developing an integrated leadership structure and commitment to shared goals, we developed a framework for integrating academic and health service resources, leveraging additional resources, and forming a mutually beneficial partnership to improve clinical outcomes for patients.

Clinical Relevance: Structurally integrated academic-health service partnerships result in improved evidence-based patient care delivery and in a stronger foundation for generating new clinical knowledge, thus improving patient outcomes.

Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 2011; XX:X, XXX–XXX. ©2011 Sigma Theta Tau International.