Are you a member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA)? Have you signed up to a CPA Division matching your area of interest? If yes, then what you might not know is that, as a CPA member, you are also automatically signed up to benefit from the Division Knowledge Management Committee (DKMC). Your reaction might be, “I don’t get it, what does that mean? What is the DKMC and what does it do?” If that was indeed your reaction, then you’re in luck: I will answer these questions here!
What you probably already know is that the CPA and its Divisions serve important roles, such as advocating for the profession and supporting evidence-based practice by offering various professional development resources. These resources include both a professional and a scientific magazine, an online education platform, webinars, newsletters, blogs, and other useful resources. However, beyond providing knowledge availability, the CPA also plays an important role in driving innovation.
The Division Knowledge Management Committee (DKMC) is an inter-divisional force for driving innovation. It is a subcommittee of the CPA, composed of at least one executive member from each Division (known as DKMC reps). But, if the CPA and its Divisions already synthesize and disseminate evidence-based knowledge through its various professional development resources, what else is there left to do? To drive innovation in a way which truly impacts practice, two more ingredients are necessary:
- Research needs to actually be applied in practice.
- Research must be relevant.
Specifically, innovation consists of research and knowledge translation. Research creates knowledge and sheds light on the best ways to assess and treat. Knowledge translation synthesizes research which accumulates on a topic, makes that synthesized knowledge available through dissemination, and facilitates its ethically sound application. The DKMC supports all these components of innovation but plays an especially important role in helping clinician apply this evidence-based knowledge in their daily practice.
It is important to note that, even if research knowledge is nicely summarized, dissemination of knowledge alone rarely achieves much more beyond creating awareness about it. In fact, one study found that, after making an online evidence-based information resource available, only 14% of clinicians reported changing their clinical practice (Menon, Korner-Bitensky, Kastner, McKibbon, & Straus, 2009). To actually impact clinical practice, additional steps are necessary. For instance, the DKMC supports mentorship programs, research-to-practice discussion groups, and self-reflection tools, which help accelerate and improve the process of critically assessing and integrating the new evidence-based knowledge, as well as troubleshooting how to actually apply it in practice.
To take it a step further, knowledge translation can be enhanced by putting in place strategic partnerships which engage in a bi-directional exchange of expertise. In other words, when the research process is characterized by an exchange of expertise between researchers, clinicians, patients, and any other relevant stakeholders, referred to as integrated knowledge translation, better outcomes are achieved. Engaging end-users (clinicians) and stakeholders (patients, clinic managers, etc.) helps to identify research questions that are most relevant to frontline clinicians and, thus, improves the uptake of knowledge generated by that research. It also has other practical benefits, such as ensuring that the design of novel assessments and treatments is tailored to real-world constraints of time and resources. End-users and stakeholders, in turn, can become better acquainted with the realities and constraints existing in research (Gagliardi, Berta, Kothari, Boyko, & Urquhart, 2016). Therefore, in support of integrated knowledge translation, the DKMC aims to play an important role in brokering strategic partnerships between researchers, clinicians, patients, and any other relevant stakeholders.
To put it all together, the DKMC is a subcommittee of the CPA whose primary mandate is to help drive innovation, through research and knowledge translation. Regarding shared activities, the DKMC provides support for the great work done by the CPA and its Divisions in the synthesis and dissemination of new knowledge generated by research. Regarding activities unique to the DKMC, the DKMC aims to lead activities supporting the ethically-sound application of knowledge and in brokering strategic partnerships between researchers, clinicians, patients, and any other relevant stakeholders. The DKMC ultimately aims to occupy an important niche at the CPA with respect to driving innovation (and its implementation!) for the benefit all CPA members and the Physiotherapy profession.
What do you think? Any questions about the DKMC? Looking forward to further discussing in the comments section below.
N.B. For more information on the components of knowledge translation discussed in this article, I recommend that readers consult the knowledge translation webpage of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR)
Gagliardi, A. R., Berta, W., Kothari, A., Boyko, J., & Urquhart, R. (2016).
Integrated knowledge translation (IKT) in health care: a scoping review.
Implement Sci, 11, 38. doi:10.1186/s13012-016-0399-1
Menon, A., Korner-Bitensky, N., Kastner, M., McKibbon, K. A., & Straus, S. (2009).
Strategies for rehabilitation professionals to move evidence-based knowledge into practice:
a systematic review. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 41(13), 1024-1032.
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