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The ONF Approach: Research, Knowledge Mobilization & Implementation

ONF is a catalyst for change – change that improves the quality of life for those living with a neurotrauma injury, reduces risk of these injuries for all Ontarians and saves the provincial health care system time and money.

To achieve this bold vision, ONF helps to identify needs and gaps in practice or policy through evidence-based research. It supports the implementation of best practices in a sustainable manner by funding key research and project activities that are designed to produce required evidence and drive system change.

Working with global partners, ONF positions Ontario as a leading organization internationally with respect to knowledge mobilization and implementation. ONF takes research and knowledge mobilization even further, focusing on implementation in order to close existing gaps between research and practice.

Although ideas and evidence are global, implementation is local.  For more than 20 years ONF has created and facilitated communities and networks that move evidence and ideas into best practices and standards. When accompanied by our expertise in implementation, these communities create quality improvements that improve care and support for all Ontarians.

Translating research into outcomes

While the development of new knowledge through research is an essential activity it is insufficient on its own because new knowledge does not necessarily translate directly into improved outcomes or changes in practice.

The translation of research results into practice can be very slow. As a result, people living with neurotrauma may not have access to the best possible care and programs. This reduces quality of life, impedes the ability of people living with neurotrauma to achieve the best health outcomes and limits opportunity for individuals to make meaningful contributions to their community. This leads to greater costs for the health care system. For this reason, ONF has placed particular focus on its knowledge mobilization and implementation efforts to improve care and outcomes for persons with neurotrauma and prevent injuries from occurring in the first place.

Through clinical practice guidelines, standards of care, toolkits and platforms dedicated to knowledge exchange, ONF has established itself as a knowledge-broker in the neurotrauma field. ONF is leading the charge to develop and support implementation of evidence-informed health practises as quickly and effectively as possible to improve the lives of those with SCI or ABI and prevent neurotrauma injuries.

Creating a new framework

ONF has created an integrated Research, Knowledge Mobilization and Implementation Framework to guide its activities. Knowledge mobilization and Implementation are not activities or discussions that start at the end of a research or change project. In order to be effective, they must be deliberately integrated from the very beginning of any activity.

Integration of new practice is put into action through a process that includes engagement of stakeholders, partners and policy-makers to address potential barriers to the adoption of new practices and guidelines.  This process focuses on the use of implementation science, planning for sustainability and monitoring adoption of new practices and outcomes.

Implementing knowledge to support sustainable practice and policy

ONF has invested significant resources, time and energy working with researchers, people living with SCI and ABI, practitioners and service delivery organizations to identify gaps in the understanding of acquired brain, spinal cord injuries, and neurotrauma prevention. Without effort and science devoted to implementing high quality research, the value of the initial investment in knowledge generation and mobilization is often lost. Therefore, ONF considers implementation to be an important part of the process.

ONF is uniquely positioned to establish relationships between the researchers, program developers, policy makers, as well as those at the front line of care and program delivery. These ONF-driven collaborations lead to sustainable practice improvements that can be widely implemented. When successful, this process leads to improved outcomes for the individual, their family and the health care system.

Through these efforts, ONF is able to identify gaps in service, support the improvement of programs and practices, and prevent neurotrauma injuries across Ontario.

NeuroMatters Newsletter

NeuroMatters is the source for news and information about research and best practices in injury prevention, care and treatment of spinal cord injury, acquired brain injury.

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