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Research and Evaluation

The creation of the Internet and the development of search engines such as Google and Yahoo have made it seem as though research is simple.

In reality, relying on the Internet may lead to many headaches. Is the information obtained correct, relevant or useful? Are there other avenues you need to explore to get the right information? Most important, how do you assess and evaluate all the information you collect to make sure it’s what you need?

Our experience with both qualitative and quantitative research projects means we can help you with everything from small-scale interview-type studies, literature reviews and survey questionnaires, right up to major evaluations of program initiatives.

AP Associates offers an innovative research support service that will assist your health service staff to undertake an organisational-based research project. We work closely with your staff to develop their skills as they undertake and report the findings of research that will deliver important information to guide improvements within your health service.

Why the need for research?
While there have been tremendous advances made in terms of ensuring patient safety and the quality of care, there are always challenges and problems encountered by clinical staff as they deliver health care. A number of these problems may involve systematic issues and/or human factors that staff may identify but are not able to fully document or understand without further investigation.
This is where a small, well-targeted social research project can be of great assistance. It is our experience that clinical staff, particularly nurses, are often the best placed to identify these issues and to undertake the required research. Indeed, the literature suggests that engaging nurses in research offers the opportunity for them to take ownership of their concerns and to identify effective solutions.
How does it work?
Once there is an in-principle commitment from management and there is sufficient interest from relevant clinical staff, our consultants will lead your staff through the seven major steps of a research project:
  • Identify and scope the problem, including review of existing literature and other relevant documentation.
  • Identify a suitable research methodology and develop a detailed research plan and proposal.
  • Seek formal approval for the research proposal from senior management (and relevant ethics committee if required).
  • Conduct the research and obtain relevant data using surveys, interviews, desktop research etc.
  • Analyse the results (including relevant statistical and thematic analysis).
  • Produce a final report.
  • Produce the main findings in a format suitable for external publication (journal or conference paper).
Importantly, our consultants have a clinical and educational background and extensive social and action-based research experience. We work in a highly consultative manner and will use a range of practical tools to guide your staff as they undertake the research project.
What are the benefits for the health service?
There are a range of benefits from organisational research, including:
  • Identifying practical solutions for organisational problems.
  • Fostering a culture of evidence-based, best practice.
  • Contributing to clinical and general risk management.
  • Developing the skill-base of staff.
  • Increasing the contribution of staff in the workplace.

AP Associates Consulting Services

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