#11 Sharing evidence, experiences and expertise - the value of networking to improve emergency care for kids in Canada
Translating Emergency Knowledge for Kids (TREKK) is a national knowledge mobilization network of clinicians, researchers and health consumers aimed at improving the quality of emergency care for children by increasing collaborations and knowledge sharing between general and pediatric emergency departments (EDs). The objectives of this study were to determine patterns of knowledge sharing within the network, to identify connections, barriers and opportunities to obtaining pediatric information and training, and to identify local champions.
Semi-structured interviews (n=22) were conducted with healthcare professionals working in general EDs, purposefully sampled to represent previously connected and disconnected sites as identified through 2 previous quantitative social network analyses (SNA). Data were analyzed by 2 independent reviewers using directed content analysis.
Participants included physicians (59%) and nurses (41%) from 18 general EDs in urban (68%) and rural/remote (32%) Canada. Healthcare professionals sought information both formally and informally, by using guidelines, talking to colleagues, and attending pediatric related training sessions. Network structure and processes were found to increase connections, support practice change, and promote standards of care. Participants identified personal, organizational and system level barriers to information and skill acquisition, including lack of resources and personal costs, geography, dissemination, and time. Providing easy access to information at the point of care was promoted through enhancing content visibility and by embedding resources into local systems. There remains a need to share successful methods of local dissemination and implementation across the network, and to leverage local professional champions such as clinical nurse liaisons.
These findings reinforce the critical role of ongoing network evaluation to improve the design and delivery of knowledge mobilization initiatives. Our results support an ongoing need to reduce discomfort managing acutely ill or injured children in the community setting and support the utility of networks to improve healthcare quality for children in non-pediatric centres.