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Knowledge translation: What is it, how will it help?

The Military Health System Research Symposium is Defense Department's premier scientific meeting. The Military Health System Research Symposium is Defense Department's premier scientific meeting.

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Researchers gather at the annual Military Health System Research Symposium (MHSRS) to share new discoveries from military-unique research. This event is the only meeting that focuses on the specific medical needs of the warfighter. One topic of discussion at this year’s symposium is knowledge translation.

On average, it takes over a decade before medical research is accepted and put into clinical practice at hospitals or clinics – too long a wait for those who need treatment. Knowledge translation can help speed that up. It’s basically a process to take medical research findings and put them into evidenced-based treatments in a more timely and useful way. A successful process is one that is standardized and adaptable.

Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) and Defense Health Agency are working together with other agencies to standardize knowledge translation processes for the Military Health System (MHS). The overall goal is to ensure service members and veterans continue to have access to the latest and best treatments available.

Before DCoE staff brought a model to MHS leaders, they extensively researched scientific best practices across the knowledge translation field. Then, they developed a process and tested it. The process they designed specifically for MHS consists of five steps:

  1. Needs and Gaps Assessment: What are the gaps in care that we need to bridge?
  2. Strategic Analysis: What are the possible solutions?
  3. Solution Material Development: What materials do we need to implement the solution?
  4. Dissemination: How can we foster support for this solution?
  5. Implementation: How do we integrate the solution to everyday practice?

To learn more about the DCoE knowledge translation model, download an overview fact sheet today.

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