Driving Excellence through Clinical Research – How Knowledge Maps helped the Institute of Mental Health
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Health and also in Care and Support, Communities, Housing, Local Government
Based in Nottingham, The Institute of Mental Health (IMH) was formed in 2006 out of the partnership between Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and the University of Nottingham. The expertise of these two highly respected organisations has allowed the Institute to establish an impressive track record in the fields of cutting edge education provision and innovative research. This forms the basis of the Institute’s mission and its primary focus: to improve the care and treatment of those who use its services.
Dr John Milton, Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist, has been closely associated with the IMH for three years. With the sponsorship of IMH Director, Professor Nick Manning, and working closely with Jonathan Cross, PR and Communications Lead, Dr Milton and his project team have recently developed an auxiliary project, the Mental Health Clinicians website, in which they have implemented a research ‘Knowledge Map’ from specialist providers, First Adapt. The Knowledge Map has been designed specifically for use by clinicians involved in, or wanting to be involved in, research projects.
Dr Milton explains, “Our main issue was not a lack of information but more how to streamline that information and make it easily available to those who need it. Ensuring that clinicians have the most up to date information on what research projects are currently underway, as well as those where funding and resources have yet to be established forms a crucial part of research and academic networking”.
The Mental Health Clinicians (MHC) website is an open access one-stop-shop facility: an important factor in ensuring it is available not only to all staff who are its first audience, but also to the wider clinical research world. Common to all users is the desire for the very best treatments and outcomes and this can be significantly increased through access to better evidence.
There were a number of factors, which drew the MHC team to use Knowledge Maps. “Firstly, they are easy to implement which means minimal time is spent on implementation. The Maps are extremely visual and from a user perspective, easy to navigate. Using a flow chart process, we worked on a series of questions and answers which users would then be able to intuitively follow”, says Dr Milton. “Another relevant factor is that users can also access the Maps via tablets and smart phones. This ties in so much more with current working practices”, continued Dr Milton.
All in all, Knowledge Maps have proved an extremely successful, as well as cost effective, vehicle for the MHC’s requirements to provide research project information to those who need it. With minimal training requirements, it is the benefits to the end users, which remain paramount.
Dr Milton was happy to acknowledge a positive experience of working with First Adapt during the implementation process. “We do find that dealing with smaller organisations can have its advantages. The decision-making process is quicker, staff are more readily available and it’s helpful being able to deal with the same people for the duration of a project”.
The MHC team is also happy to recommend Knowledge Maps to other organisations and to talk about its experiences to those who perhaps are facing similar challenges.
To find out more about Knowledge Maps, you can contact First Adapt on:
t: 0844 414206