Clinical academics advance practice and improve care through research. They also:
- contribute to new knowledge about care and treatments to improve patient outcomes
- have the skill sets to take ideas and provide evidence to support or refute them to a wider audience
- design appropriate studies, build multi-disciplinary research teams, secure research funding, deliver the studies and communicate their results
Communicating the results of their research involves publishing them in journals. This allows the evidence to be picked up and used by healthcare systems around the world. By this route, the skills of clinical academics not only improve care in their local setting but allow the improvement of care nationally and internationally as well.
Having clinical academics in a department allows their skills and experience to be accessed by others in the department. Through encouraging and giving opportunities to others they build the department’s capacity to support research. This fosters a culture of improvement in departments and facilitates the adoption of innovation.
At an organisational level, the presence of clinical academics and their research makes departments exciting places to work which helps with staff recruitment and retention. Their engagement with cutting edge thinking and practice development allows departments to be early adopters of proven improvements.
There is a growing body of evidence that greater research activity in healthcare provider organisations correlates with better health outcomes from those providers.