Knowledge, Translated

Published on April 28, 2014
A Letter From the Publisher

Earlier this year, a group of investigators in the United States shared with the world the findings of the Protocolized Care for Early Septic Shock (ProCESS) Trial. This multi-center trial, funded by the NIH and coordinated by the University of Pittsburgh, confirmed two things. First, that more care isn’t always better care. According to ProCESS, saving lives in sepsis management is more about early detection, early fluids and early antimicrobials than it is about invasive, expensive monitoring. Second, ProCESS proved that the knowledge translation window in medical education is shrinking, and quickly.

Within hours of the ProCESS Trial findings being released, Twitter was tweeting and the blogosphere was blowing up. From every corner of the world, emergency physicians joined the conversation, and waged intelligent debate about the role of early detection and complex algorithms in the care of sepsis patients. There were no barriers to entry, only an open invitation to read the literature and discuss.

It wasn’t long ago that new research findings took years to make their way into medical practice. While there is still a lag, digital technology and social media are shrinking that “KT” timetable every day. Just a month after the publication of the findings, we asked our readers whether the ProCESS Trial would change sepsis management at their emergency departments. Twenty-seven percent said yes, and the rest responded that they already used the proper protocols. Every respondent save one – representing 19 countries – had heard of the ProCESS Trial and understood its impact on sepsis management.

In the end, however, the best knowledge translation still takes place face to face. If you are reading this edition of EPI in print, you are likely attending one of two emergency medicine conferences in the United Arab Emirates. Thanks to the recent formation of the Emirate Society of Emergency Medicine (ESEM), the UAE has become one of the newest voices in the global emergency medicine conversation. Now, in the UAE, there is a place where newly minted emergency physicians can discuss best practices face to face. In this ever-expanding, ever-quickening global dialogue, the voices from the UAE are joined by new emergency physicians in Sudan, Iraq and Papua New Guinea. As training programs and conferences are birthed in these locales, we’ll see the kind of knowledge translation that lasts, the kind built on high quality education and the trust of one’s medical community.

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