The term “health and care research” is used widely in clinical practice. This research uses systematic inquiry that seeks to describe, explain, predict, and control a particular situation. Research is designed and conducted to generate new generalisable knowledge. Good research is:
- Relevant – answers questions that are important to the health and care of the public
- High quality – uses the correct methods, ethical practices and standards
- Safe – it places the safety of individuals first
In your practice you may have undertaken or been part of service evaluations, quality improvement (QI) and audits. While they should be carried out using a a systematic approach, their methodologies and purpose differ.
Service evaluations are designed to answer the question “What standard does this service achieve?”
Clinical audit is a way to find out whether the quality of a service meets a defined standard.
The Health Research Authority has designed a useful decision tool to help you understand Is my Study research?
The document “Defining Research” is also useful.
The Chief Nursing Officer for England published the Nursing and Midwifery Research Strategy Making Research Matter in November 2021. You can read it here