Translating research findings of chronic kidney disease management to clinical practice: Challenges and opportunities
Stevens, L.A.; Levin, A.
Advances in Renal Replacement Therapy 11(1): 66-75
Chronic Kidney disease (CKD) has been identified as a public health epidemic, fueled in part by improved outcomes of both diabetic and cardiac patient populations, as well as by the increasing recognition that it is possible to identify CKD at earlier stages. The estimated 8 to 10 million Americans that have CKD, with its concomitant morbidity and mortality, have the potential to overwhelm the current system of specialty practice medicine and health care resources. How can clinicians, clinician scientists, and health care administrators translate research findings into clinical practice in an effective manner to improve the care of this burgeoning patient group? The challenge of translating research into clinical care requires identification of that which we do and do not know, communication of knowledge between those who do and do not know, and efficient collection of information for systematic evaluation. This article will describe the challenges of translating current research findings into clinical practice. There is a need to identify the complexity of CKD disease processes and issues associated with delivery of care and to describe the difficulties in the dissemination of new knowledge to physicians. Because of the propensity of CKD to affect identifiable groups of patients, we will discuss the potential challenges of these strategies given the racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity in North America. A potential solution to these challenges is a new paradigm of "process-based medicine" that integrates clinical and basic science research findings with multidisciplinary and shared care models of health care delivery. In this context, attention to advances in information technology, the cognitive processes that underlie physician learning, and the findings of outcome research may ensure true integration of clinical research and clinical practice.