Clinical research in the ED is important to providing supporting evidence for the development of practice guidelines and is vital to enhancing patient outcomes. A recent study was conducted to describe barriers and lessons learned in launching a multi-site clinical research study of symptoms of acute coronary syndromes in the ED. The study involved both ED and research staff in four busy EDs in three states.

According to the analysis, barriers to clinical research in the ED included lack of staff engagement in research, difficulty identifying eligible patients, a perception of interference in clinical care, and variability in research staff education and training. Other barriers included patient refusals, nurses’ perceptions of lack of time, undifferentiated patients, and time-sensitive quality improvement indicators necessitating acceleration in care.

The investigators noted that several strategies are important to overcoming barriers to clinical research in the ED, including:

Identification and support of unit champions in emergency nursing and medicine.

Minor protocol modifications to improve enrollment goals.

Development of specific written expectations, roles, research protocols, and algorithms.

Sharing successes among sites.

Abstract:  Journal of Emergency Nursing, January 2013.