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NHS clinical commissioner looking at research evidence

How commissioners use research evidence

Researchers want their work to be used and useful, but may not always understand the context in which decisions are made. Most health and care organisations aim to base decisions on the best available evidence, but accessing and interpreting the right evidence at the right time is hard. Researchers need to do what they can to make their research as useful as possible to those making decisions under pressure. 

The NIHR has funded six particular studies in the past five years on the use of evidence by commissioners. Some of this research may also be relevant to service managers in hospital trusts and other care providers and systems.

This highlight includes studies into the behaviour of individual managers and the way in which commissioning organisations make sense of and use research information when making decisions. The findings provide some practical pointers for researchers to make their work more accessible and relevant to commissioners and managers.

Published: March 2018

Researchers and nurse looking at research

Evidence at a glance

The findings boiled down, alongside practical questions to consider.

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Hospital manager

What evidence do individual managers use?

Traditional ways in which researchers share findings are not likely to work for decision-makers in health and care.

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Manager talking to nurse

How do organisations use evidence?

Why are some organisations are better than others at using evidence and what support do they need to do this well?

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Hospital data

About the research

Find out more about the studies in this area and how their findings fit with current guidance. 

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