The importance of Research
Why do we do it?
We do it because understanding what works and what doesn’t work is crucial to effective change. And to have a sustainable NHS, we need it to work! How does an organisation evolve and improve without researching into the challenges it faces? Once we understand what patients want and need, and the best ways to deliver these, we can share the findings far and wide and make as big an impact as possible.
Patients. Staff. You. Me. Research is critical in healthcare. Not only in the development of drugs or equipment, which may be the first things that come to mind when you hear the word ‘research’. But also the development of appropriate methods of care for patients based on their behaviours. How do people want to be communicated to? What do they expect from their healthcare providers?
Patients benefit from research when we convert our findings into implementation of improved service. Staff benefit when we change the way we behave as an employer to improve their job health. Everyone wins as long as we keep striving to find the best ways to improve the NHS.
WHO IS DOING THE RESEARCH?
We are. Everyone in Hiyos practice does research.
Creating an investigative environment
We are always looking to improve the way we provide services – of course for our patients, but also so that our staff are happier and fulfilled. So, from handing out friends and family tests to patients, listening to patients who want to talk to us about their recent experience with us, to formal evaluations of projects we’re working on, all of our staff are involved in researching into how to make things better.
We’re lucky enough to have the opportunity to work with research partners who are top of their fields and provide us with the expertise we need to be able to evaluate the impact of our work.
Imperial College Health Partners (ICHP)
We have worked with ICHP on two projects – Hiyos Helpers and Hiyos Live. See below for more details on those projects and the research elements of them.
Imperial College London – Self-Care Academic Research Unit (SCARU)
We are partnering with Imperial SCARU to evaluate the impact of our Hiyos Live webinars. Indeed we were nominated at the RCGP Awards for an Improving Health Inequalities award for our work with SCARU. Read more below
WHAT ARE WE RESEARCHING?
Hiyos Helpers – how does a volunteering programme help patients and staff?
You may have read about our Hiyos Helpers programme already. If not you can read about it here…
It is a volunteering programme we set up during the Covid pandemic. Imperial College Health Partners helped us evaluate it formally. Take a look at their report of the programme.
Hiyos Live – the impact proactive webinars have on health
Hiyos Live Channel is our digital channel that produces weekly content for the purpose of increasing health and wellbeing awareness among general population. Read more about the types of events it runs and what’s upcoming. The channel focus is to address health inequalities among the population. The health inequalities focused on are based on the broad areas of environment, education and employment raised in Professor Marmot’s report. We know health inequalities exist, and we know they impact population health. But can the health service, in particular primary care, combat them by revolutionising the way they provide proactive care?
We think it can, and that’s what we are ever striving to prove!
The research and evaluation that we’re doing with Imperial SCARU aims to assess the impact of Hiyos Live’s content on individual health and wellbeing outcomes – how are digital inclusion interventions are addressing inequalities and leading to improvements in health and wellbeing among the general population?
The content and activities we provide through the Hiyos Live project include social media content with short informative videos, bogs, podcasts; and live webinars. We also offer webinars and face to face (F2F) events and workshops with socialisation opportunities.
HOW ARE WE DOING IT?
Talking to staff
Talking to patients
The bottom line is to talk to people. Keep the lines of communication open. We’re talking to patients, and talking to our staff.
How do we research?
Over the past few years we’ve done many surveys online, and each time we’ve managed to get over 2000 responses within just a few days. People really do want to help with research and we love that. Here are some summaries of recent surveys:
Read more about our learning from surveys…
We can also collect the data we have available to us through social media, through attendances at Hiyos Live webinars, through visitors to this website!
There is so much information out there to help us understand where we are making an impact and how big that impact is. We use data especially in relation to our Hiyos Live channel – take a look below at the types of metrics and methods we use to build a picture.
Personal & Demographics Data
Online webinars and Face to Face Events can be used to collect personal and demographic data. The data will be further divide the audience into sub-categories or segments. This will allow us to measure and compare the intervention impact across different sub-segments and identify. By personal data we don’t mean data that can be used to identify people, or data which is not given freely. But data about where people live and how old people are gives us a great start to understand which of our services are most helpful to people.
Channel Engagement Data
Channel engagement can be measured via Social Media Metrics as well as though Channel Engagement Surveys to be conducted during Webinars and Face to Face Events. The surveys aim to establish the extent to which webinar and event participants have been engaging with Hiyos channel.
Social Media Engagement
Social Media Metrics can be used to track the overall engagement among the general population with Hiyos Channel. The metrics that can be evaluated on the Social Media Level are the following: (1) Fan Growth, (2) Post Engagements, and (3) Video Views.
The Time of Post can also be tracked and compared with the engagement metrics in order to establish the best time to share content. Post Engagements can be tracked in order to measure the quality of the posts.
Our partners, ICHP and Imperial SCARU, are helping us produce formal evaluations of these projects. Together the aim is to publish the results of our findings through papers, and ultimately help spread the word about the proactive measures primary are can take to reduce health inequalities and improve population health generally!
ICHP Hiyos Live Interim report