Using Emerging Technologies to Implement a Multisite Research Collaborative: A Methods Study

Friday, 16 July 2010: 9:10 AM

Kathie Lasater, EdD, RN, ANEF1
Elizabeth Johnson, MSN, PhD2
Kay E. Hodson Carlton, EdD, RN, FAAN2
Linda Siktberg, PhD, RN3
Stephanie Sideras, RN, MSN4
1School of Nursing, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
2School of Nursing, Ball State University, Muncie, IN
3Nursing, Ball State University, Muncie, IN
4School of Nursing, Oregon Health Science University, Ashland, OR

Learning Objective 1: Identify useful strategies for collaborating with other nursing programs in the exploration of commonly shared research questions.

Learning Objective 2: Describe emerging technologies helpful in maximizing scarce research funding and implementing multisite research projects.

Background: Two US prelicensure nursing education programs, one in Indiana and one in Oregon, originally collaborated to design a multisite study, examining the effect of a nursing case scenario on students’clinical judgment in high fidelity simulation. Logistically, it is challenging for one or even two programs to gather enough data to make evidence-based assertions about the efficacy of simulation, but multiple sites, especially with the inclusion of international sites, can prove challenging for adherence to study protocols.
Purpose: To design a method for implementing a quasi-experimental study involving multiple prelicensure nursing programs, including four diverse programs in the US and one in the UK.
Methods: A digital toolkit was developed that included a project website, a Wiki with digital images to standardize the fidelity of the simulation, pod/vodcasts, a multimedia exemplar of the scenario, and supporting materials organized with digital document organization software. Regular telephone conferencing, emails, and a few face-to-face visits supplemented the digital assets.
Results: The five international sites successfully implemented the same quasi-experimental study protocol in a planned, organized way to (1) represent a diversity of nursing programs, (2) involve 250-275 study participants in order to identify some generalizable findings while (3) learning how to collaborate with other nursing programs.
Conclusion: Scarce resources require that researchers use emerging technologies in order to implement large studies in both national and international sites. This study demonstrates that such studies, spanning 5,000 miles, can be done with careful, intentional planning and the use of technology.