Emergency Medicine Research

The faculty of the Division of Emergency Medicine at Boston Children's Hospital conducts research studies in a wide variety of areas.  Groundbreaking clinical and laboratory research has focused on the approach to treatment of children suffering from concussion, appendicitis, and infectious diseases such as pneumonia and meningitis.  Additionally, the division harbors experts in the areas of quality improvement science, diagnostic imaging, medical education and simulation.  Several faculty members have advanced degrees in epidemiology, public health, and education, and several have received funding to support their research.  Faculty members have published their work in prestigious general and pediatric medical journals, and many serve on editorial boards for such journals and have ranking positions in national pediatric societies.

Featured Research Findings

Effect of Randomized Clinical Trial Findings on Emergency Management

Research findings are only useful if they are subsequently adopted in our clinical practice—a process known as knowledge translation.  However, there is frequently a gap between our clinical practice and best evidence, even for high-quality randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published in high-impact journals. In addition, there are indications that clinicians are more likely to adopt interventions shown to work well as opposed to reduce practices shown to be ineffective.

Dr. Hudgins and colleagues measured the translation of results from RCTs into clinical care in the emergency department (ED) setting and assessed whether the nature of the results of a study impacted its uptake.  They extracted data from 21 RCTs performed in EDs and published in high-impact journals from 1992-2010. Subsequent changes in clinical practice were measured using the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS).  They found that 90% of studies with positive findings were associated with increased ED use of the intervention, while only 38% of studies with negative findings led to decreases in ED use of the intervention.  Their findings indicate that direction of research evidence is an important factor when evaluating knowledge translation in the ED.  The results were published in Academic Emergency Medicine in 2015.