When people first arrive at The Ottawa Hospital, research is often the last thing on their minds. Yet research gives every patient the power to improve health around the world.
"People often don't realize that taking part in research can be as simple as filling out a survey, or donating a blood sample," said Tammy Beaudoin, Clinical Research Facilitator.
That's why a new campaign called "Ask me about our research" aims to make research at The Ottawa Hospital even more visible and accessible for patients.
The Ottawa Hospital is one of the top research hospitals in Canada, and patients are a key part of the team. Without their help, researchers would not be able to come up with new treatments or learn more about diseases and conditions.
"Taking part in research is an act of generosity and compassion," said Beaudoin. "Every patient has the potential to improve our knowledge and how we care for future generations."
On average, more than 11,000 patients take part in research at The Ottawa Hospital every year. Some try new treatments, while others do interviews or let researchers study their health over time. Other patients ask hard questions and inspire new studies.
Triathlete Mark Hartley, who took part in a study that tested drugs used to prevent infections after kidney transplant, received a kidney transplant from his mother, Ruth (left).
|Look for the trained research ambassadors wearing yellow “Ask me about our research” buttons. The ambassadors can answer questions from patients and point them in the right direction. Patients can also ask their doctors and nurses about research.|
As part of the Ask Me campaign, research ambassadors wearing yellow buttons are trained to answer questions from patients and point them in the right direction. Patients can also ask their doctors and nurses if there are any studies they can help with. There isn't always a study that fits their situation, but it never hurts to ask.
Patients take part in research for different reasons. Some hope to learn more about their own health, or help patients facing similar situations. That was the case of triathlete Mark Hartley, who took part in a study that tested drugs used to prevent infections after kidney transplant.
"I wanted to participate in the study because I knew I would get closer monitoring, and I also liked the idea of helping to improve care for future transplant patients," he said.
"It may not seem like a big deal to say 'yes' when a registration clerk asks if you will agree to be contacted about possible research studies, but it means the world to our researchers," said Beaudoin. "Patients often find it empowering to be a part of research that improves care for others."