... UHWI research focus widens
WHEN THE University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) was opened in 1953, much focus was placed on things like tropical metabolic diseases, sickle cell and nutritional diseases to respond to the health problems of the countries across the region.
Dr Carl Bruce, the UHWI medical chief of staff, said while that focus remains, other interests have been added.
“We’re trying to get to more intervention research, minimal access research and those types of diagnostic research. It’s changed because the demographics have changed, but we’ve also seen a reemergence of infectious disease such as Zika and chikungunya, so, again, we have to be dynamic and we have to be flexible in reporting those cases.”
UHWI Chairman James Moss-Solomon emphasised that the hospital has been active in conducting clinical trials, which, basically, are tests done on how drugs or devices work.
Bruce explained that the UHWI participates in the so-called multicentre trials that involve thousands of patients from many countries and medical centres across the globe. “Those are trials that we want to continue to participate in.” He added: “There are also local questions that we have to answer and that will give us data as to what’s happening in our regional, local circumstances. Those don’t necessarily attract international funding, but we still need to continue to do them.”
Meanwhile, matron at the UHWI, Claudett James, noted that the hospital has been using more research data to guide how nurses work. She said findings have influenced practice guidelines relating to the reduction of falls in elderly patients, management of pressure ulcers, person and family-centred care and professionalism.