A systematic review published in Australian Health Review sheds light what impact investments that contribute to a research culture have on organisational performance of health services. Do research activities distract from clinical care, reducing efficiency and productivity? Or conversely, do they have benefits for health service organisations? For example, can a strong research culture lead to a more stimulating workplace that attracts and retains quality staff and encourages the uptake of evidence based practice, with flow on benefits for improved service delivery?
The results provide evidence that a positive research culture and interventions directed at the health workforce are associated with patient, staff and organisational benefits. However, questions remain about the nature of this association, and more evidence is needed to help managers and policy makers to determine the return on investment in activities that contribute to a research culture.