Asking Clients at a Community Health Center About Their Occupational Exposures: A Knowledge Transfer Feasibility Case Study

Kushner R, Kramer DM, Holness DL. SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2. 2018.

This case study describes a pilot study that explored the feasibility of health care providers collecting information on their clients’ work and workplace hazards within a group primary care setting. The pilot was guided by an Organizational Knowledge Transfer and Utilization Conceptual Framework. A knowledge broker and an internal champion facilitated the process of piloting a work exposure survey with a health clinic. This case study focuses on the lessons we learned in the implementation of the pilot. This includes changes in how we conceived the project from when we wrote the grant to implementation and how these changes transformed what we planned to do in subsequent clinics. Practical lessons included the necessity of gaining buy-in from providers from the outset of the project, the importance of choosing a person regarded as credible by the health care providers to communicate the study, the importance of choosing effective champions, and the unforeseen barriers and challenges that could affect the success of the project. In addition, we learned how opportunities can later transform into obstacles if they start to undermine the overarching goal of the project, how the research process itself can be perceived as a barrier, and how frequent engagement does not necessarily result in quality engagement. From the providers’ perspective, what emerged was the importance of technical assistance and the need for a simple survey tool. Many suggestions emerged for the future roll-out of the project.