Researcher Profile: Dr. Andrea Bishop

Dr. Andrea Bishop
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Nova Scotia 

As part of her postdoctoral fellowship funded by the MSSU, Dr. Bishop is studying communication between healthcare providers and the parents of pediatric patients who present to emergency departments. Dr. Bishop is working with principal investigator Dr. Janet Curran (Clinician Scientist, IWK Emergency Medicine and Associate Professor, School of Nursing Dalhousie University) on her program of research, Strengthening Transitions in Pediatric Care. It aims to improve transitions in care for patients and their families.

Transitions in care happen every time a child moves from one healthcare provider or healthcare setting to another or when their health condition changes. Poorly managed transitions can result in higher hospital re-admission rates, adverse events, duplication of services, and higher costs. Dr. Bishop’s work involves real-time video observations of parents interacting with clinicians (e.g., nurses, physicians, lab techs, learners) at the IWK emergency department. She assesses what types of communication successfully allow parents to care for their children confidently at home. Parents are followed up with three days after they have left the hospital and asked to describe what they remember about their visit.

The point, Dr. Bishop explains, is to improve patient care in the home or community. “It’s really important they [parents] have confidence and knowledge to care for their children at home,” Dr. Bishop says. Patient advisors help Bishop and Curran’s team determine what the research questions look like. “It can’t just be interesting to me,” Dr. Bishop says. “It must be important to parents.”

Dr. Bishop finds the work exciting because she knows the findings will affect practice. The study was designed so that its outcomes can result in changes that will be embedded into the existing policy structure. “By taking this approach we’re not trying to fit square pegs into round holes,” Dr. Bishop says. As part of this work, Dr. Bishop is also exploring ways to improve communication and information exchange between emergency and primary care providers using innovative practice changes.

Most weekends, Dr. Bishop can be found working on her Hydrostone townhouse with her husband Matt, who is an architect. Dr. Bishop recently celebrated 10 years living in Halifax and enjoys nothing more than “getting lost” to explore all of the hidden gems and hiking spots that Nova Scotia has to offer.