Interview with the Author: Michael McCaul on South African prehospital guidelines

Interview with the Author: Michael McCaul on South African prehospital guidelines

150 150 Craig Wylie

Series: “Interview with the Author…”

Link to open access article: Click here

Corresponding author email:

Previous linked author interview:

Author’s twitter handle: @MikeMcCaul3

Co-authors: @Research_ambit and @CEBHC

Youtube: Strengthening South African prehospital guideline uptake

Published in: @Plos Volume 14 Issue 14

The badEM crew interviewed Michael McCaul regarding his newly released article in PLoS ONE Volume 14 Issue 7 entitled: “Prehospital providers’ perspectives for clinical practice guideline implementation and dissemination: Strengthening guideline uptake in South Africa.” by Michael McCaul, Lynn Hendricks, Raveen Naidoo. 


1. Tell us about yourself and how you got involved in this research?

In 2016, I was involved as a methodologist in the development of the South African AFEM Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG) for the Health Professions Council of South Africa. Following that project, we knew that getting the guideline into practice would be a challenge and we as a profession need to acknowledge and address some challenges if these guidelines are to work in practice. Finding solutions to the challenges needed to start with a solid understanding of what the problem is and so we did some research across South Africa to find out. We asked paramedics what they expected to see from the guidelines, to let us know what they expected to be particularly challenging in using them and, importantly, to give us their ideas on how best to implement them.

2. What were the findings?

We received valuable input that will help decision makers disseminate and implement these new emergency care guidelines. Key solutions focused around communication, technology, autonomy and education; highlighting the need for clear and consistent communication from stakeholders, the creation of inclusive career pathways and an end-user document that helps the transition process.

We will act on these findings and our main message to you is that this guideline, based on the best available evidence, is now available for South Africa. Successful uptake will require an understanding of the contextual issues and solutions of the end-users of the guideline. The need for clear communication between stakeholders and a clear implementation plan that is contextually appropriate is recognised and will be developed in order to strengthen guideline uptake.

In order to make sure that our findings are used by the right people, we involved decision makers at the start and throughout the project. These included people from the national department of health and support from the professional board of emergency care. We shared our findings with them, and are now working together to inform conversations among decision makers around getting the evidence into policy and practice, to achieve our ultimate goal of benefit for our patients.

If you want more detail on what we did, then read our open access publication in AFJEM, follow us on Twitter, or check out this useful research summary and infogram.

Check out the full-text open access article:  Click here