How can health care systems apply new evidence?

New research on how to optimize patient care and clinical operations comes out every day.  But often this research isn't practical for busy, burdened health care systems.  They need research findings that are relevant to their patients, and that come with tools to help apply findings to everyday patient care.

Implementation science is the answer

Implementation science is relatively unexplored territory:  the actual application of new knowledge to deliver high-quality, evidence-based care.  Doing this requires scholarly inquiry matched with willing health delivery system partners, so that the knowledge of each can inform the other.  If we want more research to find its way into practice, more practice-based research is needed.

How we are advancing the field of implementation science

We develop novel and pragmatic implementation solutions by creating opportunities with our partners to observe, synthesize and connect diverse viewpoints and approaches from previously unconnected people and groups.  New knowledge is generated from these partnerships that advances our understanding of implementation in ways that are both practical and cutting edge.  Among our earliest implementation science tools were the Chronic Care Model resources created for our learning collaboratives in 1990s and early 2000s:  these materials have been used worldwide.  More recently, our Safety Net Medical Home Initiative generated multiple practical guides for patient-centered medical home transformation.

Related Resources

A methodology for generating a tailored implementation blueprint: an exemplar from a youth residential setting

"A methodology for generating a tailored implementation blueprint: an exemplar from a youth residential setting", authored by Cara Lewis, et al, offers a relatively low burden collaborative approach to generating a plan for implementation that leverages advances in implementation science including measurement, models, strategy compilations, and methods from other fields.

From Classification to Causality: Advancing Understanding of Mechanisms of Change in Implementation Science

The science of implementation has offered little toward understanding how different implementation strategies work. To improve outcomes of implementation efforts, the field needs precise, testable theories that describe the causal pathways through which implementation strategies function.

Implementing measurement based care in community mental health: a description of tailored and standardized methods.

How can community mental health centers better integrate evidence-based care for their patients who are experiencing depression?  This new publication, by Cara Lewis, PhD, and Elena Navarro, et al, explores two different methods used in a dynamic cluster randomized trial that sought to implement measurement based care (MBC) for depression in a community behavioral health setting.

Optimizing Psychological Science’s Impact on Public Health

Like any new field, dissemination and implementation faces particular challenges that need to be tackled.

Toward criteria for pragmatic measurement in implementation research and practice: a stakeholder-driven approach using concept mapping

Knowing how well you’re doing is the cornerstone of quality improvement (QI.)  Getting that information about health care providers and staff depends on having the right tools.  Co-authored by Cara Lewis, this publication provides guidance on what to consider when developing health care QI measures.  Created with input given by international behavioral health agency stak

The creation and validation of the Measure of Effective Attributes of Trainers (MEAT).

The Measure of Effective Attributes of Trainers (MEAT) is a study that created a measure of trainer characteristics and assessed preliminary evidence for its reliability and validity by following gold standard measure development procedures.

Citation:  Implement Sci. 2017 Jun 2;12(1):73. doi: 10.1186/s13012-017-0603-y. The creation and validation of the Measure of Effective Attributes of Trainers (MEAT). Boyd MR, Lewis CC, Scott K, Krendl A, Lyon AR.

Study protocol for “Healthy Hearts Northwest”: a 2 × 2 randomized factorial trial to build quality improvement capacity in primary care

This Implementation Science paper describes the protocol of our Healthy Hearts Northwest, a randomized trial designed to address the comparative effectiveness of combined strategies to build quality improvement (QI) capacity while improving risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

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