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

How do we learn about improving health care: a call for a new epistemological paradigm

"How do we learn about improving health care: a call for a new epistemological paradigm" is a new publication co-authored by MacColl's Director Michael Parchman, MD and our colleague Rashad Massoud, MD, MPH, FACP, Director of the USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems Project and its predecessor, the USAID Health Care Improvement Project. 

Diffusion, Dissemination, and Implementation: What is the Difference?

In this archived video, MacColl Director Michael Parchman discusses implementation science and its place in the translational research spectrum.  Recorded October 9, 2015 for the National Institutes of Health Collaboratory Grand Rounds series.

Implementing Innovations into Practice Blog

The Implementing Innovations Into Practice blog is a resource for primary care practices in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana.  Featuring posts that showcase proven strategies for improving care and financial performance in primary care, it also offers opportunities to engage with other primary care professionals and to work with researchers on obtaining funding for improvement efforts.  Sponsored by the Institute of Translational Health Sciences at the University of Washington.

Primary Care Evidence Review Toolkit

The purpose of the Primary Care Evidence Review Toolkit is to share our methods for evidence screening, drawing on implementation science theory and methods. We also include links to several additional resources that can be used as companion materials to our tools by other evidence review and translation efforts.

Implementation Science video

This May 2015 talk given by MacColl Center Director Michael Parchman Md, MPH at the Institute for Translational Health Sciences (ITHS) discusses why implementation science is important, outlines common theories and frameworks, and provides examples of current work being done in the field.

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