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1.  Rethinking capacity building for knowledge mobilisation: developing multilevel capabilities in healthcare organisations 
Background
Knowledge mobilisation in healthcare organisations is often carried out through relatively short-term projects dependent on limited funding, which raises concerns about the long-term sustainability of implementation and improvement. It is becoming increasingly recognised that the translation of research evidence into practice has to be supported by developing the internal capacity of healthcare organisations to engage with and apply research. This process can be supported by external knowledge mobilisation initiatives represented, for instance, by professional associations, collaborative research partnerships and implementation networks. This conceptual paper uses empirical and theoretical literature on organisational learning and dynamic capabilities to enhance our understanding of intentional capacity building for knowledge mobilisation in healthcare organisations.
Discussion
The discussion is structured around the following three themes: (1) defining and classifying capacity building for knowledge mobilisation; (2) mechanisms of capability development in organisational context; and (3) individual, group and organisational levels of capability development. Capacity building is presented as a practice-based process of developing multiple skills, or capabilities, belonging to different knowledge domains and levels of complexity. It requires an integration of acquisitive learning, through which healthcare organisations acquire knowledge and skills from knowledge mobilisation experts, and experience-based learning, through which healthcare organisations adapt, absorb and modify their knowledge and capabilities through repeated practice. Although the starting point for capability development may be individual-, team- or organisation-centred, facilitation of the transitions between individual, group and organisational levels of learning within healthcare organisations will be needed.
Summary
Any initiative designed to build capacity for knowledge mobilisation should consider the subsequent trajectory of newly developed knowledge and skills within the recipient healthcare organisations. The analysis leads to four principles underpinning a practice-based approach to developing multilevel knowledge mobilisation capabilities: (1) moving from ‘building’ capacity from scratch towards ‘developing’ capacity of healthcare organisations; (2) moving from passive involvement in formal education and training towards active, continuous participation in knowledge mobilisation practices; (3) moving from lower-order, project-specific capabilities towards higher-order, generic capabilities allowing healthcare organisations to adapt to change, absorb new knowledge and innovate; and (4) moving from single-level to multilevel capability development involving transitions between individual, group and organisational learning.
doi:10.1186/s13012-014-0166-0
PMCID: PMC4234886  PMID: 25398428
Capacity building; Capability development; Organisational capabilities; Organisational learning; Knowledge mobilisation; Knowledge translation; Knowledge transfer; Implementation; Service improvement; Facilitation
2.  The Many Meanings of Evidence: Implications for the Translational Science Agenda in Healthcare  
Health systems across the world are concerned with the quality and safety of patient care. This includes investing in research and development to progress advances in the treatment and management of individuals and healthcare organisations. The concept of evidence- based healthcare has gained increasing currency over the last two decades; yet questions persist about the time it takes for new research evidence to find its way into day to day healthcare decision-making. This paper explores the reasons for this apparent gap between research and healthcare practice, management and policy-making. In particular, the paper argues that different meanings attached to the word ‘evidence’ fundamentally influence the way in which the research-practice gap is conceptualised and subsequent strategies that are implemented to increase the uptake of research.
doi:10.15171/ijhpm.2013.34
PMCID: PMC3937893  PMID: 24596862
Knowledge Translation; Evidence-based Healthcare; Research Utilisation
3.  Managing boundaries in primary care service improvement: A developmental approach to communities of practice 
Background
Effective implementation of change in healthcare organisations involves multiple professional and organisational groups and is often impeded by professional and organisational boundaries that present relatively impermeable barriers to sharing knowledge and spreading work practices. Informed by the theory of communities of practice (CoPs), this study explored the effects of intra-organisational and inter-organisational boundaries on the implementation of service improvement within and across primary healthcare settings and on the development of multiprofessional and multi-organisational CoPs during this process.
Methods
The study was conducted within the Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) for Greater Manchester—a collaborative partnership between the University of Manchester and local National Health Service organisations aiming to undertake applied health research and enhance its implementation in clinical practice. It deployed a qualitative embedded case study design, encompassing semistructured interviews, direct observation and documentary analysis, conducted in 2010–2011. The sample included practice doctors, nurses, managers and members of the CLAHRC implementation team.
Findings
The study showed that in spite of epistemic and status differences, professional boundaries between general practitioners, practice nurses and practice managers co-located in the same practice over a relatively long period of time could be successfully bridged, leading to the formation of multiprofessional CoPs. While knowledge circulated relatively easily within these CoPs, barriers to knowledge sharing emerged at the boundary separating them from other groups existing in the same primary care setting. The strongest boundaries, however, lay between individual general practices, with inter-organisational knowledge sharing and collaboration between them remaining unequally developed across different areas due to historical factors, competition and strong organisational identification. Manipulated emergence of multi-organisational CoPs in the context of primary care may thus be problematic.
Conclusions
In cases when manipulated emergence of new CoPs is problematic, boundary issues could be addressed by adopting a developmental perspective on CoPs, which provides an alternative to the analytical and instrumental perspectives previously described in the CoP literature. This perspective implies a pragmatic, situational approach to mapping existing CoPs and their characteristics and potentially modifying them in the process of service improvement through the combination of internal and external facilitation.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-7-97
PMCID: PMC3514317  PMID: 23068016
Communities of practice; Professional boundaries; Organisational boundaries; Primary care; Service improvement; National Health Service; CLAHRC; UK
4.  FIRE (facilitating implementation of research evidence): a study protocol 
Background
Research evidence underpins best practice, but is not always used in healthcare. The Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (PARIHS) framework suggests that the nature of evidence, the context in which it is used, and whether those trying to use evidence are helped (or facilitated) affect the use of evidence. Urinary incontinence has a major effect on quality of life of older people, has a high prevalence, and is a key priority within European health and social care policy. Improving continence care has the potential to improve the quality of life for older people and reduce the costs associated with providing incontinence aids.
Objectives
This study aims to advance understanding about the contribution facilitation can make to implementing research findings into practice via: extending current knowledge of facilitation as a process for translating research evidence into practice; evaluating the feasibility, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness of two different models of facilitation in promoting the uptake of research evidence on continence management; assessing the impact of contextual factors on the processes and outcomes of implementation; and implementing a pro-active knowledge transfer and dissemination strategy to diffuse study findings to a wide policy and practice community.
Setting and sample
Four European countries, each with six long-term nursing care sites (total 24 sites) for people aged 60 years and over with documented urinary incontinence
Methods and design
Pragmatic randomised controlled trial with three arms (standard dissemination and two different programmes of facilitation), with embedded process and economic evaluation. The primary outcome is compliance with the continence recommendations. Secondary outcomes include proportion of residents with incontinence, incidence of incontinence-related dermatitis, urinary tract infections, and quality of life. Outcomes are assessed at baseline, then at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months after the start of the facilitation interventions. Detailed contextual and process data are collected throughout, using interviews with staff, residents and next of kin, observations, assessment of context using the Alberta Context Tool, and documentary evidence. A realistic evaluation framework is used to develop explanatory theory about what works for whom in what circumstances.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN11598502.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-7-25
PMCID: PMC3356232  PMID: 22453077
5.  The NIHR collaboration for leadership in applied health research and care (CLAHRC) for greater manchester: combining empirical, theoretical and experiential evidence to design and evaluate a large-scale implementation strategy 
Background
In response to policy recommendations, nine National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRCs) were established in England in 2008, aiming to create closer working between the health service and higher education and narrow the gap between research and its implementation in practice. The Greater Manchester (GM) CLAHRC is a partnership between the University of Manchester and twenty National Health Service (NHS) trusts, with a five-year mission to improve healthcare and reduce health inequalities for people with cardiovascular conditions. This paper outlines the GM CLAHRC approach to designing and evaluating a large-scale, evidence- and theory-informed, context-sensitive implementation programme.
Discussion
The paper makes a case for embedding evaluation within the design of the implementation strategy. Empirical, theoretical, and experiential evidence relating to implementation science and methods has been synthesised to formulate eight core principles of the GM CLAHRC implementation strategy, recognising the multi-faceted nature of evidence, the complexity of the implementation process, and the corresponding need to apply approaches that are situationally relevant, responsive, flexible, and collaborative. In turn, these core principles inform the selection of four interrelated building blocks upon which the GM CLAHRC approach to implementation is founded. These determine the organizational processes, structures, and roles utilised by specific GM CLAHRC implementation projects, as well as the approach to researching implementation, and comprise: the Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (PARIHS) framework; a modified version of the Model for Improvement; multiprofessional teams with designated roles to lead, facilitate, and support the implementation process; and embedded evaluation and learning.
Summary
Designing and evaluating a large-scale implementation strategy that can cope with and respond to the local complexities of implementing research evidence into practice is itself complex and challenging. We present an argument for adopting an integrative, co-production approach to planning and evaluating the implementation of research into practice, drawing on an eclectic range of evidence sources.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-6-96
PMCID: PMC3170237  PMID: 21861886
6.  Implementing health research through academic and clinical partnerships: a realistic evaluation of the Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) 
Background
The English National Health Service has made a major investment in nine partnerships between higher education institutions and local health services called Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC). They have been funded to increase capacity and capability to produce and implement research through sustained interactions between academics and health services. CLAHRCs provide a natural 'test bed' for exploring questions about research implementation within a partnership model of delivery. This protocol describes an externally funded evaluation that focuses on implementation mechanisms and processes within three CLAHRCs. It seeks to uncover what works, for whom, how, and in what circumstances.
Design and methods
This study is a longitudinal three-phase, multi-method realistic evaluation, which deliberately aims to explore the boundaries around knowledge use in context. The evaluation funder wishes to see it conducted for the process of learning, not for judging performance. The study is underpinned by a conceptual framework that combines the Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services and Knowledge to Action frameworks to reflect the complexities of implementation. Three participating CLARHCS will provide in-depth comparative case studies of research implementation using multiple data collection methods including interviews, observation, documents, and publicly available data to test and refine hypotheses over four rounds of data collection. We will test the wider applicability of emerging findings with a wider community using an interpretative forum.
Discussion
The idea that collaboration between academics and services might lead to more applicable health research that is actually used in practice is theoretically and intuitively appealing; however the evidence for it is limited. Our evaluation is designed to capture the processes and impacts of collaborative approaches for implementing research, and therefore should contribute to the evidence base about an increasingly popular (e.g., Mode two, integrated knowledge transfer, interactive research), but poorly understood approach to knowledge translation. Additionally we hope to develop approaches for evaluating implementation processes and impacts particularly with respect to integrated stakeholder involvement.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-6-74
PMCID: PMC3168414  PMID: 21771329
7.  Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care: lessons from the theory of communities of practice 
Background
The paper combines the analytical and instrumental perspectives on communities of practice (CoPs) to reflect on potential challenges that may arise in the process of interprofessional and inter-organisational joint working within the Collaborations for Leaderships in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRCs)--partnerships between the universities and National Health Service (NHS) Trusts aimed at conducting applied health research and translating its findings into day-to-day clinical practice.
Discussion
The paper discusses seminal theoretical literature on CoPs as well as previous empirical research on the role of these communities in healthcare collaboration, which is organised around the following three themes: knowledge sharing within and across CoPs, CoP formation and manageability, and identity building in CoPs. It argues that the multiprofessional and multi-agency nature of the CLAHRCs operating in the traditionally demarcated organisational landscape of the NHS may present formidable obstacles to knowledge sharing between various professional groupings, formation of a shared 'collaborative' identity, and the development of new communities within the CLAHRCs. To cross multiple boundaries between various professional and organisational communities and hence enable the flow of knowledge, the CLAHRCs will have to create an effective system of 'bridges' involving knowledge brokers, boundary objects, and cross-disciplinary interactions as well as address a number of issues related to professional and organisational identification.
Summary
The CoP approach can complement traditional 'stage-of-change' theories used in the field of implementation research and provide a basis for designing theory-informed interventions and evaluations. It can help to illuminate multiple boundaries that exist between professional and organisational groups within the CLAHRCs and suggest ways of crossing those boundaries to enable knowledge transfer and organisational learning. Achieving the aims of the CLAHRCs and producing a sustainable change in the ways applied health research is conducted and implemented may be influenced by how effectively these organisations can navigate through the multiple CoPs involved and promote the development of new multiprofessional and multi-organisational communities united by shared practice and a shared sense of belonging--an assumption that needs to be explored by further empirical research.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-6-64
PMCID: PMC3130688  PMID: 21699712
8.  Evaluating the successful implementation of evidence into practice using the PARiHS framework: theoretical and practical challenges 
Background
The PARiHS framework (Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services) has proved to be a useful practical and conceptual heuristic for many researchers and practitioners in framing their research or knowledge translation endeavours. However, as a conceptual framework it still remains untested and therefore its contribution to the overall development and testing of theory in the field of implementation science is largely unquantified.
Discussion
This being the case, the paper provides an integrated summary of our conceptual and theoretical thinking so far and introduces a typology (derived from social policy analysis) used to distinguish between the terms conceptual framework, theory and model – important definitional and conceptual issues in trying to refine theoretical and methodological approaches to knowledge translation.
Secondly, the paper describes the next phase of our work, in particular concentrating on the conceptual thinking and mapping that has led to the generation of the hypothesis that the PARiHS framework is best utilised as a two-stage process: as a preliminary (diagnostic and evaluative) measure of the elements and sub-elements of evidence (E) and context (C), and then using the aggregated data from these measures to determine the most appropriate facilitation method. The exact nature of the intervention is thus determined by the specific actors in the specific context at a specific time and place.
In the process of refining this next phase of our work, we have had to consider the wider issues around the use of theories to inform and shape our research activity; the ongoing challenges of developing robust and sensitive measures; facilitation as an intervention for getting research into practice; and finally to note how the current debates around evidence into practice are adopting wider notions that fit innovations more generally.
Summary
The paper concludes by suggesting that the future direction of the work on the PARiHS framework is to develop a two-stage diagnostic and evaluative approach, where the intervention is shaped and moulded by the information gathered about the specific situation and from participating stakeholders. In order to expedite the generation of new evidence and testing of emerging theories, we suggest the formation of an international research implementation science collaborative that can systematically collect and analyse experiences of using and testing the PARiHS framework and similar conceptual and theoretical approaches.
We also recommend further refinement of the definitions around conceptual framework, theory, and model, suggesting a wider discussion that embraces multiple epistemological and ontological perspectives.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-3-1
PMCID: PMC2235887  PMID: 18179688
9.  Promoting continence in nursing homes in four European countries: the use of PACES as a mechanism for improving the uptake of evidence-based recommendations 
Background
Multi-faceted approaches are generally recognised as the most effective way to support the implementation of evidence into practice. Audit and feedback often constitute one element of a multi-faceted implementation package, alongside other strategies, such as interactive education and facilitated support mechanisms. This paper describes a multi-faceted implementation strategy that used the Joanna Briggs Institute Practical Application of Clinical Evidence System (PACES) as an online audit tool to support facilitators working to introduce evidence-based continence recommendations in nursing homes in four different European countries.
Aims/objectives
The paper describes the experience of using PACES with an international group of nursing home facilitators. In particular, the objectives of the paper are: to describe the process of introducing PACES to internal facilitators in eight nursing homes; to discuss the progress made during a 12-month period of collecting and analysing audit data using PACES; to summarise the collective experience of using PACES, including reflections on its strengths and limitations.
Methods
Descriptive data were collected during the 12-month period of working with PACES in the eight nursing home sites. These data included digital and written notes taken at an initial 3-day introductory programme, at monthly teleconferences held between the external and internal facilitators and at a final 2-day meeting. Qualitative analysis of the data was undertaken on an ongoing basis throughout the implementation period, which enabled formative evaluation of PACES. A final summative evaluation of the experience of using PACES was undertaken as part of the closing project meeting in June 2011.
Results
The nursing home facilitators took longer than anticipated to introduce PACES and it was only after 9–10 months that they became confident and comfortable using the system. This was due to a combination of factors, including a lack of audit knowledge and skills, limited IT access and skills, language difficulties and problems with the PACES system itself. The initial plan of undertaking a full baseline audit followed by focused action cycles had to be revised to allow a more staged, smaller-scale approach to implementation and audit. This involved simplifying the audit process and removing steps such as the calculation of population size estimates. As a result, an accurate baseline measure, prior to introducing changes to continence care, was not achieved. However, by the end of the 12 months, the majority of facilitators had undertaken a full audit and reported value in the process. In particular, they benefited from comparing audit data across sites to share learning and best practice.
Discussion/conclusion
Working with PACES as part of a facilitated programme to support the implementation of evidence-based continence recommendations in nursing homes in four European countries has been a valuable learning experience, although not without its challenges. The findings highlight the importance of thorough training and support for first time users of PACES and the need to make the audit process as simple as possible in the initial stages.
doi:10.1111/j.1744-1609.2012.00296.x
PMCID: PMC3549477  PMID: 23173664
audit; continence care; evidence-based practice; facilitation; implementation; PACES

Results 1-9 (9)