Type 2 diabetes is one of the fastest growing chronic diseases internationally. The health complications associated with type 2 diabetes can be prevented, delayed, or improved via early diagnosis and effective management. This research aims to examine the impact of a primarily web-based educational intervention on the diabetes care provided by general practitioners (GPs) in rural areas, and subsequent patient outcomes. A population-level approach to outcome assessment is used, via whole-town de-identified pathology records.
The study uses a cluster randomised controlled trial with rural communities as the unit of analysis. Towns from four Australian states were selected and matched on factors including rurality, population size, proportion of the population who were Indigenous Australians, and socio-economic status. Eleven pairs of towns from two states were suitable for the trial, and one town from each pair was randomised to the experimental group. GPs in the towns allocated to the experimental group are offered an intervention package comprising education on best practice diabetes care via an on-line active learning module, a moderated discussion forum, access to targeted and specialist advice through an on-line request form, and town-based performance feedback on diabetes monitoring and outcomes. The package is offered via repeated direct mail.
The benefits of the outcomes of the trial are described along with the challenges and limitations associated with the methodology.
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12611000553976
Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Cluster randomised controlled trial; Internet; Medical education; General practitioner
Prevention of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) is a major health issue worldwide. Primary care plays an important role in cardiovascular risk management (CVRM). Guidelines and quality of care measures to assess CVRM in primary care practices are available. In this study, we assessed the relationship between structural and organisational practice characteristics and the quality of care provided in individuals at high risk for developing CVD in European primary care.
An observational study was conducted in 267 general practices from 9 European countries. Previously developed quality indicators were abstracted from medical records of randomly sampled patients to create a composite quality measure. Practice characteristics were collected by a practice questionnaire and face to face interviews. Data were aggregated using factor analysis to four practice scores representing structural and organisational practice features. A hierarchical multilevel analysis was performed to examine the impact of practice characteristics on quality of CVRM.
The final sample included 4223 individuals at high risk for developing CVD (28% female) with a mean age of 66.5 years (SD 9.1). Mean indicator achievement was 59.9% with a greater variation between practices than between countries. Predictors at the patient level (age, gender) had no influence on the outcome. At the practice level, the score ‘Preventive Services’ (13 items) was positively associated with clinical performance (r = 1.92; p = 0.0058). Sensitivity analyses resulted in a 5-item score (PrevServ_5) that was also positively associated with the outcome (r = 4.28; p < 0.0001).
There was a positive association between the quality of CVRM in individuals at high risk for developing CVD and the availability of preventive services related to risk assessment and lifestyle management supported by information technology.
The Canadian CT Head Rule was prospectively derived and validated to assist clinicians with diagnostic decision-making regarding the use of computed tomography (CT) in adult patients with minor head injury. A recent intervention trial failed to demonstrate a decrease in the rate of head CTs following implementation of the rule in Canadian emergency departments. Yet, the same intervention, which included a one-hour educational session and reminders at the point of requisition, was successful in reducing cervical spine imaging rates in the same emergency departments. The reason for the varied effect of the intervention across these two behaviours is unclear. There is an increasing appreciation for the use of theory to conduct process evaluations to better understand how strategies are linked with outcomes in implementation trials. The Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) has been used to explore health professional behaviour and to design behaviour change interventions but, to date, has not been used to guide a theory-based process evaluation. In this proof of concept study, we explored whether the TDF could be used to guide a retrospective process evaluation to better understand emergency physicians’ responses to the interventions employed in the Canadian CT Head Rule trial.
A semi-structured interview guide, based on the 12 domains from the TDF, was used to conduct telephone interviews with project leads and physician participants from the intervention sites in the Canadian CT Head Rule trial. Two reviewers independently coded the anonymised interview transcripts using the TDF as a coding framework. Relevant domains were identified by: the presence of conflicting beliefs within a domain; the frequency of beliefs; and the likely strength of the impact of a belief on the behaviour.
Eight physicians from four of the intervention sites in the Canadian CT Head Rule trial participated in the interviews. Barriers likely to assist with understanding physicians’ responses to the intervention in the trial were identified in six of the theoretical domains: beliefs about consequences; beliefs about capabilities; behavioural regulation; memory, attention and decision processes; environmental context and resources; and social influences. Despite knowledge that the Canadian CT Head Rule was highly sensitive and reliable for identifying clinically important brain injuries and strong beliefs about the benefits for using the rule, a number of barriers were identified that may have prevented physicians from consistently applying the rule.
This proof of concept study demonstrates the use of the TDF as a guiding framework to design a retrospective theory-based process evaluation. There is a need for further development and testing of methods for using the TDF to guide theory-based process evaluations running alongside behaviour change intervention trials.
The implementation of evidence-based infection control practices is essential, yet challenging for healthcare institutions worldwide. Although acknowledged that implementation success varies with contextual factors, little is known regarding the most critical specific conditions within the complex cultural milieu of varying economic, political, and healthcare systems. Given the increasing reliance on unified global schemes to improve patient safety and healthcare effectiveness, research on this topic is needed and timely. The ‘InDepth’ work package of the European FP7 Prevention of Hospital Infections by Intervention and Training (PROHIBIT) consortium aims to assess barriers and facilitators to the successful implementation of catheter-related bloodstream infection (CRBSI) prevention in intensive care units (ICU) across several European countries.
We use a qualitative case study approach in the ICUs of six purposefully selected acute care hospitals among the 15 participants in the PROHIBIT CRBSI intervention study. For sensitizing schemes we apply the theory of diffusion of innovation, published implementation frameworks, sensemaking, and new institutionalism. We conduct interviews with hospital health providers/agents at different organizational levels and ethnographic observations, and conduct rich artifact collection, and photography during two rounds of on-site visits, once before and once one year into the intervention. Data analysis is based on grounded theory. Given the challenge of different languages and cultures, we enlist the help of local interpreters, allot two days for site visits, and perform triangulation across multiple data sources.
Qualitative measures of implementation success will consider the longitudinal interaction between the initiative and the institutional context. Quantitative outcomes on catheter-related bloodstream infections and performance indicators from another work package of the consortium will produce a final mixed-methods report.
A mixed-methods study of this scale with longitudinal follow-up is unique in the field of infection control. It highlights the ‘Why’ and ‘How’ of best practice implementation, revealing key factors that determine success of a uniform intervention in the context of several varying cultural, economic, political, and medical systems across Europe. These new insights will guide future implementation of more tailored and hence more successful infection control programs.
Trial number: PROHIBIT-241928 (FP7 reference number)
Implementation; Infection control; Catheter-related bloodstream infections; Hand hygiene; Intensive care units; Best practice; Organizational culture; Organizational case studies; Organizational innovation; Organizational decision making; Patient safety
Two of the current methodological barriers to implementation science efforts are the lack of agreement regarding constructs hypothesized to affect implementation success and identifiable measures of these constructs. In order to address these gaps, the main goals of this paper were to identify a multi-level framework that captures the predominant factors that impact implementation outcomes, conduct a systematic review of available measures assessing constructs subsumed within these primary factors, and determine the criterion validity of these measures in the search articles.
We conducted a systematic literature review to identify articles reporting the use or development of measures designed to assess constructs that predict the implementation of evidence-based health innovations. Articles published through 12 August 2012 were identified through MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO and the journal Implementation Science. We then utilized a modified five-factor framework in order to code whether each measure contained items that assess constructs representing structural, organizational, provider, patient, and innovation level factors. Further, we coded the criterion validity of each measure within the search articles obtained.
Our review identified 62 measures. Results indicate that organization, provider, and innovation-level constructs have the greatest number of measures available for use, whereas structural and patient-level constructs have the least. Additionally, relatively few measures demonstrated criterion validity, or reliable association with an implementation outcome (e.g., fidelity).
In light of these findings, our discussion centers on strategies that researchers can utilize in order to identify, adapt, and improve extant measures for use in their own implementation research. In total, our literature review and resulting measures compendium increases the capacity of researchers to conceptualize and measure implementation-related constructs in their ongoing and future research.
Implementation; Health innovation; Evidence-based practice; Systematic review; Measure; Questionnaire; Scale
Traditional government policies suggest that upstream investment in scientific research is necessary and sufficient to generate technological innovations. The expected downstream beneficial socio-economic impacts are presumed to occur through non-government market mechanisms. However, there is little quantitative evidence for such a direct and formulaic relationship between public investment at the input end and marketplace benefits at the impact end. Instead, the literature demonstrates that the technological innovation process involves a complex interaction between multiple sectors, methods, and stakeholders.
The authors theorize that accomplishing the full process of technological innovation in a deliberate and systematic manner requires an operational-level model encompassing three underlying methods, each designed to generate knowledge outputs in different states: scientific research generates conceptual discoveries; engineering development generates prototype inventions; and industrial production generates commercial innovations. Given the critical roles of engineering and business, the entire innovation process should continuously consider the practical requirements and constraints of the commercial marketplace.
The Need to Knowledge (NtK) Model encompasses the activities required to successfully generate innovations, along with associated strategies for effectively communicating knowledge outputs in all three states to the various stakeholders involved. It is intentionally grounded in evidence drawn from academic analysis to facilitate objective and quantitative scrutiny, and industry best practices to enable practical application.
The Need to Knowledge (NtK) Model offers a practical, market-oriented approach that avoids the gaps, constraints and inefficiencies inherent in undirected activities and disconnected sectors. The NtK Model is a means to realizing increased returns on public investments in those science and technology programs expressly intended to generate beneficial socio-economic impacts.
Knowledge translation; Technology transfer; Commercial transaction; Evidence-based; Technology-based; Scientific research; Engineering development; Industrial production; States of knowledge; Innovation
Measuring team factors in evaluations of Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) may provide important information for enhancing CQI processes and outcomes; however, the large number of potentially relevant factors and associated measurement instruments makes inclusion of such measures challenging. This review aims to provide guidance on the selection of instruments for measuring team-level factors by systematically collating, categorizing, and reviewing quantitative self-report instruments.
Data sources: We searched MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and Health and Psychosocial Instruments; reference lists of systematic reviews; and citations and references of the main report of instruments. Study selection: To determine the scope of the review, we developed and used a conceptual framework designed to capture factors relevant to evaluating CQI in primary care (the InQuIRe framework). We included papers reporting development or use of an instrument measuring factors relevant to teamwork. Data extracted included instrument purpose; theoretical basis, constructs measured and definitions; development methods and assessment of measurement properties. Analysis and synthesis: We used qualitative analysis of instrument content and our initial framework to develop a taxonomy for summarizing and comparing instruments. Instrument content was categorized using the taxonomy, illustrating coverage of the InQuIRe framework. Methods of development and evidence of measurement properties were reviewed for instruments with potential for use in primary care.
We identified 192 potentially relevant instruments, 170 of which were analyzed to develop the taxonomy. Eighty-one instruments measured constructs relevant to CQI teams in primary care, with content covering teamwork context (45 instruments measured enabling conditions or attitudes to teamwork), team process (57 instruments measured teamwork behaviors), and team outcomes (59 instruments measured perceptions of the team or its effectiveness). Forty instruments were included for full review, many with a strong theoretical basis. Evidence supporting measurement properties was limited.
Existing instruments cover many of the factors hypothesized to contribute to QI success. With further testing, use of these instruments measuring team factors in evaluations could aid our understanding of the influence of teamwork on CQI outcomes. Greater consistency in the factors measured and choice of measurement instruments is required to enable synthesis of findings for informing policy and practice.
Continuous quality improvement; Primary care; Evaluation; Systematic review; Measurement; Instrument; Conceptual framework; Taxonomy; Teamwork; Team functioning
Understanding and evaluating the implementation of complex interventions in practice is an important problem for healthcare managers and policy makers, and for patients and others who must operationalize them beyond formal clinical settings. It has been argued that this work should be founded on theory that provides a foundation for understanding, designing, predicting, and evaluating dynamic implementation processes. This paper sets out core constituents of a general theory of implementation, building on Normalization Process Theory and linking it to key constructs from recent work in sociology and psychology. These are informed by ideas about agency and its expression within social systems and fields, social and cognitive mechanisms, and collective action. This approach unites a number of contending perspectives in a way that makes possible a more comprehensive explanation of the implementation and embedding of new ways of thinking, enacting and organizing practice.
Although an evidence-based approach is the ideal model for planning and delivering healthcare, barriers exist to using research evidence to implement and evaluate service change. This paper aims to inform policy implementation and evaluation by understanding the role of research evidence at the local level through implementation of a national chronic conditions management policy.
We conducted a national email survey of health service commissioners at the most devolved level of decision-making in Wales (Local Health Boards – LHBs) followed by in-depth interviews with representatives of LHBs, purposively selecting five to reflect geographic and economic characteristics. Survey data were analysed descriptively; we used thematic analysis for interview data.
All LHBs (n = 22) completed questionnaires. All reported they routinely assessed the research literature before implementing interventions, but free-text answers revealed wide variation in approach. Most commonly reported information sources included personal contacts, needs assessments, information or research databases. No consistent approach to evaluation was reported. Frequently reported challenges were: insufficient staff capacity (17/22); limited skills, cost, limited time, competing priorities (16/22); availability and quality of routine data (15/22). Respondents reported they would value central guidance on evaluation.
Five interviews were held with managers from the five LHBs contacted. Service delivery decisions were informed by Welsh Government initiatives and priorities, budgets, perceived good practice, personal knowledge, and local needs, but did not include formal research evidence, they reported. Decision making was a collaborative process including clinical staff, patient representatives, and partner organization managers with varying levels of research experience. Robust evaluation data were required, but they were constrained by a lack of skills, time, and resources. They viewed evaluation as a means of demonstrating that targets had been met.
There is a gap between evidence-based aims of national health policy and how health services are commissioned, implemented, and evaluated at local level. Commissioners and managers are unable to routinely incorporate research evidence. If health services research is to identify most effective ways to implement high quality care, it should be incorporated into commissioning and service delivery. Local commissioners and managers need to build the critical use of research evidence and evaluation into health policy implementation at local level in order to provide consistent and effective healthcare services.
Health policy implementation; Evidence-based policy; Research and evaluation; Chronic conditions management; Health service delivery
Healthcare-associated infections affect 10% of patients in Canadian acute-care hospitals and are significant and preventable causes of morbidity and mortality among hospitalized patients. Hand hygiene is among the simplest and most effective preventive measures to reduce these infections. However, compliance with hand hygiene among healthcare workers, specifically among physicians, is consistently suboptimal. We aim to first identify the barriers and enablers to physician hand hygiene compliance, and then to develop and pilot a theory-based knowledge translation intervention to increase physicians’ compliance with best hand hygiene practice.
The study consists of three phases. In Phase 1, we will identify barriers and enablers to hand hygiene compliance by physicians. This will include: key informant interviews with physicians and residents using a structured interview guide, informed by the Theoretical Domains Framework; nonparticipant observation of physician/resident hand hygiene audit sessions; and focus groups with hand hygiene experts. In Phase 2, we will conduct intervention mapping to develop a theory-based knowledge translation intervention to improve physician hand hygiene compliance. Finally, in Phase 3, we will pilot the knowledge translation intervention in four patient care units.
In this study, we will use a behavioural theory approach to obtain a better understanding of the barriers and enablers to physician hand hygiene compliance. This will provide a comprehensive framework on which to develop knowledge translation interventions that may be more successful in improving hand hygiene practice. Upon completion of this study, we will refine the piloted knowledge translation intervention so it can be tested in a multi-site cluster randomized controlled trial.
Public health programs can only deliver benefits if they are able to sustain activities over time. There is a broad literature on program sustainability in public health, but it is fragmented and there is a lack of consensus on core constructs. The purpose of this paper is to present a new conceptual framework for program sustainability in public health.
This developmental study uses a comprehensive literature review, input from an expert panel, and the results of concept-mapping to identify the core domains of a conceptual framework for public health program capacity for sustainability. The concept-mapping process included three types of participants (scientists, funders, and practitioners) from several public health areas (e.g., tobacco control, heart disease and stroke, physical activity and nutrition, and injury prevention).
The literature review identified 85 relevant studies focusing on program sustainability in public health. Most of the papers described empirical studies of prevention-oriented programs aimed at the community level. The concept-mapping process identified nine core domains that affect a program’s capacity for sustainability: Political Support, Funding Stability, Partnerships, Organizational Capacity, Program Evaluation, Program Adaptation, Communications, Public Health Impacts, and Strategic Planning. Concept-mapping participants further identified 93 items across these domains that have strong face validity—89% of the individual items composing the framework had specific support in the sustainability literature.
The sustainability framework presented here suggests that a number of selected factors may be related to a program’s ability to sustain its activities and benefits over time. These factors have been discussed in the literature, but this framework synthesizes and combines the factors and suggests how they may be interrelated with one another. The framework presents domains for public health decision makers to consider when developing and implementing prevention and intervention programs. The sustainability framework will be useful for public health decision makers, program managers, program evaluators, and dissemination and implementation researchers.
Program sustainability; Concept mapping; Chronic disease programs; Evaluation; Dissemination and implementation
Healthcare systems are challenged by a demand that exceeds available resources. One policy to meet this challenge is task substitution-transferring tasks to other professions and settings. Our study aimed to explore stakeholders’ perceived feasibility of transferring hospital-based monitoring of stable glaucoma patients to primary care optometrists.
A case study was undertaken in the Rotterdam Eye Hospital (REH) using semi-structured interviews and document reviews. They were inductively analysed using three implementation related theoretical perspectives: sociological theories on professionalism, management theories, and applied political analysis.
Currently it is not feasible to use primary care optometrists as substitutes for optometrists and ophthalmic technicians working in a hospital-based glaucoma follow-up unit (GFU). Respondents’ narratives revealed that: the glaucoma specialists’ sense of urgency for task substitution outside the hospital diminished after establishing a GFU that satisfied their professionalization needs; the return on investments were unclear; and reluctant key stakeholders with strong power positions blocked implementation. The window of opportunity that existed for task substitution in person and setting in 1999 closed with the institutionalization of the GFU.
Transferring the monitoring of stable glaucoma patients to primary care optometrists in Rotterdam did not seem feasible. The main reasons were the lack of agreement on professional boundaries and work domains, the institutionalization of the GFU in the REH, and the absence of an appropriate reimbursement system. Policy makers considering substituting tasks to other professionals should carefully think about the implementation process, especially in a two-step implementation process (substitution in person and in setting) such as this case. Involving the substituting professionals early on to ensure all stakeholders see the change as a normal step in the professionalization of the substituting professionals is essential, as is implementing the task substitution within the window of opportunity.
Diffusion of innovation; Access to health care; Quality of health care
Fractures associated with bone fragility in older adults signal the potential for secondary fracture. Fragility fractures often precipitate further decline in health and loss of mobility, with high associated costs for patients, families, society and the healthcare system. Promptly initiating a coordinated, comprehensive pharmacological bone health and falls prevention program post-fracture may improve osteoporosis treatment compliance; and reduce rates of falls and secondary fractures, and associated morbidity, mortality and costs.
This pragmatic, controlled trial at 11 hospital sites in eight regions in Quebec, Canada, will recruit community-dwelling patients over age 50 who have sustained a fragility fracture to an intervention coordinated program or to standard care, according to the site. Site study coordinators will identify and recruit 1,596 participants for each study arm. Coordinators at intervention sites will facilitate continuity of care for bone health, and arrange fall prevention programs including physical exercise. The intervention teams include medical bone specialists, primary care physicians, pharmacists, nurses, rehabilitation clinicians, and community program organizers.
The primary outcome of this study is the incidence of secondary fragility fractures within an 18-month follow-up period. Secondary outcomes include initiation and compliance with bone health medication; time to first fall and number of clinically significant falls; fall-related hospitalization and mortality; physical activity; quality of life; fragility fracture-related costs; admission to a long term care facility; participants’ perceptions of care integration, expectations and satisfaction with the program; and participants’ compliance with the fall prevention program. Finally, professionals at intervention sites will participate in focus groups to identify barriers and facilitating factors for the integrated fragility fracture prevention program.
This integrated program will facilitate knowledge translation and dissemination via the following: involvement of various collaborators during the development and set-up of the integrated program; distribution of pamphlets about osteoporosis and fall prevention strategies to primary care physicians in the intervention group and patients in the control group; participation in evaluation activities; and eventual dissemination of study results.
Clinical Trial.Gov NCT01745068
Study ID number
CIHR grant # 267395
Fragility fracture; Osteoporosis; Fall prevention; Integrated program; Interorganizational collaboration; Canada; Controlled trial; Evaluation
More than a hundred terms, often with unclear definitions and varying emphases, are used by health research and practice communities across the world who are interested in getting the best possible evidence applied (e.g., knowledge translation, implementation science, diffusion of innovations, and technology transfer). This makes finding published evidence difficult and can result in reduced, misinterpreted, or challenging interactions among professionals. Open dialogue and interaction among various professionals is needed to achieve consolidation of vocabulary. We use case report methods to describe how we sought to build an online tool to present the range of terms and facilitate the dialogue process across groups and disciplines interested in harnessing research evidence for healthcare.
We used a wiki platform from Wikispaces to present the problem of terminology and make a case and opportunity for collaboration on usage. Wikis are web sites where communities of users can collaborate online to build content and discuss progress. We gathered terms related to getting research into practice, sought published definitions, and posted these on the wiki (WhatisKT http://whatiskt.wikispaces.com/). We built the wiki in mid-2008 and promoted it through various groups and publications. This report describes the content of the site, our promotion efforts, use of the site, and how the site was used for collaboration up to the end of 2011.
The WhatisKT wiki site now includes more than 120 pages. Traffic to the site has increased substantially from an average of 200 monthly visits in 2008 to 1700 in 2011. Visitors from 143 countries viewed the wiki in 2011, compared with 12 countries in 2008. However, most use has been limited to short term accesses of about 40 seconds per visit, and discussion of consolidation and solidifying terminology is conspicuously absent.
Although considerable interest exists in the terms and definitions related to getting research into practice based on increasing numbers of accesses, use of the WhatisKT wiki site for anything beyond quick lookups was minimal. Additional efforts must be directed towards increasing the level of interaction among the members of the site to encourage collaboration on term use.
Diffusion of innovations; Research; Knowledge translation; Implementation science
The European level of alcohol consumption, and the subsequent burden of disease, is high compared to the rest of the world. While screening and brief interventions in primary healthcare are cost-effective, in most countries they have hardly been implemented in routine primary healthcare. In this study, we aim to examine the effectiveness and efficiency of three implementation interventions that have been chosen to address key barriers for improvement: training and support to address lack of knowledge and motivation in healthcare providers; financial reimbursement to compensate the time investment; and internet-based counselling to reduce workload for primary care providers.
In a cluster randomized factorial trial, data from Catalan, English, Netherlands, Polish, and Swedish primary healthcare units will be collected on screening and brief advice rates for hazardous and harmful alcohol consumption. The three implementation strategies will be provided separately and in combination in a total of seven intervention groups and compared with a treatment as usual control group. Screening and brief intervention activities will be measured at baseline, during 12 weeks and after six months. Process measures include health professionals’ role security and therapeutic commitment of the participating providers (SAAPPQ questionnaire). A total of 120 primary healthcare units will be included, equally distributed over the five countries. Both intention to treat and per protocol analyses are planned to determine intervention effectiveness, using random coefficient regression modelling.
Effective interventions to implement screening and brief interventions for hazardous alcohol use are urgently required. This international multi-centre trial will provide evidence to guide decision makers.
ClinicalTrials.gov. Trial identifier: NCT01501552
Alcohol; Screening; Brief interventions; Primary healthcare; Training and support; Financial reimbursement; Internet; Implementation
The science of dissemination and implementation (D&I) is advancing the knowledge base for how best to integrate evidence-based interventions within clinical and community settings and how to recast the nature or conduct of the research itself to make it more relevant and actionable in those settings. While the field is growing, there are only a few training programs for D&I research; this is an important avenue to help build the field’s capacity. To improve the United States’ capacity for D&I research, the National Institutes of Health and Veterans Health Administration collaborated to develop a five-day training institute for postdoctoral level applicants aspiring to advance this science.
We describe the background, goals, structure, curriculum, application process, trainee evaluation, and future plans for the Training in Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health (TIDIRH).
The TIDIRH used a five-day residential immersion to maximize opportunities for trainees and faculty to interact. The train-the-trainer-like approach was intended to equip participants with materials that they could readily take back to their home institutions to increase interest and further investment in D&I. The TIDIRH curriculum included a balance of structured large group discussions and interactive small group sessions.
Thirty-five of 266 applicants for the first annual training institute were accepted from a variety of disciplines, including psychology (12 trainees); medicine (6 trainees); epidemiology (5 trainees); health behavior/health education (4 trainees); and 1 trainee each from education & human development, health policy and management, health services research, public health studies, public policy and social work, with a maximum of two individuals from any one institution. The institute was rated as very helpful by attendees, and by six months after the institute, a follow-up survey (97% return rate) revealed that 72% had initiated a new grant proposal in D&I research; 28% had received funding, and 77% had used skills from TIDIRH to influence their peers from different disciplines about D&I research through building local research networks, organizing formal presentations and symposia, teaching and by leading interdisciplinary teams to conduct D&I research.
The initial TIDIRH training was judged successful by trainee evaluation at the conclusion of the week’s training and six-month follow-up, and plans are to continue and possibly expand the TIDIRH in coming years. Strengths are seen as the residential format, quality of the faculty and their flexibility in adjusting content to meet trainee needs, and the highlighting of concrete D&I examples by the local host institution, which rotates annually. Lessons learned and plans for future TIDIRH trainings are summarized.
Training; Dissemination; Implementation
Implementation effectiveness models have identified important factors that can promote the successful implementation of an innovation; however, these models have been examined within contexts where innovations are adopted voluntarily and often ignore the socio-political and environmental context. In the field of occupational health and safety, there are circumstances where organizations must adopt innovations to comply with a regulatory standard. Examining how the external environment can facilitate or challenge an organization’s change process may add to our understanding of implementation effectiveness. The objective of this study is to describe implementation facilitators and barriers in the context of a regulation designed to promote the uptake of safer engineered medical devices in healthcare.
The proposed study will focus on Ontario’s safer needle regulation (2007) which requires healthcare organizations to transition to the use of safer engineered medical devices for the prevention of needlestick injuries. A collective case study design will be used to learn from the experiences of three acute care hospitals in the province of Ontario, Canada. Interviews with management and front-line healthcare workers and analysis of supporting documents will be used to describe the implementation experience and examine issues associated with the integration of these devices. The data collection and analysis process will be influenced by a conceptual framework that draws from implementation science and the occupational health and safety literature.
The focus of this study in addition to the methodology creates a unique opportunity to contribute to the field of implementation science. First, the study will explore implementation experiences under circumstances where regulatory pressures are influencing the organization's change process. Second, the timing of this study provides an opportunity to focus on issues that arise during later stages of implementation, a phase during the implementation cycle that has been understudied. This study also provides the opportunity to examine the relevance and utility of current implementation science models in the field of occupational health where the adoption of an innovation is meant to enhance the health and safety of workers. Previous work has tended to focus almost exclusively on innovations that are designed to enhance an organization’s productivity or competitive advantage.
Safer engineered medical devices; Regulation; Implementation; Qualitative; Case study; Hospital
There are significant gaps in the implementation and uptake of evidence-based guideline recommendations for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes in Australian general practice. This study protocol describes the methodology for a cluster randomised trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a model that aims to improve the implementation of these guidelines in Australian general practice developed by a collaboration between researchers, non-government organisations, and the profession.
We hypothesise that the intervention will alter the behaviour of clinicians and patients resulting in improvements of recording of lifestyle and physiological risk factors (by 20%) and increased adherence to guideline recommendations for: the management of CVD and diabetes risk factors (by 20%); and lifestyle and physiological risk factors of patients at risk (by 5%). Thirty-two general practices will be randomised in a 1:1 allocation to receive either the intervention or continue with usual care, after stratification by state. The intervention will be delivered through: small group education; audit of patient records to determine preventive care; and practice facilitation visits adapted to the needs of the practices. Outcome data will be extracted from electronic medical records and patient questionnaires, and qualitative evaluation from provider and patient interviews.
We plan to disseminate study findings widely and directly inform implementation strategies by governments, professional bodies, and non-government organisations including the partner organisations.
Primary care; Family medicine; Guidelines; Preventive care; Cardiovascular disease
Healthcare decision makers face challenges when using guidelines, including understanding the quality of the evidence or the values and preferences upon which recommendations are made, which are often not clear.
GRADE is a systematic approach towards assessing the quality of evidence and the strength of recommendations in healthcare. GRADE also gives advice on how to go from evidence to decisions. It has been developed to address the weaknesses of other grading systems and is now widely used internationally. The Developing and Evaluating Communication Strategies to Support Informed Decisions and Practice Based on Evidence (DECIDE) consortium (http://www.decide-collaboration.eu/), which includes members of the GRADE Working Group and other partners, will explore methods to ensure effective communication of evidence-based recommendations targeted at key stakeholders: healthcare professionals, policymakers, and managers, as well as patients and the general public. Surveys and interviews with guideline producers and other stakeholders will explore how presentation of the evidence could be improved to better meet their information needs. We will collect further stakeholder input from advisory groups, via consultations and user testing; this will be done across a wide range of healthcare systems in Europe, North America, and other countries. Targeted communication strategies will be developed, evaluated in randomized trials, refined, and assessed during the development of real guidelines.
Results of the DECIDE project will improve the communication of evidence-based healthcare recommendations. Building on the work of the GRADE Working Group, DECIDE will develop and evaluate methods that address communication needs of guideline users. The project will produce strategies for communicating recommendations that have been rigorously evaluated in diverse settings, and it will support the transfer of research into practice in healthcare systems globally.
Guidelines; Recommendations; Communication; Presentation formats
The purpose of this paper is to describe and reflect on the role of knowledge brokers (KBs) in the Seniors Health Research Transfer Network (SHRTN). The paper reviews the relevant literature on knowledge brokering, and then describes the evolving role of knowledge brokering in this knowledge network.
The description of knowledge brokering provided here is based on a developmental evaluation program and on the experiences of the authors. Data were gathered through qualitative and quantitative methods, analyzed by the evaluators, and interpreted by network members who participated in sensemaking forums. The results were fed back to the network each year in the form of formal written reports that were widely distributed to network members, as well as through presentations to the network’s members.
The SHRTN evaluation and our experiences as evaluators and KBs suggest that a SHRTN KB facilitates processes of learning whereby people are connected with tacit or explicit knowledge sources that will help them to resolve work-related challenges. To make this happen, KBs engage in a set of relational, technical, and analytical activities that help communities of practice (CoPs) to develop and operate, facilitate exchanges among people with similar concerns and interests, and help groups and individuals to create, explore, and apply knowledge in their practice. We also suggest that the role is difficult to define, emergent, abstract, episodic, and not fully understood.
The KB role within this knowledge network has developed and matured over time. The KB adapts to the social and technical affordances of each situation, and fashions a unique and relevant process to create relationships and promote learning and change. The ability to work with teams and to develop relevant models and feasible approaches are critical KB skills. The KB is a leader who wields influence rather than power, and who is prepared to adopt whatever roles and approaches are needed to bring about a valuable result.
Knowledge broker; Knowledge exchange; Knowledge translation; Community of practice; Knowledge network
Significant changes in provision of clinical care within the English National Health Service (NHS) have been discussed in recent years, with proposals to concentrate specialist services in fewer centres. Stroke is a major public health issue, accounting for over 10% of deaths in England and Wales, and much disability among survivors. Variations have been highlighted in stroke care, with many patients not receiving evidence-based care. To address these concerns, stroke services in London and Greater Manchester were reorganised, although different models were implemented. This study will analyse processes involved in making significant changes to stroke care services over a short time period, and the factors influencing these processes. We will examine whether the changes have delivered improvements in quality of care and patient outcomes; and, in light of this, whether the significant extra financial investment represented good value for money.
This study brings together quantitative data on ‘what works and at what cost?’ with qualitative data on ‘understanding implementation and sustainability’ to understand major system change in two large conurbations in England. Data on processes of care and their outcomes (e.g. morbidity, mortality, and cost) will be analysed to evidence services’ performance before and after reconfiguration. The evaluation draws on theories related to the dissemination and sustainability of innovations and the ‘social matrix’ underlying processes of innovation. We will conduct a series of case studies based on stakeholder interviews and documentary analysis. These will identify drivers for change, how the reconfigurations were governed, developed, and implemented, and how they influenced service quality.
The research faces challenges due to: the different timings of the reconfigurations; the retrospective nature of the evaluation; and the current organisational turbulence in the English NHS. However, these issues reflect the realities of major systems change and its evaluation. The methods applied in the study have been selected to account for and learn from these complexities, and will provide useful lessons for future reconfigurations, both in stroke care and other specialties.
Stroke; Improvement science; Service reorganisation; Organisational change; Outcomes; Leadership; Implementation; Health services research; Cost effectiveness
Caesarean section (CS) rates are rising worldwide. In the Netherlands, the most significant rise is observed in healthy women with a singleton in vertex position between 37 and 42 weeks gestation, whereas it is doubtful whether an improved outcome for the mother or her child was obtained. It can be hypothesized that evidence-based guidelines on CS are not implemented sufficiently.
Therefore, the present study has the following objectives: to develop quality indicators on the decision to perform a CS based on key recommendations from national and international guidelines; to use the quality indicators in order to gain insight into actual adherence of Dutch gynaecologists to guideline recommendations on the performance of a CS; to explore barriers and facilitators that have a direct effect on guideline application regarding CS; and to develop, execute, and evaluate a strategy in order to reduce the CS incidence for a similar neonatal outcome (based on the information gathered in the second and third objectives).
An independent expert panel of Dutch gynaecologists and midwives will develop a set of quality indicators on the decision to perform a CS. These indicators will be used to measure current care in 20 hospitals with a population of 1,000 women who delivered by CS, and a random selection of 1,000 women who delivered vaginally in the same period. Furthermore, by interviewing healthcare professionals and patients, the barriers and facilitators that may influence the decision to perform a CS will be measured. Based on the results, a tailor-made implementation strategy will be developed and tested in a controlled before-and-after study in 12 hospitals (six intervention, six control hospitals) with regard to effectiveness, experiences, and costs.
This study will offer insight into the current CS care and into the hindering and facilitating factors influencing obstetrical policy on CS. Furthermore, it will allow definition of patient categories or situations in which a tailor-made implementation strategy will most likely be meaningful and cost effective, without negatively affecting the outcome for mother and child.
Multisite qualitative studies are challenging in part because decisions regarding within-site and between-site sampling must be made to reduce the complexity of data collection, but these decisions may have serious implications for analyses. There is not yet consensus on how to account for within-site and between-site variations in qualitative perceptions of the organizational context of interventions. The purpose of this study was to analyze variation in perceptions among key informants in order to demonstrate the importance of broad sampling for identifying both within-site and between-site implementation themes.
Case studies of four sites were compared to identify differences in how Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers implemented a Primary Care/Mental Health Integration (PC/MHI) intervention. Qualitative analyses focused on between-profession variation in reported referral and implementation processes within and between sites.
Key informants identified co-location, the consultation-liaison service, space, access, and referral processes as important topics. Within-site themes revealed the importance of coordination, communication, and collaboration for implementing PC/MHI. The between-site theme indicated that the preexisting structure of mental healthcare influenced how PC/MHI was implemented at each site and that collaboration among both leaders and providers was critical to overcoming structural barriers.
Within- and between-site variation in perceptions among key informants within different professions revealed barriers and facilitators to the implementation not available from a single source. Examples provide insight into implementation barriers for PC/MHI. Multisite implementation studies may benefit from intentionally eliciting and analyzing variation within and between sites. Suggestions for implementation research design are presented.
Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a common preventable cause of mortality in hospitalized medical patients. Despite rigorous randomized trials generating strong recommendations for anticoagulant use to prevent VTE, nearly 40% of medical patients receive inappropriate thromboprophylaxis. Knowledge-translation strategies are needed to bridge this gap.
We conducted a 16-week pilot cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) to determine the proportion of medical patients that were appropriately managed for thromboprophylaxis (according to the American College of Chest Physician guidelines) within 24 hours of admission, through the use of a multicomponent knowledge-translation intervention. Our primary goal was to determine the feasibility of conducting this study on a larger scale. The intervention comprised clinician education, a paper-based VTE risk assessment algorithm, printed physicians’ orders, and audit and feedback sessions. Medical wards at six hospitals (representing clusters) in Ontario, Canada were included; three were randomized to the multicomponent intervention and three to usual care (i.e., no active strategies for thromboprophylaxis in place). Blinding was not used.
A total of 2,611 patients (1,154 in the intervention and 1,457 in the control group) were eligible and included in the analysis. This multicomponent intervention did not lead to a significant difference in appropriate VTE prophylaxis rates between intervention and control hospitals (appropriate management rate odds ratio = 0.80; 95% confidence interval: 0.50, 1.28; p = 0.36; intra-class correlation coefficient: 0.022), and thus was not considered feasible. Major barriers to effective knowledge translation were poor attendance by clinical staff at education and feedback sessions, difficulty locating preprinted orders, and lack of involvement by clinical and administrative leaders. We identified several factors that may increase uptake of a VTE prophylaxis strategy, including local champions, support from clinical and administrative leaders, mandatory use, and a simple, clinically relevant risk assessment tool.
Hospitals allocated to our multicomponent intervention did not have a higher rate of medical inpatients appropriately managed for thromboprophylaxis than did hospitals that were not allocated to this strategy.
Thromboprophylaxis; Medical patients; Anticoagulants; Venous thromboembolism; Cluster randomization; Standard orders
Many challenges arise in complex organizational interventions that threaten research integrity. This article describes a Tool for Evaluating Research Implementation Challenges (TECH), developed using a complexity science framework to assist research teams in assessing and managing these challenges.
During the implementation of a multi-site, randomized controlled trial (RCT) of organizational interventions to reduce resident falls in eight nursing homes, we inductively developed, and later codified the TECH. The TECH was developed through processes that emerged from interactions among research team members and nursing home staff participants, including a purposive use of complexity science principles.
The TECH provided a structure to assess challenges systematically, consider their potential impact on intervention feasibility and fidelity, and determine actions to take. We codified the process into an algorithm that can be adopted or adapted for other research projects. We present selected examples of the use of the TECH that are relevant to many complex interventions.
Complexity theory provides a useful lens through which research procedures can be developed to address implementation challenges that emerge from complex organizations and research designs. Sense-making is a group process in which diverse members interpret challenges when available information is ambiguous; the groups’ interpretations provide cues for taking action. Sense-making facilitates the creation of safe environments for generating innovative solutions that balance research integrity and practical issues. The challenges encountered during implementation of complex interventions are often unpredictable; however, adoption of a systematic process will allow investigators to address them in a consistent yet flexible manner, protecting fidelity. Research integrity is also protected by allowing for appropriate adaptations to intervention protocols that preserve the feasibility of ‘real world’ interventions.
Long-term care; Complexity science; Nursing homes; Implementation research; Intervention research; Research design; Staff intervention; Sense-making; Research fidelity