Implementation Science Reduces Lag Between New Science and Clinical Practice

Implementation Science in Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep and Pediatric Medicine: How Soon is Now? (B91)

2:15-4:15 p.m. Monday

Salon A-C (South
Building, Street Level), Walter E. Washington Convention Center

Translating evidence-based care into sustainable clinical practice can take years of concerted effort. Using implementation science methods can help reduce the lag time between those two steps that transform the treatment of patients.

“Implementation science is the scientific study of methods and strategies to promote the translation of evidence produced by research into clinical practice—examining how and why adoption occurs or fails,” says Deena Costa, PhD, RN, one of the moderators of Monday’s implementation symposium. “Implementation could be considered the final step that turns the evidence developed by successful research into improved clinical practice and improved patient outcomes.”

Deena Costa, PhD, RN

Symposium presentations will build on recent research statements on implementation science from the ATS and the Sleep Research Society, says Dr. Costa, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Nursing in the Department of Systems, Populations, and Leadership.

Health care professionals recognize the gap between the publication of new evidence and the broad adoption of evidence into clinical practice. As pressure mounts to provide high-quality, evidence-based care, both researchers and clinicians can benefit from a deeper understanding of how implementation science can reduce that lag.

“The real strength of this session is the ability to hear concrete examples of implementation science in action across different settings,” Dr. Costa says. “We will discuss current uses of implementation science in complex care delivery in the ICU, pulmonary rehabilitation, lung cancer and tuberculosis screening, and CPAP adherence—providing practical approaches to how implementation science can shorten the gap between theory, research, and practice. And we will talk about both funding sources and the practicalities of changing behavior.”

A major barrier to implementing change is the need to change behavior, she says. Implementation science provides tailored strategies to help change the processes of individual clinicians, patients, institutions, and other stakeholders. Helping stakeholders change behavior to incorporate new evidence is the hard part.

“Figuring out how to implement new best practices usually starts with a barrier-facilitator elicitation,” Dr. Costa says. “You partner with the key stakeholders and identify what prevents adoption of a particular care practice in that setting and what can best support adoption of that care practice, beginning the change process.”

The key to successful implementation is creating a viable partnership among researchers, clinicians, and other stakeholders.

“You can provide the evidence for the intervention, some potential implementation strategies, and how best to evaluate the implementation intervention, but clinicians provide invaluable insight and feedback as to how it may need to be tailored for their particular setting. Regardless of your practice setting, implementation of evidence-based practice is something you will confront,” Dr. Costa says. “This session offers opportunities and practical skills, including tips on funding options for this work, for both clinicians and researchers alike.”

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