Anticipating the intricacies of implementation
Innovation in healthcare is only useful if it is used. The third idea in our report, five ideas to enhance patient centricity, looks at opportunities to improve the implementation and uptake of evidence-based healthcare solutions. As with all the ideas in our report, social sciences provide strong clues to guide us.
Implementation science is a discipline that blends a number of social science schools of thought to explore the question: why is there often a significant delay in the uptake of healthcare interventions that are proven to be effective?
It suggests that characteristics of the intervention, behavioural factors, organisational factors and contextual issues come together either to advance or block the uptake of new tools, practices and/or management approaches.
As an example, remote monitoring has been a goal in the healthcare setting for a long time, but numerous barriers have blocked its uptake. These included concerns about the technology being too complicated, clinicians feeling that it would disrupt their relationships with patients, hospital IT teams worrying about capacity to support, or fears about legal and data protection. Yet when COVID-19 fundamentally altered the way people could access healthcare, these barriers were swiftly overcome. The context had changed.
Implementation science helps us to understand why innovations in healthcare fail or succeed. That also goes for patient centricity. As such, implementation science thinking can enrich our work, from shaping organisational culture to planning how we will spread evidence-based products and services across health systems.
How can you identify and change the issues that are most likely to impact your project? Our report builds on learnings from The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) to help you identify and manage the factors that will impact the uptake of your new product, service or way of working.
By drawing on thinking and tools from the social sciences, we can be systematic and evidence-based in the way we approach creating change in the health system. And our report provides an action plan to get you there.
Take your next step to improving outcomes and download the full report here