Implementing Innovations into Community Practice
Health-related scientific discoveries are often relegated to bookshelves after publication rather than being applied in clinical settings. The Group Health Research Institute (GHRI), in collaboration with the Institute of Translational Health Sciences, is seeking to bridge this gap between discovery and actual clinical practice with their new initiative, “Implementing Innovations into Community Practice.”
By utilizing dissemination and implementation science theories and methods, the Implementing Innovations Program seeks to prioritize and implement innovations with the highest potential to improve primary care practice and the health of patients. This approach to translational research will be applied over the next three years in primary care and community settings across the five-state WWAMI region.
“The most formidable challenge to improving health care quality and outcomes today is the translational barrier encountered when moving research findings into community practice,” explained Dr. Michael Parchman, Director of the MacColl Center for Health Care Innovations at GHRI. “With this program we hope to address that final translational barrier.”
The initial phase of the Implementing Innovations Program included an environmental scan of local research to develop a methodology that identifies and prioritizes high-impact innovations and findings. The team has also constructed a database of prioritized innovations and findings based on this methodology. They are now beginning collaboration with GHRI and the ITHS WWAMI-region Practice & Research Network-affiliated (WPRN) primary care settings to assess their readiness for adoption and everyday use.
The Implementing Innovations program will also develop a grants incubator to advance the science of dissemination and implementation research by spreading findings deemed “spreadable” by the previously described methodology. This incubator will work closely with primary care leaders and researchers across the region to collaboratively identify and pursue grant funding opportunities that advance implementation research.
“The ITHS’ partnership with Group Health Research Institute on this initiative is producing innovative and practical tools and methods that will enable scientists across the region to more effectively translate their research discoveries into practice,” shared Dr. Laura-Mae Baldwin, Faculty Director of the ITHS Regional Research Collaborations Program and Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Washington. “Dr. Parchman and his team are creatively bringing implementation and dissemination science together with the expertise of practicing clinicians. Ultimately, this smart combination should make it more likely that new treatments and strategies for improving health and health care will make their way into practice, and, most importantly, improve the health of patients.”
To learn more about how ITHS can support your research, please contact the ITHS Research Navigator.