Moving From Research to Large-Scale Change in Child Health Care

Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California , USA.
Academic pediatrics (Impact Factor: 2.01). 07/2011; 11(5):360-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.acap.2011.06.004
Source: PubMed


There is a large and persistent failure to achieve widespread dissemination of evidence-based practices in child health care. Too often studies demonstrating evidence for effective child health care practices are not brought to scale and across different settings and populations. This failure is not due to a lack of knowledge, but rather a failure to bring to bear proven methods in dissemination, diffusion, and implementation (DD&I) science that target the translation of evidence-based medicine to everyday practice. DD&I science offers a framework and a set of tools to identify innovations that are likely to be implemented, and provides methods to better understand the capabilities and preferences of individuals and organizations and the social networks within these organizations that help facilitate widespread adoption. Successful DD&I is dependent on making the intervention context sensitive without losing fidelity to the core components of the intervention. The achievement of these goals calls for new research methods such as pragmatic research trials that combine hypothesis testing with quality improvement, participatory research that engages the target community at the beginning of research design, and other quasi-experimental designs. With the advent of health care reform, it will be extremely important to ensure that the ensuing large demonstration projects that are designed to increase integrated care and better control costs can be rapidly brought to scale across different practices settings, and health plans and will be able to achieve effectiveness in diverse populations.

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    • "Translational research is considered a priority in the research agenda of many countries for example the nine Collaboratives for Leadership in Applied Health Research & Care (CLAHRCs) in England and the large number of interorganisational alliances funded by the Clinical and Translation Science Awards in the US. Collaboration [35-38], innovation [39-41], knowledge exchange [36,42] and diffusion of findings [43-45] are all intended outcomes of TRNs. Key players have been associated with all these functions in a range of network settings [11,19,26,46-48]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Professional networks are used increasingly in health care to bring together members from different sites and professions to work collaboratively. Key players within these networks are known to affect network function through their central or brokerage position and are therefore of interest to those who seek to optimise network efficiency. However, their identity may not be apparent. This study using social network analysis to ask: (1) Who are the key players of a new translational research network (TRN)? (2) Do they have characteristics in common? (3) Are they recognisable as powerful, influential or well connected individuals? TRN members were asked to complete an on-line, whole network survey which collected demographic information expected to be associated with key player roles, and social network questions about collaboration in current TRN projects. Three questions asked who they perceived as powerful, influential and well connected. Indegree and betweenness centrality values were used to determine key player status in the actual and perceived networks and tested for association with demographic and descriptive variables using chi square analyses. Response rate for the online survey was 76.4% (52/68). The TRN director and manager were identified as key players along with six other members. Only two of nine variables were associated with actual key player status; none with perceived. The main finding was the mismatch between actual and perceived brokers. Members correctly identified two of the three central actors (the two mandated key roles director and manager) but there were only three correctly identified actual brokers among the 19 perceived brokers. Possible reasons for the mismatch include overlapping structures and weak knowledge of members. The importance of correctly identifying these key players is discussed in terms of network interventions to improve efficiency.
    BMC Health Services Research 08/2013; 13(1):338. DOI:10.1186/1472-6963-13-338 · 1.71 Impact Factor

  • Academic pediatrics 05/2013; 13(3):181-3. DOI:10.1016/j.acap.2013.03.012 · 2.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Context: The long-term sustainability of whole-system change programs is rarely studied, and when it is, it is inevitably undertaken in a shifting context, thereby raising epistemological and methodological questions. This article describes a transferable methodology that was developed to guide the evaluation of a three-year follow-up of a large health care change program in London, which took place during a period of economic turbulence and rapid policy change. Method: Using a mixed-method organizational case study design, we studied three services (stroke, kidney, and sexual health) across primary and secondary care. Each had received £5 million (US$7.8 million) in modernization funding in 2004. In 2010/2011, we gathered data on the services and compared them with data from 2004 to 2008. The new data set contained quantitative statistics (access, process, and outcome metrics), qualitative interviews with staff and patients, documents, and field notes. Our data analysis was informed by two complementary models of sustainability: intervention-focused (guided by the question, What, if anything, of the original program has been sustained?) and system-dynamic (guided by the question, How and why did change unfold as it did in this complex system?). Findings: Some but not all services introduced in the original transformation effort of 2004-2008 were still running; others had ceased or been altered substantially to accommodate contextual changes (e.g., in case mix, commissioning priorities, or national policies). Key cultural changes (e.g., quality improvement, patient centeredness) largely persisted, and innovative ideas and practices had spread elsewhere. To draw causal links between the original program and current activities and outcomes, it was necessary to weave a narrative thread with multiple intervening influences. In particular, against a background of continuous change in the local health system, the sustainability of the original vision and capacity for quality improvement was strongly influenced by (1) stakeholders' conflicting and changing interpretations of the targeted health need; (2) changes in how the quality cycle was implemented and monitored; and (3) conflicts in stakeholders' values and what each stood to gain or lose. Conclusions: The sustainability of whole-system change embodies a tension between the persistence of past practice and the adaptation to a changing context. Although the intervention-focused question, What has persisted from the original program? (addressed via a conventional logic model), may be appropriate, evaluators should qualify their findings by also considering the system-dynamic question, What has changed, and why? (addressed by producing a meaningful narrative).
    Milbank Quarterly 09/2012; 90(3):516-47. DOI:10.1111/j.1468-0009.2012.00673.x · 3.38 Impact Factor
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