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Understanding how to translate research discoveries into solutions for healthcare improvement is a priority of NIH-funded Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA). This study, supported by one CTSA, aims to capture one process of shaping and implementing innovations to advance the timeliness and patient-centeredness of cardiovascular care. Specifically, we sought to understand a partnership between a private digital health startup company, a university innovation lab, and an academic health system’s cardiology program pursuing this goal.
The collaboration proceeded through clear phases to address the questions and challenges: problem definition, exploration and formalization of the partnership, innovation co-creation and pilot test, and scale-up planning. Phases were punctuated by key decisions, such as forming the partnership, negotiating terms of the partnership, iterating form and features of the innovation, and exploring sufficiency of its value-add for scale-up and sustainment. Key implementation concepts were apparent, including implementation strategies (e.g., champions and iterative trialing) and the implementation outcomes of acceptability, sustainment, and scale-up. Participants identified potential risks of collaboration, reflected on their co-creation process, and the value of engaging stakeholders in innovation design. Findings may inform subsequent collaborations between innovators and translational researchers.
We conducted a case study to understand the partnership; characterize the questions they pursued, their decision points, information and data sources; and identify the challenges and risks. Data were collected through a series of four focus groups with members of each partnering organization. A transdisciplinary research team iteratively worked to condense and synthesize data from audio recorded transcripts into a case narrative.
Accelerating innovation translation is a priority for improving healthcare and health. Although dissemination and implementation (D&I) research has made significant advances over the past decade, it has attended primarily to the implementation of long-standing, well-established practices and policies. We present a conceptual architecture for speeding translation of promising innovations as candidates for iterative testing in practice. Our framework to Design for Accelerated Translation (DART) aims to clarify whether, when, and how to act on evolving evidence to improve healthcare. We view translation of evidence to practice as a dynamic process and argue that much evidence can be acted upon even when uncertainty is moderately high, recognizing that this evidence is evolving and subject to frequent reevaluation. The DART framework proposes that additional factors – demand, risk, and cost, in addition to the evolving evidence base – should influence the pace of translation over time. Attention to these underemphasized factors may lead to more dynamic decision-making about whether or not to adopt an emerging innovation or de-implement a suboptimal intervention. Finally, the DART framework outlines key actions that will speed movement from evidence to practice, including forming meaningful stakeholder partnerships, designing innovations for D&I, and engaging in a learning health system.
The efficient and effective movement of research into practice is acknowledged as crucial to improving population health and assuring return on investment in healthcare research. The National Center for Advancing Translational Science which sponsors Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) recognizes that dissemination and implementation (D&I) sciences have matured over the last 15 years and are central to its goals to shift academic health institutions to better align with this reality. In 2016, the CTSA Collaboration and Engagement Domain Task Force chartered a D&I Science Workgroup to explore the role of D&I sciences across the translational research spectrum. This special communication discusses the conceptual distinctions and purposes of dissemination, implementation, and translational sciences. We propose an integrated framework and provide real-world examples for articulating the role of D&I sciences within and across all of the translational research spectrum. The framework’s major proposition is that it situates D&I sciences as targeted “sub-sciences” of translational science to be used by CTSAs, and others, to identify and investigate coherent strategies for more routinely and proactively accelerating research translation. The framework highlights the importance of D&I thought leaders in extending D&I principles to all research stages.
The Dissemination and Implementation Research Core, a research methods core from the Clinical and Translation Science Award at Washington University in St. Louis Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences, developed toolkits about dissemination and implementation (D&I) concepts (e.g., D&I outcomes, strategies). This paper reports on the development of the toolkits. These toolkits respond to 3 identified needs for capacity building in D&I research: resources for investigators new to the D&I field, consolidation of tools, and limitations in local contexts.
Mental health research funding priorities in high-income countries must balance longer-term investment in identifying neurobiological mechanisms of disease with shorter-term funding of novel prevention and treatment strategies to alleviate the current burden of mental illness. Prioritising one area of science over others risks reduced returns on the entire scientific portfolio.
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