Implementation phase 1
Australia spends a lot of money developing and testing medicines, technologies, systems and new ways of doing things to improve health care and health outcomes. But we spend very little on developing or testing methods for implementing all these evidence-based products.
The Implementation of Innovations project included 4 major parts:
- A review of the literature on implementation in health care generally, to identify those aspects of the evidence-base that may be relevant in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contexts. Download the briefing paper.
- A roundtable to test the validity of findings from the literature review against the ‘on the ground’ experience and tacit knowledge of stakeholders and research users. Visit the Implementation roundtable page for the report and more information.
- Development of draft tools that may support planning for implementation in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health care. Download the Implementation planning template and Product assessment tool.
- Development of a framework for evaluating implementation in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander settings.
What is implementation?
- Implementation is the process of getting a ‘new better way’ of doing something into routine use.
- Implementation enables a person or organisation to take up the new better way of doing something.
Why is implementation important?
- Money, effort and time are wasted by ineffective implementation of new programs.
- Programs and practices that work well in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health often lapse after pilot programs or research funding ends.
- Doing better at implementation could help ‘Close the Gap’ more rapidly.
What do we know about implementation in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health?
In terms of an evidence base, not a lot. A recent review found only 14 studies published between 1992 and 2011 that evaluated or described the transfer and implementation of promising programs or innovations in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health (McCalman et al. 2012). But the nature of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health care means that lots of people are doing implementation all the time. Some people and organisations do it very well; others struggle.