An implementation strategy postmortem method developed in the VA rural Transitions Nurse Program to inform spread and scale-up

Mar 08, 2024 | Gilmartin

BACKGROUND: High-quality implementation evaluations report on intervention fidelity and adaptations made, but a practical process for evaluating implementation strategies is needed. A retrospective method for evaluating implementation strategies is also required as prospective methods can be resource intensive. This study aimed to establish an implementation strategy postmortem method to identify the implementation strategies used, when, and their perceived importance. We used the rural Transitions Nurse Program (TNP) as a case study, a national care coordination intervention implemented at 11 hospitals over three years. METHODS: The postmortem used a retrospective, mixed method, phased approach. Implementation team and front-line staff characterized the implementation strategies used, their timing, frequency, ease of use, and their importance to implementation success. The Expert Recommendations for Implementing Change (ERIC) compilation, the Quality Enhancement Research Initiative phases, and Proctor and colleagues’ guidance were used to operationalize the strategies. Survey data were analyzed descriptively, and qualitative data were analyzed using matrix content analysis. RESULTS: The postmortem method identified 45 of 73 ERIC strategies introduced, including 41 during pre-implementation, 37 during implementation, and 27 during sustainment. External facilitation, centralized technical assistance, and clinical supervision were ranked as the most important and frequently used strategies. Implementation strategies were more intensively applied in the beginning of the study and tapered over time. CONCLUSIONS: The postmortem method identified that more strategies were used in TNP than planned and identified the most important strategies from the perspective of the implementation team and front-line staff. The findings can inform other implementation studies as well as dissemination of the TNP intervention.

PubMed Abstract

Gilmartin, H., Jones, C., Nunnery, M., Leonard, C., Connelly, B., Wills, A., . . . Burke, R. E. (2024). An implementation strategy postmortem method developed in the VA rural Transitions Nurse Program to inform spread and scale-up. PLoS One, 19(3), e0298552. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0298552