Implementation Is so Difficult: Survey of National Learning Health System Decision-makers Identifies Need For Implementation Information in Evidence Reviews
BACKGROUND: Evidence use within learning health care systems can improve patient health outcomes. Embedded in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) since 2007, the Veterans Affairs Evidence Synthesis Program (ESP) provides tailored evidence synthesis services to support VHA’s learning health care system goals. As part of the ESP’s ongoing quality improvement efforts, we have been surveying our users since 2016.
METHODS: We reviewed data from a survey of end-users received between September 5, 2016, and June 10, 2019. The survey assessed: (1) nature of decision-making needs; (2) actions resulting from the report’s findings; (3) implementation timeframe; and (4) overall perception of report content. RESULTS: Feedback was received from 66 of the 138 operational partners requesting ESP products during the fiscal year 2015 through 2018. Requests commonly informed clinical guidance (58%), identified future research needs (58%), and determined VHA-specific implementation strategy (47%). A total of 91% of responders used reports, typically within 3 months after completion (82%). Use was typically for VHA publications and/or presentations to inform VHA policy or guidance (26%), to inform intervention/strategy adoption decisions (23%) and for medical device and therapy procurement decisions (21%). Over half (53%) of respondents indicated that it would be useful for ESP reports to include more guidance on implementing findings.
CONCLUSION: Our survey of learning health system decision-makers’ actual patterns and timing of evidence use provides valuable new information that can further support development of other health system and evidence producer partnerships and identifies key needs for better supporting health systems’ uptake of evidence.
Floyd, N., Peterson, K., Christensen, V., & Anderson, J. (2019). "Implementation Is so Difficult": Survey of National Learning Health System Decision-makers Identifies Need For Implementation Information in Evidence Reviews. Med Care, 57 Suppl 10 Suppl 3, S233-s238. doi:10.1097/mlr.0000000000001192