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From Research Innovation to Evidence-Based Practice: Bridging the Gap with Implementation Science

Key takeaways:

  • Implementation Science plays a vital role in closing the gap between new evidence-based practices and medical interventions and their acceptance into clinical practice.
  • By promoting the adoption of evidence-based practices and interventions, Implementation Science has the potential to improve health outcomes at both the individual and population levels.
  • Premier member University Hospitals is successfully leveraging Implementation Science practices and methodologies, working with PINC AI™ Applied Sciences to scale an innovative, evidence-based care model for patients with chronic disease.

In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, the pursuit of effective and improved interventions is constant. From developing groundbreaking drugs and medical devices to implementing new healthcare treatments, the journey from discovery to delivery is complex – research shows it takes an average of 17 years. This is where Implementation Science steps in, serving as a critical bridge between research and practice.

What Implementation Science Is and Its Benefits to Health Systems and Life Sciences Companies

Implementation Science is a specific field of prospective research and can be defined as the scientific study of methods and strategies that facilitate the uptake of evidence-based practice and research into regular use by practitioners and policymakers. It goes beyond merely discovering what could work in healthcare to understanding how to make it work effectively in real-world settings.

Implementation Science draws from various disciplines, including psychology, sociology, organizational theory and public health, to tackle the challenges of getting new interventions into standard of care. It seeks to address and shorten the average 17-year gap between new evidence and standard practice by using theories, models and frameworks to identify and address implementation barriers, design strategies, and evaluate success and implementation effectiveness – all at a generalizable level intended to be repeatable across multiple health systems.

Implementation Science should not be confused with Improvement Science. Both disciplines are complementary and often intersect in efforts to achieve better outcomes in healthcare, but they focus on different aspects of change and innovation.

For health systems, Implementation Science offers invaluable insights into improving the quality, efficiency and equity of healthcare delivery. The effective application of evidence-based practices can be used by health systems in their efforts to:

In life sciences, Implementation Science is similarly indispensable. Pharmaceutical and medical device companies invest heavily in research and development to bring novel therapies and technologies to market. However, the ultimate success of these innovations hinges not only on their efficacy, but also on their adoption and integration into clinical practice.

For life sciences companies, Implementation Science:

  • Offers a strategic framework for bringing products to market effectively and improve uptake of new therapies and devices. By incorporating implementation considerations early in the development process, companies can better design interventions that are not only scientifically sound but also feasible and sustainable in real-world settings.
  • Enables robust evidence generation on interventions, which is particularly crucial in the era of value-based healthcare where payers and providers prioritize outcomes and cost-effectiveness.

Speeding Research into Action: How Premier’s PINC AI™ Applied Sciences and University Hospitals are Harnessing the Power of Implementation Science

More and more, life sciences companies and health systems are recognizing the need for a methodical way to bridge the gap between research and medical practice. As such, Implementation Science as a discipline is gaining momentum.

Nowhere is this more evident than at a recent Healthcare Innovators Collaborative (HIC) event, where Premier’s PINC AI™ Applied Sciences (PAS) team convened with collaborative members including life sciences organizations, health systems and other healthcare stakeholders. The group’s focus was to share health system-driven priority projects and research areas of interest – and work to co-develop innovative solutions to drive outcomes and quality improvement.

At the meeting, Implementation Science was one of the main topics, with University Hospitals’ Systems of Excellence project taking center stage. Systems of Excellence encompasses an innovative, proactive care model that puts patients at the center, seamlessly integrating primary care and specialists to enhance chronic disease management and keep patients healthy at home.

The project is grounded in Implementation Science, enabling the team to glean evidence-based best practices; develop real-world, holistic interventions to eliminate harm in patients with chronic disease; and build a scalable platform that can be used by other health systems to improve the delivery and quality of care.

"Systems of Excellence is about ensuring the patient gets the best possible care at the right time,” said Dr. Peter Pronovost, Chief Clinical Transformation Officer and Chief Quality Officer at University Hospitals. “To systematize this approach, health systems must have a culture of love, the commitment to work across silos between primary care, specialty care and ACOs, and the courage to overcome defects in value such as not providing guideline concordant therapy so that they can improve. And for that, care teams need data and evidence to drive decision-making. We are excited to partner with PAS, leveraging their Implementation Science capabilities to standardize our care approach and bring it to other health systems across the country."

Getting What Works to Those Who Need It Most

Through HIC meetings and other collaborative efforts, PAS and its partners continue to delve into the promise of Implementation Science, fostering an environment of continuous learning and performance improvement with health systems and life sciences companies. Translating research findings into practical applications is a core tenet of the group’s work, helping to drive innovation, improve healthcare outcomes and ultimately enhance the well-being of individuals and communities.

Want to learn more about how your healthcare or life sciences organization can benefit from the Healthcare Innovators Collaborative? Reach out to for information on joining.

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