Our expert answers 3 Questions
I am currently thinking about the methods of implementation of evidence-based practices in health services research. I look at the design of interventions and how to translate evidence into practice in both VA and non-VA health care settings. It takes around 17 years for healthcare services research to become policy and practice, but in the meanwhile patients fall through gaps in the healthcare system. At its core, my research looks at how to motivate healthcare providers to take up best practices in more effective and efficient ways. There is a slow diffusion of these best practices. My research aims to understand the resistance to this diffusion as well as to approach and educate providers with this knowledge.
Coming from a background in nursing, sociology, and anthropology, I take a systems-approach to health services research and seek to influence the social system of healthcare. I am particularly interested in this field of research because it functions as a connection between policy and innovation in healthcare. Much of the time, significant changes to the healthcare system and to provider practices would have happened eventually. With that being said, implementation research seeks to accelerate this change to be more complete and reliable. This is a broad, multi-level approach to health services research and we must think about how these evidence-based practices eventually trickle down to providers and influence health outcomes.
Health services researchers can be generally divided into three different categories: research, dissemination of information, and implementation. Methods research in implementation has significant implications for health care and can be applied to virtually any aspect of health care service provision. Ultimately, more research and development in implementation will be needed. This research can incorporate the breadth of IHPI member research, enhance the provision of healthcare, and improve health outcomes.