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  • Focuses on role of evidence in decisions to introduce or diffuse innovations in health care.
  • ‘Real world’ case studies will examine responses to evidence relating to stroke reconfiguration, early diagnosis of suspected cancer, and organisational networks for treating chronic eye disease.
  • Decision-makers’ preferences will be quantified, including the ‘tipping point’ of evidence needed to shift stakeholders’ views. 
  • Led by Dr Simon Turner, Senior Research Associate, UCL Department of Applied Health Research.
  • Due to complete March 2018.

Contact: Dr Simon Turner, Senior Research Associate in the Department of Applied Health Research at University College London

A range of evidence informs healthcare decision-making, from traditional research findings to ‘soft intelligence’ or local data such as audit, as well as health professionals’ practical experience or tacit knowledge.

However, cultural and organisational factors often prevent the translation of such evidence into practice. Using a multi-level framework, this project will analyse how interactions between the evidence available and processes at the professional and organisational/system level influence decisions to introduce or diffuse innovations in acute and primary care within the National Health Service in the UK.

This study will use a mixed methods design, combining qualitative and quantitative methods, and involves four interdependent streams of work:

1. rapid evidence synthesis of relevant literature followed by stakeholder feedback;

2. in-depth case studies of ‘real world’ decision-making in acute and primary care;

3. a national survey and discrete choice experiment to establish decision-makers’ preferences;

4. development of guidance for decision-makers and evaluators to support the use of evidence in decision-making.

Expected outcomes

The project will provide insights into how and why some evidence does inform decisions to introduce health care innovations, and why barriers persist in other cases. Practical guidance will be shared with health care decision-makers and evaluators on uses of evidence to enable the introduction and diffusion of innovation.

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