Implementing research for the betterment of patients

Micah Beachy, DO, and Tammy Winterboer, PharmD

Micah Beachy, DO, and Tammy Winterboer, PharmD

It takes an average of 17 years for clinical research to be adopted into practice. That’s just one of the reasons the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute is passionate about increasing the speed and dissemination of evidence-based practice.

Nebraska Medicine recently learned it is one of 42 health systems invited to participate in a program aimed at speeding up this timeline.

It’s all part of PCORI’s Health Systems Implementation Initiative. It provides an opportunity for health systems to participate in a program to foster the implementation and dissemination of PCORI research-based evidence to improve patient outcomes.

Nebraska Medicine’s selection allows it to apply for funding to support the infrastructure needed to implement select practices, which includes up to $500,000 for the capacity building project and anywhere from $500,000 to $5 million for each implementation project.

“This initiative clearly aligns with our mission to transform lives and create a healthy future for our community,” said Lynn Borstelmann, executive director, care design and innovation (NExT), who played a key role in developing the detailed proposal that earned Nebraska Medicine’s selection.

This initiative will provide opportunities for Nebraska Medicine to partner with community organizations to implement programs and strategies to improve the health of underserved individuals, as well as initiatives focused on acute care and ambulatory settings.

Tammy Winterboer, PharmD, vice president of quality, experience and effectiveness, and Micah Beachy, DO, chief quality officer, are the identified project leads for this program. Leaders across Nebraska Medicine and UNMC provided letters of support for the application to participate in PCORI’s Health Systems Implementation Initiative.

“The faster Nebraska Medicine can implement evidence-based innovative best practices, the sooner our patients will see the impacts and benefits in the form of higher quality, safer care and better outcomes,” Dr. Winterboer said.

Dr. Beachy said, “It’s an honor to be one of the few health systems selected to participate in PCORI’s Health System Implementation Initiative and to have the opportunity for funding to assist with implementing evidence-based best practices.”

PCORI’s Health System Implementation Initiative’s ultimate goal is to cut the 17-year lag between publication of research results that have improved patient outcomes and their widespread implementation in health care practice.

Why does it take 17 years? Here are some of the reasons it can be challenging to implement new research findings:

  • Complexity of health care. The health care system is highly complex and consists of multiple stakeholders, including patients, health care providers, payers, policymakers and regulatory agencies.
  • Limited resources. Health care organizations may have limited resources, including time, staff and funding,
  • Change can be difficult. Health care providers may be comfortable with existing practices
  • Lack of dissemination. Research findings may not be effectively disseminated to health care providers and health systems who can put the findings into practice.
  • Difficulty in translating research into practice. It can be challenging to translate research findings into clinical practice, especially if the research was conducted in a controlled environment with limited variability.
  • Regulatory requirements. Health care practices may be subject to regulatory requirements that can create barriers.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with Nebraska Medicine and the other health systems participating in this groundbreaking initiative that will leverage their knowledge and experience to facilitate practice change and improve care based on results of PCORI-funded research,” said PCORI Executive Director Nakela Cook, MD. “The HSII participants’ efforts will lay the groundwork for future expansion and broader implementation by demonstrating pathways to uptake and sharing lessons learned across health systems.”

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