University of Nebraska Medical Center

Implementation Science & Healthcare Delivery

UNMC College of Nursing researchers are leading experts in the fields of dissemination and implementation science and healthcare delivery research. Our work is specifically focused on developing and testing strategies to adopt safe and effective health interventions into clinical and community settings to improve individual outcomes and benefit population health. We are simultaneously generating innovative products that protect clinician health and well-being and empower family members to play a more active role in their loved ones’ care. By leveraging cutting-edge technologies and novel methodologies, we pioneer advancements that streamline best practice adoption and foster continuous improvement and creativity to transform healthcare. 

Active Implementation Science & Healthcare Delivery Projects



The long-term goal is to develop pragmatic and sustainable strategies to increase the delivery of evidence-based practices that lead to improved care for critically ill adults across a variety of healthcare systems, particularly those serving populations with known health disparities often called safety net hospitals. The overall objective is to evaluate two strategies grounded in behavioral economic theory and implementation science to increase ABCDEF bundle adoption. The strategies being evaluated, i.e., real-time audit and feedback and a RN implementation facilitator, target a variety of ICU team members and known behavioral determinants of bundle performance. (Balas)

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Pediatric interventions in critical care


The purpose of this study is to evaluate the potential benefits of a team-based strategy to improve sedation practices and prevent delirium with the goal of increasing early mobility in the pediatric ICU. (Balas)

Finding gaps in healthcare delivery

TNMC HSII Capacity Building Project

The two strategic goals of this PCORI Health Systems Implementation Initiative (HSII) Capacity Building Project are to: address identified gaps in the health system’s ability to effectively conduct evidence-based practice implementation at the scale expected by participation in PCORI’s Health HSII and further assess readiness in targeted areas to ensure other gaps are identified and a plan to address them is developed. (Hetland)

Family room app improves hospital communication

The Family Room

Supported by NIH STTR funds and the Betty Irene Moore Fellowship for Nurse Leaders and Innovators Program, Dr. Hetland’s team is developing, optimizing and commercializing the Family Room App, which is designed to support family caregivers in direct patient care at the bedside during acute hospitalization. The long-term goal is to have a user-friendly, point of care technology that promotes efficient day-to-day informal caregiving, facilitates symptom management decisions and enhances clinical communication among patients, caregivers and health care providers in the ICU. (Hetland)

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Robot seal

Robot Rehab

This study will evaluate the feasibility, acceptability and preliminary treatment effects of Paro, a therapeutic robotic baby harp seal, during pediatric inpatient therapy sessions. Therapy sessions with Paro will focus on speech, balance, endurance, memory, self-esteem, fine motor skills and sensory stimulation. The team will evaluate physical responses to Paro, how participants and their guardians feel about the therapy and overall activity performance. (Hetland)

New inventions to provide isolation care

Beam Helmet: Ruggedized PAPR Prototype

Dr. Beam’s team is developing an improved powered air purifying respirator (PAPR) design to be used in complex health care environments during ground and air transport by military teams, where the difficulty to provide isolation care is amplified. This project expands on the team’s work to improve the existing PAPR design – the Beam Helmet – by focusing on meeting performance standards of the respirator with a reasonable weight and head-only design. (Beam)