From research to practice: Factors affecting implementation of prospective targeted injury-detection systems

A. V. Sorensen, M. I. Harrison, H. L. Kane, A. E. Roussel, M. T. Halpern, S. L. Bernard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Aim: This paper describes key factors that shaped implementation of prospective targeted injurydetection systems (TIDS) for adverse drug events (ADEs) and nosocomial pressure ulcers (PrU). Methods: Using case-study methodology, the authors conducted semistructured interviews with implementation champions and TIDS users at five hospitals. Interviews focused on implementation experiences, assessment of TIDS' effectiveness and utility, and plans for sustainability. The authors used content analysis techniques to compare implementation experiences within and across organisations and triangulated data for explanation and confirmation of common themes. Findings: Participating hospitals were more successful in implementing the low-complexity PrU-TIDS, as compared with high-complexity ADE-TIDS. This pattern reflected the greater complexity of ADE-TIDS, its higher costs and poorer alignment with existing workflows. Complexity affected the innovations' perceived usability, the time needed to learn and install the trigger systems, and their costs. Local factors affecting implementation and sustainability of both innovations included turnover affecting champions and other staff, shifting organisational priorities, changing information infrastructures, and institutional constraints on adapting existing IT to the electronic TIDS. Conclusions: To facilitate implementation of complex healthcare innovations such as ADE-TIDS, staff in adopting organisations should give high priority to innovation implementation; allocate sufficient resources; effectively communicate with and involve local champions and users; and align innovations with workflows and information systems. In addition, they should monitor local factors, such as changes in organisational priorities and IT, availability of implementation staff and champions, and external regulations and constraints that may pose barriers to innovation implementation and sustainability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)527-533
Number of pages7
JournalBMJ Quality and Safety
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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