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Health Services Research & Development

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2005 HSR&D National Meeting Abstract

2002 — Closing the Gap Between Research and Practice: The Challenges of Organizational Change

Author List:
VanDeusen Lukas C (COLMR)
Charns MP (COLMR)
Young G (COLMR)
Cramer I (COLMR)

Workshop Objectives:
Health services research is devoted to finding better ways to deliver clinical care and to organize systems and process to best support them. Research findings, however, are often not widely implemented in practice. Important to closing the gap between research and practice is the recognition that implementing research findings often requires organizational change. Efforts to influence individual practitioners to use research findings, while necessary, are not sufficient because providers do not act in isolation. They are part of health care organizations that affect their behavior and that facilitate or impede the adoption of new practices. Objectives of this workshop are: 1) to increase participants’ understanding the factors that facilitate and hinder organizational change and 2) to provide a framework for incorporating constructs of change in their own research and practice. Consistent with the theme of the conference, we will use the implementation of chronic disease planned care models in large health care systems as an example of organizational change.

First, the workshop will offer participants, through presentation and discussion: 1) an exposure to concepts and theories of organizational change; 2) an understanding of how those theories and concepts can be applied to health care organizations at different levels, from the clinical work unit to the medical center and VISN; and 3) an overview of strategies for measuring organizational change. Examples will be drawn from COLMR projects in VA and the private sector. Second, the workshop will offer exercises to encourage participants to apply the theories and constructs introduced by identifying organizational factors and variables that can influence their own research projects or management problems.

Target Audience:
The intended audiences are 1) researchers wanting to understand the dynamics of change so they can appropriately frame studies of the implementation of research into practice, and 2) more broadly, researchers and managers wanting to understand how to implement change to improve their organizations' structures and processes.

Assumed Audience Familiarity with Topic:
It is assumed that participants have graduate training in social science or clinical research. No knowledge of organizational research is required.

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