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Combining Improvement and Implementation Sciences and Practices for the Post COVID-19 Era.

Ovretveit J, Mittman BS, Rubenstein LV, Ganz DA. Combining Improvement and Implementation Sciences and Practices for the Post COVID-19 Era. Journal of general internal medicine. 2021 Nov 1; 36(11):3503-3510.

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Health services made many changes quickly in response to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Many more are being made. Some changes were already evaluated, and there are rigorous research methods and frameworks for evaluating their local implementation and effectiveness. But how useful are these methods for evaluating changes where evidence of effectiveness is uncertain, or which need adaptation in a rapidly changing situation? Has implementation science provided implementers with tools for effective implementation of changes that need to be made quickly in response to the demands of the pandemic? This perspectives article describes how parts of the research and practitioner communities can use and develop a combination of implementation and improvement to enable faster and more effective change in the future, especially where evidence of local effectiveness is limited. We draw on previous reviews about the advantages and disadvantages of combining these two domains of knowledge and practice. We describe a generic digitally assisted rapid cycle testing (DA-RCT) approach that combines elements of each in order to better describe a change, monitor outcomes, and make adjustments to the change when implemented in a dynamic environment.

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