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Advancing rapid adaptation for urgent public health crises: Using implementation science to facilitate effective and efficient responses.

Eisman AB, Kim B, Salloum RG, Shuman CJ, Glasgow RE. Advancing rapid adaptation for urgent public health crises: Using implementation science to facilitate effective and efficient responses. Frontiers in public health. 2022 Aug 24; 10:959567.

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Responding rapidly to emerging public health crises is vital to reducing their escalation, spread, and impact on population health. These responses, however, are challenging and disparate processes for researchers and practitioners. Researchers often develop new interventions that take significant time and resources, with little exportability. In contrast, community-serving systems are often poorly equipped to properly adopt new interventions or adapt existing ones in a data-driven way during crises'' onset and escalation. This results in significant delays in deploying evidence-based interventions (EBIs) with notable public health consequences. This prolonged timeline for EBI development and implementation results in significant morbidity and mortality that is costly and preventable. As public health emergencies have demonstrated (e.g., COVID-19 pandemic), the negative consequences often exacerbate existing health disparities. Implementation science has the potential to bridge the extant gap between research and practice, and enhance equity in rapid public health responses, but is underutilized. For the field to have a greater "real-world" impact, it needs to be more rapid, iterative, participatory, and work within the timeframes of community-serving systems. This paper focuses on rapid adaptation as a developing implementation science area to facilitate system responses during public health crises. We highlight frameworks to guide rapid adaptation for optimizing existing EBIs when responding to urgent public health issues. We also explore the economic implications of rapid adaptation. Resource limitations are frequently a central reason for implementation failure; thus, we consider the economic impacts of rapid adaptation. Finally, we provide examples and propose directions for future research and application.

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