Implementation Science

What is Implementation Science?

Implementation Science is the study of methods used to promote the use of research findings in healthcare, community and policy contexts.

As a multidisciplinary field, it examines how these findings are disseminated, implemented and sustained by targeted audiences. Implementation science seeks to close the knowing-doing gap by systematically generating evidence about how to effectively implement evidence-based programs, practices or policies in clinical or community settings. This evidence or knowledge about how to implement effectively can then be used by individuals, organizations and policy-makers to improve the quality of care and optimize population health.

The term “implementation science” is often used broadly to cover two closely connected yet distinct fields of scientific study: dissemination and implementation, or “D&I”. Dissemination is essentially about communication and social influence. It focuses on the question: how can we get research results and evidence-based practices and programs out there into people’s hands? Implementation is essentially about individual, organizational and systems change. It focuses on the question: how can we get people to use research results and evidence-based practices and programs in a consistent, high-quality way?

Lastly, implementation science is a translational science. On average it takes 17 years for 14% of scientific advances to become a part of day-to-day practice1. The goal of the Consortium is to address this translational lag by facilitating implementation science collaborations among researchers and practitioners at RTI International and UNC-Chapel Hill.