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Implementation Science Branch

Implementation Science (IS) is the study and application of strategies that facilitate the adoption of evidence-based practice and research into regular use. IS helps Military Health System organizations to move medical research and leading practices into broad-based clinical practice and supports Defense Health Agency priorities focused on outcomes, readiness, and satisfied patients.

Implementation Science Branch: Moving Research into Practice Evidence-based guidelines become improved patient outcomes through implementation science phases and key activities, which are: Project Management (establish project plans and processes and manage resources) Dissemination (determine target audiences and outreach methods) Implementation (instruct and provide support for potential adopters) and Assessment (measure knowledge adoption, product use, and overall impact).

“It takes an average of 17 years for 14% of research to translate into practice.” - David Chambers, National Cancer Institute

The Defense Health Agency's Implementation Science Branch (ISB) is a support function within the Research & Engineering Directorate with a mission to transition mature, priority research into practice. By executing carefully selected and operationalized strategies via hands-on consultative partnerships, the ISB aims to increase adoption of evidence-based best practices and improve health outcomes. The IS team has supported several successful implementation efforts, including the Postpartum Hemorrhage Bundle Campaign and the Opioid Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution Program. Implementation science is used widely across federal health care organizations, including the Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Cancer Institute.

Thumbnail image of Implementation Science Fact SheetDownload the Implementation Science Branch Fact Sheet.

Read about successful implementation efforts, described on the IS success stories page.

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Aug 23, 2023

Military Health System: How Ideas Are Adopted to Help Patients, Providers

Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Victoria McPhall hands Lt. Laken Koontz an intrauterine device at Naval Health Clinic Patuxent River. IUDs are one of the many birth control options offered during the clinic’s walk-in contraceptive clinic every Wednesday from 1-2 p.m. The Defense Health Agency’s Women’s Health Clinical Management team faced an aggressive three-month deadline to roll out new Walk-in Contraceptive Services walk-in contraceptive services at military hospital and clinics across the Military Health System. (Photo: Photo by Kathy Hieatt, Naval Health Clinic Patuxent River, Maryland)

New evidence-based practices can improve health care, yet they don’t always get adopted. There are many reasons for this, including a lack of awareness, lack of training and implementation support, and a reluctance to doing things differently than in the past—to name a few. Even mandates to adopt a certain new service or practice may not overcome some ...

Last Updated: August 03, 2023
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