Implementation science

Global Centre for Preventive Health and Nutrition

Implementation science involves the systematic uptake of research findings and other evidence-based practices and applies it across all areas of research. Evidence shows that only 14% of research is translated into practice, and it takes an average of 17 years for this to happen. Our implementation science research program aims to change that.

Implementation—the strategies used or steps taken to enact an intervention—is a core component of almost every practice or policy project. Often though, there is not enough attention and priority given to ensuring optimal implementation of evidence-informed practice. Research is often designed without practice in mind, and research findings are not well implemented in the real-world. Our implementation science approach bridges this gap between knowledge provided by evidence and on-ground practice.

Implementation science is an inter-disciplinary field. We use theories, models and frameworks to guide intervention design. Our implementation scientists assist both practitioners and researchers to find the best theoretical approach. We pair this with the most relevant implementation strategies and methods to design and evaluate any innovation.

By evaluating implementation steps and mechanisms separately to outcomes, we can determine both the success of the intervention and which optimal strategies to use in implementation.

  • Grampians Health (Horsham)

    We have been engaged by Grampians Health (Horsham) to implement the Victorian Government Healthy Choices Guidelines for health services in the hospital café. This task is difficult because many food suppliers do not travel to rural and remote communities. By using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research to guide the assessment of the problem and potential solutions, we have identified new and existing stakeholders who can provide local regional solutions.

  • The Systems Thinking Approach for Retail Transformation (START) map

    The START map summarises the complex steps related to making healthy changes in food outlets. The map can be used by health promoters to plan healthy changes for food outlets in local government, schools, sports and recreation centres, and hospitals. It will identify key changes that will increase customer healthy food choices.