Dissemination and implementation: the challenge of twenty-first century health care research [poster] Conference Poster uri icon


  • Osmosis has proven itself to be a largely ineffective way of transferring knowledge from health research to the population of health care practitioners. There are many barriers and few facilitators to the dissemination of new and more effective health care advances. First study results are published across thousands of journals which are rarely read by the practicing provider. Even if a provider is interested in the latest results in a specific area, most lack the skill at using the tools to search out the appropriate information or to evaluate its validity. When a journal article is read, the scope of most research reports is extremely limited and lacking insights into how it may be incorporated into everyday health care practice. The strongest level of evidence, the randomized control trial (RCT), because of the restrictions of the underlying study design, are very difficult to implement within a practice setting where patient variation can be expected to exceed the boundaries of the RCT. A recent response to the problem of too much knowledge and the lack of effective approaches for dissemination has been the development of guidelines and systematic reviews. While both these approaches to research summarization, can organize knowledge in a coherent and standardized way, they have proven unable to span the chasm between dissemination and implementation. HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research is trying to bridge this gap through the development of simulated training tools. This is made possible by three recent innovations. The first is the aforementioned guidelines, which encourage the standardization of care while also personalizing it for each patient. The second is the development of the internet, thus allowing the rapid distribution and updating of simulation tools. Third is the electronic health record (EHR). By emulating an EHR information can be presented and collected from the provider as they practice treating simulated patients. Internet based simulated training provides a rich learning environment with the latest knowledge and limited patient risk. When a new medication, procedure or other health care innovation is developed it can be rapidly disseminated to users across the globe. Health care is a profession where one does not want to learn through ones mistakes. This can introduce a level of caution and hesitancy around trying new developments; however, a simulation provides a safe environment where simulated patient can be treated without risk of adverse events. HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research because of its unique relationship with health care systems and work developing simulated systems is well positioned to be a leader in dissemination and implementation of the ever expanding research advances.

publication date

  • 2012