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Implementation of new clinical programs across diverse facilities in national healthcare systems like the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) can be extraordinarily complex. Implementation is a dynamic process, influenced heavily by local organizational context and the individual staff at each medical center. It is not always clear in the midst of implementation what issues are most important to whom or how to address them. In recognition of these challenges, implementation researchers within VHA developed a new systemic approach to map the implementation work required at different stages and provide ongoing, detailed, and nuanced feedback about implementation progress. This observational pilot demonstration project details how a novel approach to monitoring implementation progress was applied across two different national VHA initiatives. Stage-specific grids organized the implementation work into columns, rows, and cells, identifying specific implementation activities at the site level to be completed along with who was responsible for completing each implementation activity. As implementation advanced, item-level checkboxes were crossed off and cells changed colors, offering a visual representation of implementation progress within and across sites across the various stages of implementation. Applied across two different national initiatives, the SIPREP provided a novel navigation system to guide and inform ongoing implementation within and across facilities. The SIPREP addressed different needs of different audiences, both described and explained how to implement the program, made ample use of visualizations, and revealed both what was happening and not happening within and across sites. The final SIPREP product spanned distinct stages of implementation. The SIPREP made the work of implementation explicit at the facility level (i.e., who does what, and when) and provided a new common way for all stakeholders to monitor implementation progress and to help keep implementation moving forward. This approach could be adapted to a wide range of settings and interventions and is planned to be integrated into the national deployment of two additional VHA initiatives within the next 12 months.


Edward J Miech, Angela Larkin, Julie C Lowery, Andrew J Butler, Kristin M Pettey, Nicholas A Rattray, Lauren S Penney, Jennifer Myers, Teresa M Damush. The "State of Implementation" Progress Report (SIPREP): a pilot demonstration of a navigation system for implementation. Implementation science communications. 2020 Nov 05;1(1):102

PMID: 33292841

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