Background: Quality problems in medical care are not a new finding. Variations in medical practice as well as actual medical errors have been pointed out for many decades. The current movement to write practice guidelines to attempt to correct these deviations from recommended medical practice has not solved the problem.
Objective: In order to gain greater acceptance of these guidelines and to change the behavior of health care providers, the science of guideline implementation must be understood better.
Research design: A group of experts who have studied the problem of implementation in Europe and the United States was convened. This meeting summary enumerates the implementation methods studied to date, reviews the theories of behavioral change, and makes recommendation for effecting better implementation guidelines.
Results: A research agenda was proposed to further our knowledge of effective evidence-based implementation.