Diffusion of innovation theory for clinical change

Med J Aust. 2004 Mar 15;180(S6):S55-6. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2004.tb05947.x.


Maximising the adoption of evidence-based practice has been argued to be a major factor in determining healthcare outcomes. However, there are gaps between evidence-based recommendations and current care. Bridging the evidence gap will not be achieved simply by informing clinicians about the evidence. One theoretical approach to understanding how change may be achieved is Rogers' diffusion model. He argues that certain characteristics of the innovation itself may facilitate its adoption. Other factors influencing acceptance include promotion by influential role models, the degree of complexity of the change, compatibility with existing values and needs, and the ability to test and modify the new procedure before adopting it. The diffusion model may provide valuable insights into why some practices change and others do not, as well as guiding those who try to effect adoption of best-evidence practice.

MeSH terms

  • Communication
  • Decision Making
  • Diffusion of Innovation*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination
  • Models, Organizational*
  • Organizational Culture*
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*