Background: Although numerous studies address the efficacy and effectiveness of health interventions, less research addresses successfully implementing and sustaining interventions. As long as efficacy and effectiveness trials are considered complete without considering implementation in nonresearch settings, the public health potential of the original investments will not be realized. A barrier to progress is the absence of a practical, robust model to help identify the factors that need to be considered and addressed and how to measure success. A conceptual framework for improving practice is needed to integrate the key features for successful program design, predictors of implementation and diffusion, and appropriate outcome measures.
Developing prism: A comprehensive model for translating research into practice was developed using concepts from the areas of quality improvement, chronic care, the diffusion of innovations, and measures of the population-based effectiveness of translation. PRISM--the Practical, Robust Implementation and Sustainability Model--evaluates how the health care program or intervention interacts with the recipients to influence program adoption, implementation, maintenance, reach, and effectiveness.
Discussion: The PRISM model provides a new tool for researchers and health care decision makers that integrates existing concepts relevant to translating research into practice.