Background: Clinical guidelines, prediction tools, and computerized decision support (CDS) are underutilized outside of research contexts, and conventional teaching of evidence-based practice (EBP) skills fails to change practitioner behavior. Overcoming these challenges requires traversing practice, policy, and implementation domains. In this article, we describe a program's conceptual design, the results of institutional participation, and the program's evolution. Next steps include integration of instruction in principles of CDS.
Conceptual model: Teaching Evidence Assimilation for Collaborative Health Care (TEACH) is a multidisciplinary annual conference series involving on- and off-site trainings and facilitation within health care provider organizations (HPOs). Separate conference tracks address clinical policy and guideline development, implementation science, and foundational EBP skills. The implementation track uses a model encompassing problem delineation, identifying knowing-doing gaps, synthesizing evidence to address those gaps, adapting guidelines for local use, assessing implementation barriers, measuring outcomes, and sustaining evidence use. Training in CDS principles is an anticipated component within this track. Within participating organizations, the program engages senior administration, middle management, and frontline care providers. On-site care improvement projects serve as vehicles for developing ongoing, sustainable capabilities. TEACH facilitators conduct on-site workshops to enhance project development, integration of stakeholder engagement and decision support. Both on- and off-site components emphasize narrative skills and shared decision-making.
Experience: Since 2009, 430 participants attended TEACH conferences. Delegations from five centers attended an initial series of three conferences. Improvement projects centered on stroke care, hospital readmissions, and infection control. Successful implementation efforts were characterized by strong support of senior administration, involvement of a broad multidisciplinary constituency within the organization, and on-site facilitation on the part of TEACH faculty. Involvement of nursing management at the senior faculty level led to increased presence of nursing and other disciplines at subsequent conferences.
Conclusions: A multidisciplinary and multifaceted approach to on- and off-site training and facilitation may lead to enhanced use of research to improve the quality of care within HPOs. Such training may provide valuable contextual grounding for effective use of CDS within such organizations.
Keywords: Learning health care system; decision support; evidence based medicine.