Background: System-wide scale up of evidence-based practice (EBP) is a complex process. Yet, few strategic approaches exist to support EBP implementation and sustainment across a service system. Building on the Exploration, Preparation, Implementation, and Sustainment (EPIS) implementation framework, we developed and are testing the Interagency Collaborative Team (ICT) process model to implement an evidence-based child neglect intervention (i.e., SafeCare®) within a large children's service system. The ICT model emphasizes the role of local agency collaborations in creating structural supports for successful implementation.
Methods: We describe the ICT model and present preliminary qualitative results from use of the implementation model in one large scale EBP implementation. Qualitative interviews were conducted to assess challenges in building system, organization, and home visitor collaboration and capacity to implement the EBP. Data collection and analysis centered on EBP implementation issues, as well as the experiences of home visitors under the ICT model.
Results: Six notable issues relating to implementation process emerged from participant interviews, including: (a) initial commitment and collaboration among stakeholders, (b) leadership, (c) communication, (d) practice fit with local context, (e) ongoing negotiation and problem solving, and (f) early successes. These issues highlight strengths and areas for development in the ICT model.
Conclusions: Use of the ICT model led to sustained and widespread use of SafeCare in one large county. Although some aspects of the implementation model may benefit from enhancement, qualitative findings suggest that the ICT process generates strong structural supports for implementation and creates conditions in which tensions between EBP structure and local contextual variations can be resolved in ways that support the expansion and maintenance of an EBP while preserving potential for public health benefit.
Keywords: Evidence-based practice; Implementation; Process Model; Sustainment; Teams.