Application of implementation science for improving the utilization of an international clinical practice guidance on familial hypercholesterolemia

J Clin Lipidol. 2024 Apr 1:S1933-2874(24)00046-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jacl.2024.03.010. Online ahead of print.


Background: The International Atherosclerosis Society (IAS) published an evidence-informed guidance for familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) that provides both clinical and implementation recommendations. We reference examples of strategies from the literature to explore how these implementation recommendations can be tailored into implementation strategies at the local-level for stakeholders guided by a framework proposed by Sarkies and Jones.

Methods: Four authors of the IAS guidance selected two published exemplar implementation recommendations for detection, management, and general implementation. Each recommendation was described as an implementation strategy using Proctor's guidance for specifying and reporting implementation strategies. It recommends reporting the actor (who), action (what), action-target (who is impacted), temporality (how often), and dose (how much) for each implementation strategy.

Results: Detection: A centralized cascade testing model, mobilized nurses (actor) to relative's homes, after the diagnosis of the proband (temporality), once (dose) to consent, obtain a blood sample and health information (action) on relatives (action-target).

Management: A primary care initiative to improve FH management included an educational session (action) with clinicians (action-target), computer-based reminder message and message to patients to have their cholesterol screened once (dose) at a visit or outreach (temporality) by researchers (actor). General: A partnership between a statewide public pathology provider, local public hospital network, primary health network, government health ministry, and an academic university (actors) was established to implement a primary-tertiary shared care model (action) to improve the detection of FH (action-target).

Conclusions: We demonstrate that implementation recommendations can be specified and reported for different local contexts with examples on monitoring, evaluation, and sustainability in practice.

Keywords: Detection; Familial hypercholesterolemia; Guidance; Guidelines; Implementation science; Management.