It's a problem as old as medicine: The lag that comes between research and implementation.

Studies are done, numbers are evaluated, improvements are suggested and then, at long last, changes are made.

This has been a big concern for the folks at Intermountain Health and they believe a new partnership with the National Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) could lead to an acceleration in the way patients are treated.

As a participant in PCORI’s Health Systems Implementation Initiative (HSII), Intermountain, one of the nation’s leading health systems, will bring its vast experience and expertise in the delivery of high-quality, evidence-based, and affordable care processes, to develop and implement new strategies that will help accelerate research initiatives that can improve patient outcomes.

The goal of the national initiative is to cut the estimated 17-year lag between publication of research results that have been shown to improve patients’ outcomes and their widespread adoption in health care practice.

“Intermountain Health has a long history of clinical research and collaboration,” said JP Valin, MD, chief clinical officer at Intermountain Health. “Our participation in the HSII will augment that practice by allowing us to work alongside other health systems as we discover new ways to improve clinical efficiencies and effectively scale evidence-based best practices throughout our organization.”

HSII participating health systems have the opportunity to prepare proposals for capacity building projects in the first stage of the initiative. Each participating health system can receive up to $500,000 for a project in this initial stage that supports preparation for future implementation strategies.

A second HSII funding opportunity will support practical and innovative projects that promote uptake of specific evidence from PCORI-funded research studies within the health systems, with funds ranging from $500,000 to $5 million per implementation project.

In addition, through the HSII Learning Network, Intermountain and other participants will share experiences and learn from one another about best practices for implementation, evaluation metrics, and other topics integral to successful implementation of care-informing strategies.

“Our participation with this initiative will accelerate our efforts to advance changes in care delivery to improve health care for all patients,” said Dr. Valin. “We are honored to have been selected and look forward to leveraging the access to research and a network of these leading health systems to innovate on best practices to better serve our patients and their families.”

HSII participants collectively represent 800 hospitals serving 79 million unique patients—nearly a quarter of the U.S. population—across 41 states and the District of Columbia. They include academic medical centers, community-based systems, integrated healthcare delivery and finance systems, safety net health systems, faith-based systems, public health care delivery systems and a medical center within the Veterans Health Administration.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with Intermountain Health and the other health systems participating in this groundbreaking initiative that will leverage their knowledge and experience to facilitate practice change and improve care based on results of PCORI-funded research,” said Nakela L. Cook, MD, MPH, executive director of PCORI. “The HSII participants’ efforts will lay the groundwork for future expansion and broader implementation by demonstrating pathways to uptake and sharing lessons learned across health systems.”


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