Quality improvement and implementation science in cancer care: Identifying areas of synergy and opportunities for further integration.
29 Background: Efforts to improve cancer care delivery have been driven by two approaches: quality improvement (QI) and implementation science (IS). QI and IS have developed independently but have potential for synergy. To inform efforts to better align these fields, we examined 20 cancer-related QI and IS articles to identify differences and areas of commonality. Methods: We searched PubMed for cancer care studies that used IS or QI methods and were published in the past 5 years in one of 17 leading journals. Through consensus-based discussions, we categorized studies as QI if they evaluated efforts to improve the quality, value, or safety of care, or IS if they evaluated efforts to promote the adoption of evidence-based interventions into practice. We identified the 10 most frequently cited studies from each category (20 total studies), characterizing and comparing their objectives, methods – including use of theoretical frameworks involvement of stakeholders – and terminology. Results: All IS studies (10/10) and half (5/10) of QI studies addressed barriers to uptake of evidence-based practices. The remaining five QI studies sought to improve clinical outcomes, reduce costs, and/or address logistical issues. QI and IS studies employed common approaches to change provider and/or organizational practice (e.g., training, performance monitoring/feedback, decision support). However, the terminology used to describe these approaches was inconsistent within and between IS and QI studies. Fewer than half (8/20) of studies (4 from each category) used a theoretical or conceptual framework and only 4/20 (2 from each category) consulted key stakeholders in developing their approach. Most studies (10/10 IS and 6/10 QI) were multi-site, and most were observational, with only 4/20 studies (2 from each category) using a randomized design to evaluate their approach. Conclusions: Cancer-related QI and IS studies had overlapping objectives and used similar approaches but used inconsistent terminology. The impact of IS and QI on cancer care delivery could be enhanced by greater harmonization of language and by promoting rigor through the use of conceptual frameworks and stakeholder input.
Check, D; Zullig, LL; Davis, M; Stover, AM; Davies, L; Schroeck, FR; Fleisher, L; Chambers, D; Proctor, E; Koczwara, B
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