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Worldviews Evid Based Nurs. 2004;1 Suppl 1:S41-51.

Outcomes of adoption: measuring evidence uptake by individuals and organizations.

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  • 1UCSF Stanford Center for Research & Innovation in Patient Care, UCSF School of Nursing, San Francisco, CA 94143-0610, USA.



The translation and diffusion of findings into health care validate the potential of evidence-based innovation to improve clinical practice and affirm the benefits of society's investment in advancing science.


This article briefly reviews key concepts in the knowledge use process, considers theoretical implications for measuring outcomes and uptake of innovation, discusses issues to consider in planning for measurement of adoption, and provides an example of confronting those challenges from a project now in progress. THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES AND TRANSLATION OUTCOMES: Four principal conceptual frameworks related to translational science, Lewin, Rogers, Havelock, and Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (PARIHS), explicate a process that catalyzes new knowledge adoption and use by individuals and systems to solve problems. Each conceptual perspective suggests that translation is not complete until the extent and impact of use is examined and understood. Most perspectives support evaluation of impact of evidence-based practice using process measures that integrate clinician knowledge, actual performance of the practice, and patient/clinician outcomes. Based on the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) framework, additional measures might include changes in patterns of care and changes in policies, procedures, or protocols. CASE EXAMPLE: A description of process and outcome measures used in an in-progress quality improvement demonstration project, California Nursing Outcomes Coalition (CalNOC) Partners in Quality Translating Research into Practice to Reduce Patient Falls Project, is presented. IMPLICATION(S) FOR PRACTICE, RESEARCH, AND POLICY: Since the adoption of evidence-based innovation is a process that is often described along a continuum, investigators seeking to measure the impact of an evidence-based innovation must gather evidence that uptake of the innovation has occurred. The theoretical perspective and practical measurement issues of a given project will drive selection of process and outcome measures.


Efforts to change practice in order to enhance evidence-based patient care must integrate monitoring and evaluation of specific target outcomes of adoption as the basis for validating the impact of the change.

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