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Acad Emerg Med. 2009 Nov;16(11):1132-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1553-2712.2009.00547.x.

Public health in the emergency department: overcoming barriers to implementation and dissemination.

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Center for Injury Prevention and Control, and the Department of Emergency Medicine, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA.


This article is the outcome of a consensus building workshop entitled, "Overcoming Barriers to Implementation and Dissemination" convened at the 2009 Academic Emergency Medicine Consensus Conference, ''Public Health in the ED: Surveillance, Screening, and Intervention." The participants were asked to address potential methods for overcoming barriers to the dissemination and implementation in the emergency department (ED) of evidenced-based practices to improve public health. The panel discussed three broad areas of interest including methods for disseminating evidence-based practices, barriers encountered during the process of implementation, and the importance of involvement in activities outside the ED including engagement in policy development and improvement. Four recommendations were discussed in detail and consensus was reached. The recommendations included 1) researchers and advocates should disseminate findings through multiple forums beyond peer-reviewed publications when an ED-based public health intervention has enough evidence to support integration into the routine practice of emergency care; 2) local barriers to implementation of public health interventions should be recognized and well understood from multiple perspectives prior to implementation; 3) innovation must be put into place and adapted based on local institutional context and culture as barriers and the best methods for overcoming them will vary across institutions; and 4) use of legislation, regulation, and incentives outside of the ED should support and strengthen ED-based interventions. For each area of interest, research dimensions to extend the current understanding of methods for effectively and efficiently implementing evidence-based public health interventions in the ED were discussed and consensus was achieved.

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