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J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2011 Nov-Dec;18(6):827-34. doi: 10.1136/amiajnl-2010-000076. Epub 2011 May 12.

The role of information technology in translating educational interventions into practice: an analysis using the PRECEDE/PROCEED model.

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Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, George E Wahlen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Salt Lake City, Utah 84148, USA.



The evidence base for information technology (IT) has been criticized, especially with the current emphasis on translational science. The purpose of this paper is to present an analysis of the role of IT in the implementation of a geriatric education and quality improvement (QI) intervention.


A mixed-method three-group comparative design was used. The PRECEDE/PROCEED implementation model was used to qualitatively identify key factors in the implementation process. These results were further explored in a quantitative analysis.


Thirty-three primary care clinics at three institutions (Intermountain Healthcare, VA Salt Lake City Health Care System, and University of Utah) participated. The program consisted of an onsite, didactic session, QI planning and 6 months of intense implementation support.


Completion rate was 82% with an average improvement rate of 21%. Important predisposing factors for success included an established electronic record and a culture of quality. The reinforcing and enabling factors included free continuing medical education credits, feedback, IT access, and flexible support. The relationship between IT and QI emerged as a central factor. Quantitative analysis found significant differences between institutions for pre-post changes even after the number and category of implementation strategies had been controlled for.


The analysis illustrates the complex dependence between IT interventions, institutional characteristics, and implementation practices. Access to IT tools and data by individual clinicians may be a key factor for the success of QI projects. Institutions vary widely in the degree of access to IT tools and support. This article suggests that more attention be paid to the QI and IT department relationship.

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