3 Considerations for Deciding Whether to Adopt a Healthcare Innovation

Before implementing innovations in a healthcare organization, its leaders need to consider multiple factors, including the strength of evidence for the innovation and the likelihood the innovation will succeed in the organization, according to a perspective piece on the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Health Care Innovations Exchange website.

The perspective piece, "How to Think About Evidence When Deciding Whether to Adopt an Innovation," discusses the challenges of determining whether to implement an intervention in a healthcare organization. The current approach of determining the strength of evidence based on research and studies may be inadequate for evaluating healthcare innovations, as they are complex and outcomes are highly variable, according to the authors.

Instead, the authors propose healthcare leaders should focus on the innovation's likelihood of success in their particular setting. The authors share three factors to consider when determining the likelihood of an innovation's success:

•    The magnitude of benefit relative to cost achieved by previous adopters, and the "robustness" or consistency of that benefit across a wide range of settings.
•    The degree of confidence that a similarly high benefit can be achieved by the potential adopter. The internal validity of reported past success and the availability of rich data can help determine this degree of confidence.
•    The availability of detailed guidance to enable the potential adopter to use effective implementation processes and to adapt the innovation to enhance benefits.

The Innovations Exchange also provides "A Decisionmaker's Guide to Adopting Innovations" to help leaders evaluate evidence for a healthcare innovation, according to the report.

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