To improve health outcomes, effective and systematic mechanisms to foster the adoption of evidence-based guideline recommendations into routine practice need to be identified. A cyclical process for achieving this objective involving three key phases is suggested. Phase 1: Writing actionable best-evidence guidelines that prioritize key recommendations while indicating the levels of adoption needed for population health benefits to be accomplished. Phase 2: Developing implementation plans for the priority guideline recommendations. These should systematically consider skills training and accreditation; social influences including opinion leaders and patient influences; environmental factors; monitoring and feedback; and incentives for clinical change. Phase 3: Pilot testing the effectiveness of proposed approaches in producing the desired clinical changes. If implementation requires system changes and evaluation at an organizational level, the use of alternative research designs to the randomized controlled trial could be considered. The purpose evaluation would be to enable refinement of the implementation plans before widespread dissemination.
International Journal for Quality in Health Care Vol. 21, Issue 1, p. 37-43