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Marketing: An essential component for effectively implementing evidence-based interventions in VA

Luck J, Parker LE, Hagigi F, Yano EM, Kirchner JE. Marketing: An essential component for effectively implementing evidence-based interventions in VA. Paper presented at: VA HSR&D National Meeting; 2006 Feb 16; Arlington, VA.


Objectives:Even when rigorous research has demonstrated their effectiveness, implementing health service interventions on a local or regional, let alone national, basis is a challenging endeavor. Successful implementation requires support from VA headquarters, approval by managers at the VISN and facility levels, and buy-in from clinicians and support staff who must integrate interventions into clinical practice. Marketing, based on theory and concepts from industry, is a powerful mechanism through which to obtain support for implementation from these multiple stakeholders. This workshop, based on the evolving marketing effort in support of national rollout of the TIDES (Translating Initiatives for Depression into Effective Solutions) depression care manager program, will provide participants with specific guidelines for development of a systematic marketing effort within VA.Methods:The workshop will be structured as a panel discussion among TIDES researchers (Yano, Parker, Kirchner) and academic experts from the UCLA School of Public Health (Luck, Hagigi). It will be composed of 4 major sections. First, we will articulate the need for marketing to gain support for implementation within an integrated health care system. Second, we will present key relevant elements from marketing theory. Third, based on extensive qualitative interviews with first wave TIDES participants, we will describe management and front line staff members' views on the most convincing message content and most compelling types of supporting evidence, as well as their views on the most effective marketing methods. Fourth, we will describe in detail the TIDES marketing activities now underway and planned for the future. These include activities at the national level, such as a senior marketing team meeting with targeted decision makers, the VISN and facility manager level (e.g., sales teams, evidence-based marketing materials, and implementation guidelines), the clinician level (e.g., brochures, in-person contacts), and veterans' organizations (to create demand 'pull' for the program). Results:VA managers and clinicians seeking practical techniques for implementing evidence-based interventions. Researchers whose projects are developing evidence and moving toward implementation.Implications:No prior familiarity with marketing is required, but some practical or research experience in implementation or quality improvement will help participants obtain maximum benefit from the workshop.

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