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Practice-based research networks add value to evidence-based quality improvement.

Goldstein KM, Vogt D, Hamilton A, Frayne SM, Gierisch J, Blakeney J, Sadler A, Bean-Mayberry BM, Carney D, DiLeone B, Fox AB, Klap R, Yee E, Romodan Y, Strehlow H, Yosef J, Yano EM. Practice-based research networks add value to evidence-based quality improvement. Healthcare (Amsterdam, Netherlands). 2018 Jun 1; 6(2):128-134.

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Background: Evidence-Based Quality Improvement (EBQI) is a systematic, multilevel approach to implementing research evidence into clinical settings. Little is known about EBQI effectiveness in the context of Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRNs), which are themselves designed to foster practice-based change. We evaluated EBQI implementation in a PBRN setting to determine the extent to which the PBRN infrastructure added value. METHODS: We conducted a four-site cluster randomized trial of an EBQI approach to tailoring an evidence-based gender awareness curriculum in the VA Women’s Health PBRN (WH-PBRN). After curriculum implementation, site teams identified impacts of the WH-PBRN context on EBQI processes using qualitative methods, including a formal review of project call minutes, post-project debriefing calls, and structured site team input. WH-PBRN site feedback was mapped to the Replicating Effective Programs implementation phases: pre-condition, pre-implementation, implementation, and maintenance/evolution. RESULTS: The pre-condition phase benefited from the existing WH-PBRN research-clinician relationships to facilitate stakeholder engagement and build project buy-in at local sites. During pre-implementation, differences across WH-PBRN sites offered variations in local tailoring of EBQI elements. The WH-PBRN Coordinating Center helped resolve process complexities stemming from local resource differences and the sharing of mid-project adaptations during implementation. Local efforts were amplified in the maintenance phase by WH-PBRN dissemination of findings. Conclusions: The PBRN strengthened multi-site EBQI activities across all implementation phases. Implications: PBRNs contribute to the uptake of evidence into everyday practice, and may serve as an important component of the future implementation of evidence-based initiatives. Level of evidence: V.

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