Key factors for national spread and scale-up of an eConsult innovation
Burns, Katharina K
Abstract Background Expanding healthcare innovations from the local to national level is a complex pursuit requiring careful assessment of all relevant factors. In this study (a component of a larger eConsult programme of research), we aimed to identify the key factors involved in the spread and scale-up of a successful regional eConsult model across Canada. Methods We conducted a constant comparative thematic analysis of stakeholder discussions captured during a full-day National eConsult Forum meeting held in Ottawa, Canada, on 11 December 2017. Sixty-four participants attended, representing provincial and territorial governments, national organisations, healthcare providers, researchers and patients. Proceedings were recorded, transcribed and underwent qualitative analysis using the Framework for Applied Policy Research. Results This study identified four main themes that were critical to support the intentional efforts to spread and scale-up eConsult across Canada, namely (1) identifying population care needs and access problems, (2) engaging stakeholders who were willing to roll up their sleeves and take action, (3) building on current strategies and policies, and (4) measuring and communicating outcomes. Conclusions Efforts to promote innovation in healthcare are more likely to succeed if they are based on an understanding of the forces that drive the spread and scale-up of innovation. Further research is needed to develop and strengthen the conceptual and applied foundations of the spread and scale-up of healthcare innovations, especially in the context of emergent learning health systems across Canada and beyond.
Health Research Policy and Systems. 2020 Jun 03;18(1):57