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Leveraging Dissemination and Implementation Science

Clinician Support
01.08.2021

Wellbridge was founded with a core belief that science and clinical practice should converge in order to facilitate innovations within the addiction treatment field. With this fundamentally unique approach, researchers and clinicians work together on the same campus to give researchers, clinicians, and patients the opportunity to interact daily and facilitate the most advanced patient care. 

Our unique approach leverages Dissemination and Implementation Science.

What is Dissemination and Implementation Science?

Dissemination and Implementation Science, or D&I, is one approach for incorporating translational science into one’s work. Translational science is a way of approaching science and practice that integrates perspectives from researchers, clinicians and patients. Specific behaviors vary by framework but, broadly, translational science involves constant communication, cooperation and partnership between all interested parties to further patient outcomes.

Within that context, D&I is just one way for our team at Wellbridge to “be translational” and to systematically and comprehensively close the infamous research-to-practice gap. D&I uses multiple lenses to understand and model how scientific findings can, and should, influence clinical services. It emphasizes building interventions within the ecology of the service system. This “social ecology” is made up of patients, their family members, clinicians, administrators, researchers, policy makers, and the larger community.

While D&I has been around for several decades in one form or another, it has only been in the past 20 years or so that the term has been more formalized and that the field has experienced tremendous scientific advances. 

Dissemination, Implementation, or Dissemination AND Implementation

D&I has two key components that work in tandem:

  1. Dissemination – actively spreading information about and studying the best approaches for an intervention
  2. Implementation – integrating interventions, products or strategies into clinical care

Some studies inherently focus more on dissemination, some on implementation, and some on both. Sometimes you may hear just one or the other, Dissemination Science or Implementation Science, referenced.

Why Dissemination and Implementation as a Framework

The nature of Wellbridge necessitates D&I because it is a center where researchers, clinicians, patients, and administrators all work together on the same campus. Our team uses D&I because it has many frameworks and models that allow for rapid integration of interventions into clinical care and feedback on those interventions. It also allows room for clinicians and patients to offer feedback about what type of science they want to see occur at Wellbridge. Our setup allows for a multi-way direction of communication, which is the crux of D&I.

How Wellbridge Leverages D&I Science

Every instance of using D&I is project-specific by nature. We treat each project with fresh eyes, meaning that we revisit our books, articles, and notes on D&I frameworks and models in order to find the best one for that particular project. It is important to keep in mind that a framework that worked for one project may not work for another, even if both projects were carried out at Wellbridge.

For example, we are currently working on a report that we give clinicians that contains findings from a comprehensive rehabilitation assessment that the research team administers to each patient. It isn’t enough to simply throw findings from the assessment onto a piece of paper – we need to know:

  1. Clinician attitudes and practices around translational science
  2. How well clinicians like the physical design and format of the report
  3. The adoption of the report into clinical care

After much research, we decided that the Designing for Accelerated Translation framework was best because it allows for rapid, user-centered, iterative, team-based D&I science.

Learn More About Our Research

Our purpose-built facility was built around the idea that the infamous research-to-practice gap needed to be closed to facilitate innovations in addiction treatment. That effort occurs throughout our entire facility with a 6,000 square-foot Center for Addiction Science spearheading such efforts.

Learn more about our research facility and how we are working to advance the treatment of substance use disorders.