This study focuses on an implementation facilitation strategy to improve the delivery of anticoagulation care within pharmacy-run clinics across 8 Veterans Health Administration (VA) medical centers. Other studies have explored various models of implementation facilitation, including external facilitation (EF), internal facilitation (IF), and blended facilitation (BF) combining both approaches. This study focuses on the use of an internal facilitation team of anticoagulation coordinators representing 8 VA anticoagulation clinics to enhance the implementation process. This study examines how the team became instrumental in the successful implementation of evidence-based practice change.Methods:
Semi-structured interviews were conducted annually over 4 years with representatives from each site, the internal facilitators (site champions), at 8 VA hospitals (47 interviews). Additionally, five external facilitators, experts in quality improvement and anticoagulation care who guided the implementation, were interviewed. Analysis drew on a deductive approach based on the Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (PARIHS) model and emergent thematic analysis to identify factors related to effectiveness of the internal facilitation team.Results:
Key findings are that the following factors enhanced successful uptake of the anticoagulation initiative: 1) Regular participation by the site champion in the internal facilitation team; 2) Champion strongly committed to being an agent of change; and 3) Champion received greater support from their supervisors. The first and second factors are interrelated, as internal facilitators who actively and regularly participated in the internal facilitation team often became truly committed to the improvement project. Both factors relate to the third, as supervisor support not only facilitated changes in practice, but also facilitated regular team attendance and stronger participation.Conclusions:
Our study adds to implementation science by detailing how internal facilitators learn their skills over time, and how a group of internal facilitators can help each other succeed. These findings can guide those who wish to incorporate internal facilitation teams as an implementation strategy, and demonstrate how sites can build capacity for implementation efforts.Synopsis:
This study focuses on an implementation facilitation strategy to improve the delivery of anticoagulation care within pharmacy-run clinics across 8 Veterans Health Administration medical centers. Internal facilitators (IFs) guided by and supported by an external facilitators (EF), successfully implemented the clinical innovation. This study examines how the IF group became instrumental in the successful implementation of evidence-based practice change.