Implementation science is the scientific study of methods to promote the integration of research findings and evidence-based interventions into healthcare policy and practice.
Successful translation of high-quality evidence into daily clinical practice, health systems or service organisations remains challenging. Research has shown that only one third of evidenced based practices are ever implemented in routine care and that implementation trajectory takes on average 17 years. This results in considerable research waste. Research funding often does not lead to innovation or improved quality of care. In addition, effective health care interventions often end up on library bookshelves instead of driving innovation in various health care settings.
Implementation science is the scientific approach to facilitate and leverage the successful translation of effective and safe health care interventions into real life care settings. While building on existing clinical research and health systems research methods, implementation science implies integration and use of theo- retical frameworks, thorough contextual analysis, patient and public involvement, use of implementation strategies, focus on effectiveness and implementation outcomes, use of a hybrid or implementation science specific design, and a transdisciplinary approach.
In Switzerland, this is an exciting time of growth in our national understanding and focus on implementation science. As evidence of this growing emphasis on implementation science, a number of implementation science projects are now funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation in the NFP74 research program and other competitive funding agencies. It is time to further strengthen and develop the capacity for implementation science in Switzerland.