This research provides the first aggregated view of approaches and challenges to spread and adoption across the Health Innovation Network Network, to help the Health Innovation Networks and our partners understand the complexity and variation. As well as mapping approaches across the Health Innovation Network Network, the review included a deep dive into the Transfers of Care Around Medicines (TCAM) national programme.
Professor Gary Ford, Chair of the Health Innovation Network Network and Chief Executive of Oxford Health Innovation Network said: “This review expands our knowledge base and will increase our capability to spread innovation in the NHS.
“Since our formation in 2013, the Health Innovation Networks have amassed significant expertise in the approaches and challenges to adoption and spread of innovation. The findings of this review highlight the considerations Health Innovation Networks take to their individual approach to adoption and spread and provides us with an overview, which will enable us to reflect and learn.
“The review highlights a number of factors to consider and different types of approaches, which will be of use to those in local and national systems trying to spread innovation.”
The review was commissioned and funded by the Health Innovation Network Network and the NHS England Innovation, Research and Life Sciences (IRLS) team. The research was undertaken by three study partners Wessex Health Innovation Network; South West Health Innovation Network; Centre for Healthcare Innovation Research (CHIR) at City, University of London.
All 15 Health Innovation Networks participated in the study, which took place from January to November 2020, studying spread and adoption activity between January 2018 and January 2020. 143 interviews were conducted with Health Innovation Network staff to identify approaches applied by each Health Innovation Network to local/regional and national spread programmes.
A synthesis of findings was used to develop conclusions and recommendations about spread and adoption for the Health Innovation Network Network.
Major findings from the review were:
- A range of high-level and project level approaches to adoption and spread were identified and described in the report.
- There was no single methodology or ‘one best way’ to do adoption and spread, reflecting the inherent complexity of adoption and spread work, and diversity of activities within Health Innovation Networks.
- Flexibility with approaches is paramount due to the dynamic and multifaceted nature of health systems.
- Despite some innovations being intrinsically ‘simple’; the contexts, people, and pathways they touch are usually complex, therefore adoption and spread are complex.
- Health Innovation Networks reported success using whole-system and relationship/engagement-focused approaches, engaging existing networks and building new networks across sectors and organisations.
- To spread innovation, it’s important to think ‘system’ and engage widely. This increases ownership within adoption sites from the start and supports sustainability.
The research highlights the depth of spread and adoption experience and expertise across the Health Innovation Network Network. The report concludes with 24 recommendations which the Health Innovation Networks and wider health system can learn and benefit from, increasing our capability to successfully spread innovation.
Read a summary of the report, including additional recommendations for the wider health and care system based on the findings.
Read the full report.