Innovation to Implementation: A Practical Guide to Knowledge Translation in Health Care

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What is Knowledge Translation (KT)?

Research has established that there is a substantial gap from the time new knowledge is created to when it is put into practice. The field of Knowledge Translation (KT) has emerged as a response to this gap. KT involves interaction between knowledge users and knowledge producers and results in mutual learning through the process of planning, producing, disseminating, and applying existing or new knowledge to enhance the health of Canadians. It is sometimes described as closing the gap between what we know and what we do.

What is the I2I?

The I2I is a how-to guide for driving change using KT activities. It is built around the concept of innovation: products, actions, services or relationships that have the potential to enhance health outcomes. The guide illustrates how to move from innovation to implementation in a thoughtful manner to achieve the desired outcomes of a project or initiative. The I2I is not meant to replace KT frameworks such as the PARiHS framework, the Knowledge Exchange Model or the Knowledge-to-Action process, but rather to facilitate an increase in their application through the development of a practical, action-oriented guide. The I2I is a practical, step-by-step guide to achieving successful KT. It highlights the importance of bringing a wide range of participants to the table, respecting both diversity and uniqueness, where knowledge is jointly identified, created or applied. It also stresses the importance of incorporating various knowledge perspectives.

The I2I delivers a pragmatic approach to KT, with seven steps to follow:

  1. State the purpose of your KT plan.
  2. Select the innovation around which your KT plan will be built.
  3. Specify the actors and actions: who needs to do what differently?
  4. Identify the best agents of change: who should be delivering knowledge about this Innovation?
  5. Design your KT plan.
  6. Implement the plan.
  7. Evaluate.

The I2I guide will explain the purpose of each step, walk you through a series of guided questions to help you complete the step, provide helpful tips on things to avoid, and provide space for you to make notes about your own work. By the time you complete the last step, you will not only have implemented and evaluated a sophisticated KT plan, but you will also have created new knowledge!

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Dan Bilsker,
Lisa Petermann,
Elliot M. Goldner

2012