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Implementation research focus of symposium hosted by VUMC

Dec. 3, 2020, 9:37 AM


by Bill Snyder

One hundred ten participants from around the country attended a three-day virtual symposium hosted by Vanderbilt University Medical Center last month that explored how Implementation Research in the Learning Healthcare System can improve the quality and delivery of health care.

Sponsored by the VUMC Center for Clinical Quality and Implementation Research and the CTSA/VICTR Learning Healthcare System, the symposium showcased several examples of scaling-up multidisciplinary interventions, innovative responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and implementation of services that aim to reduce substance misuse.

The symposium concluded with a virtual poster session and leadership networking opportunities with high-level VUMC administrators.

“The pipeline from scientific discovery to practice is a leaky one,” said Sunil Kripalani, MD, MSc, professor of Medicine and director of the Center for Clinical Quality and Implementation Research and the Center for Health Services Research.

A successful Learning Healthcare System “identifies problems in clinical practice, designs interventions, tests them in a real-world context, generates evidence about what works, studies how to implement that into practice and then disseminates and implements solutions in the health care system,” he said.

“How do we convert data into knowledge?” asked Leona Horwitz, MD, MHS, director of the Center for Healthcare Innovation and Delivery Science at NYU Langone Health in New York, who gave the symposium’s keynote address.

“It takes top-level institutional commitment and a highly engaged IT department,” Horwitz said. “It takes front-line enthusiasm and trust … (You) have to be willing and excited to do things differently.”

Rhodes Amaker, MMHC, Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network (VHAN) network operations; Sophia Kostelanetz, MD, MPH, postdoctoral research fellow and instructor in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics; and Lyndsay Nelson, PhD, research assistant professor of Medicine, received Best Poster Awards.

Quality, Safety, and Risk Prevention (QSRP) also was recognized as a key operational partner in VUMC’s evolving Learning Healthcare System.

“In addition to their own suite of initiatives, QSRP enriches and informs others,” said Gordon Bernard, MD, VUMC Executive Vice President for Research and director of the Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (VICTR).

“We now have unique opportunities to synergistically examine processes, interventions, and outcomes across the enterprise and effect change,” Bernard said.

Recordings of the sessions can be found at

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