EHTEL members are engaged in some really interesting, practical developments.
What helps innovation to move forward? The complexity of implementation processes in healthcare has prevented many clinical innovations from reaching routine practice, despite evidence of their effectiveness. The ImpleMentAll project (Jan 2017 – Mar 2021), led by long-standing EHTEL member the Region of Southern Denmark, was a European Horizon 2020 collaboration working to improve eHealth implementation.
Over a little more than four years, the project developed and validated an online toolkit for eHealth implementation. The ItFits-toolkit was tested in a stepped-wedge randomised trial. It compared tailored implementation, adapted to the local context, with usual implementation processes in 12 implementation sites across Europe and Australia. The sites were mental healthcare delivery organisations located in Albania, Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Kosovo, the Netherlands, and Spain.
Results of the trial were presented at ImpleMentAll’s final conference in March 2021. Speakers revealed that the results of the toolkit effectiveness trial are positive. They show support for the worthwhile approach of tailored implementation in the form of the ItFits-toolkit. The presentations from the conference are available on the ImpleMentAll website along with materials about the toolkit. Recordings of the sessions are available on ImpleMentAll’s YouTube channel. Coming publications will detail the toolkit’s effectiveness when the project outcomes are published in scientific journals.
In what situations is “tailored implementation” better than usual implementation activities, which are not systematically tailored to the local context? ImpleMentAll calls these “non-tailored” approaches.
Further research will seek to advance the use of the toolkit. It will identify which of the components and mechanisms within the toolkit drive tailoring and implementation efforts. It will establish in what settings, for which implementation objects, and for what implementation objectives the toolkit might be more effective than non-tailored implementation.
The toolkit draws on proven strategies developed by experts. It is already freely available on the ItFits-toolkit website.
The project has provided important knowledge about implementation of internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT) – one in a range of digital mental health services offered by the Danish Centre for Telepsychiatry. The service forms the foundation of a vision to offer stepped and hybrid care in the Mental Health Services in the Region of Southern Denmark.