Implementation Science Teams – Strengthening Pandemic Preparedness in Long-Term Care
The COVID-19 pandemic profoundly impacted the health and care of older adults, with particularly devastating consequences for residents, families and essential care partners in long-term care and retirement homes across Canada.
In response, 22 Implementation Science Teams partnered with 91 long-term care and retirement homes, caring for more than 14,000 residents, in all 10 provinces to:
- Implement and evaluate promising practices designed to keep residents, families, essential care partners and staff safe from COVID-19
- Build evidence on what interventions are most effective, in what settings and contexts, and why.
How the Implementation Science Teams contributed to better healthcare in Canada
Rapid research has been essential for understanding the impact of COVID-19 and informing the health system’s response. This initiative helped teams quickly evaluate the effect of policies and interventions in different settings and contexts to inform real-time learning and improvements. It helped strengthen capacity to participate in research and facilitate knowledge transfer in real time across the long-term care sector.
Implementation Science Teams focused primarily on interventions related to family presence, people in the workforce and planning for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 care.
Learn more about recommendations for strengthening pandemic preparedness in long-term care identified through the Implementation Science Teams initiative.
The Implementation Science Teams approach
This rapid research initiative brought together quality improvement efforts through the LTC+ Acting on the Pandemic Learning Together program with implementation science so that learnings could be quickly shared across the sector to improve preparedness for future waves of the pandemic.
Each team included:
- researchers with expertise in long-term care and/or implementation science
- long-term care home knowledge users with decision-making authority
- residents, family members and essential care partners
Find out more about the 22 research teams and their work.
This work is complemented by a Common Measurement Framework project to collectively identify a common set of indicators about enablers and barriers for successful and maximum impact of promising practices.
Implementation science: Implementation science is the study of methods and strategies used to implement evidence-informed interventions within routine healthcare in clinical, organizational or policy context. Implementation science learns from real-world experience and generates insights on how best to adapt interventions for successful implementation in different regions, conditions, populations and contexts.
This approach helps determine what works and for who, under which circumstances, and why an intervention succeeds or fails.