Experts from Kaiser Permanente, Stanford Share Life-Saving Practices at the Lundquist Institute’s First Implementation Science Workshop

LOS ANGELES — The Lundquist Institute (formerly known as LA BioMed) held its first Implementation Science Workshop on September 27, bringing dozens of California’s preeminent health care experts to its campus in an effort to promote better ways to bring latest research findings into routine medical practice faster, saving and improving countless lives.

While discoveries through medical research are at the foundation of modern health care, they can only affect real people if physicians and other health care practitioners are both aware of them and have tools to implement them in practice. Implementation science is the study of methods to accelerate the uptake of research findings into the examination room, improving the quality and effectiveness of health care in general. Without a scientific method to systematically get this research to patients, groundbreaking studies with the potential to save lives end up under- or even unutilized—almost as if they were never undertaken at all.

Experts from Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Stanford University and other leading institutions came together in a new forum and shared their findings—some counterintuitive—in order to improve health processes and outcomes, which is the ultimate goal of implementation science. The workshop, hosted by the Lundquist Institute’s Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Joaquin (Quim) Madrenas, was held in the new four-story, 78,000-square-foot MRL building on the Lundquist Institute campus at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center

Key takeaways include:
 

  • Implementation studies can often inform public policy by answering key questions on medical approaches such as efficacy or response in all segments of the population.
  • The NIH is not just about discovery but about reducing illness and preventing disability, and implementation research can contribute in that respect. 
  • Clinical research can create and establish effective programs, but their implementation may not be effective.  That is the role of Implementation Science. 
  • Professional behavior, organizational layout and institutional policies and procedures can put up barriers to research uptake and implementation. 
  • Sometimes de-implementation research—how to stop using drugs and procedures that are not effective—is more important than implementation itself.

Dr. Brian S. Mittman, PhD of Kaiser Permanente Southern California’s Department of Research and Evaluation delivered the morning keynote lecture, titled “Realizing the Societal Benefits of Medical Research: Applying Implementation Science to Improve Clinical Practice and Patient Outcomes.” Prominent researchers and investigators from Stanford University, UCLA, the University of Southern California, UC Davis, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services—as well as several from the Lundquist Institute itself—also led sessions.

“Implementation studies are important and they address an unmet need,” said Mittman. “They can also reveal contextual influences in the implementation of novel management strategies.”

“The ultimate goal of implementation science is to improve health processes and outcomes,” said Dr. Joaquin (Quim) Madrenas, MD, PhD, FCAHS, Chief Scientific Officer of the Lundquist Institute. “Having this group of experts and practitioners in one place facilitated critical discussions and information sharing that will save lives.”

“The Lundquist Institute has always focused on a comprehensive, bedside-to-bench approach to health care, and the Implementation Science Workshop is the latest example of that,” said Dr. David Meyer, PhD, President and CEO of the Lundquist Institute. “We were honored to welcome some of California’s leading life science experts to the crown jewel of our campus to discuss ways to deliver groundbreaking treatments to patients who need them most.”