If You Build It, Will They Come?

  • Posted In: Your Voices
  • At the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)  we have gotten into the business of creating implementation tools. We finally realized that you can’t just publish research results and expect people to implement them. But now we confront the question, “How do you get people to use the products you’ve created for them?” While this is a constant struggle, here are some thoughts.

    1. Demand-driven products. Get your ideas of what to produce from your target audience. Find out what they think they need to get the job done.
    2. Testing and evidence. Pilot test your products with your audience and revise them based on the experience of users. Gather information on the impact of the product to share wit potential users.
    3. Form dissemination partnerships. Who does your audience respect? Who has a line of communication to your audience? Form dissemination partnerships with these influential groups or individuals so they can help get the word out.
    4. Reach out to educators. While we might not have intended our products to be used as teaching tools, students are the practitioners of tomorrow and educators are in the business of introducing new things.
    5. Provide technical assistance. When the budget permits, it helps to be available to take questions and troubleshoot with users.


    Top 5 reasons I love AHRQ’s Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit 

    1. Soup to nuts. Includes tools for improving spoken and written communication, as well as improving self-management/empowerment and supportive systems.
    2. Brief tools. Each tool is 2-5 pages long with clear, step-by-step implementation instructions.
    3. Accessible. You don’t have to read through the whole toolkit, but can start with any tool. There’s even a Quick Start Guide for those who want to get started in a hurry.
    4. Extensive Resources. Each tool links up with resource on the Web or available in the toolkit’s appendix (e.g., sample forms or action plans).
    5. Improvement orientation. Provides a 6-step process to get you on the path to improvement.


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