Change in health care is common and its implementation is often complex and challenging. As Allen (2016) elaborates, change is usually implemented sub-optimally and can have several impacts on overall organization functions, employees, and patients. To reduce the risk of failure and increase the probability of success, implementation of change has progressed towards the increased incorporation of models and/or theoretical approaches to provide a better understanding and explanation of the success or failure of change in practice. By definition, a theory is a set of analytical principles designed to structure a certain observation and create a better understand and explanation of a particular situation or element. On the other hand, a model involves a deliberate simplification of a phenomenon. Models are closely related to theories and may be defined as theories with a narrowly defined scope of explanation (Nilsen, 2015).
Drawing upon the definition of models and theories it is easy to identify the overarching importance of using theories and models when implementing practice changes. Firstly, theories and models help in describing and guiding the process of translating research into clinical practice. Secondly, it helps in understanding or explaining what affects implementation results. For instance, process models or theories help in describing or guiding the process of translating research into practice. Various models have been associated with the ability to outline stages of the research to practice process or production of research-based knowledge to application in practice. Process theories or models place more emphasis on the context of research implementation and application, which shifts the focus into the implementation aspect. Additionally, considering whether the time and effort required incorporating a change model or theory into the implementation process outweighs the benefits, the answer is yes.
Allen, B. (2016). Effective design, implementation, and management of change in healthcare. Nursing Standard (Royal College of Nursing (Great Britain): 1987), 31(3), 58-71.
Nilsen, P. (2015). Making sense of implementation theories, models and frameworks. Implementation Science, 10(1), 1-13.
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