Practical Approaches to Implement EBPs and Studying Implementation

Practical Approaches to Implementing EBPs

Whether you are a clinician, or represent a clinic, suicide prevention organization, or large health care system, implementing a new evidence-based practice (EBP) can be tough.  Training is a necessary step (see our Exploring EBPs for suicide care page for training options).  But training alone is not sufficient.  There are many other strategies (more than 70, in fact) to help get an intervention in place, scaled up, and sustained over time. Here are links to four practical and accessible approaches to help you think through the implementation process – they are geared for different learning styles and settings.

Explore each site and pick the approach that is best for your setting:

Finding Implementation Training and Partnership

Experts to Implement your Interventions

In recognizing how challenging implementation can be, you may want to explore in-depth training or find an expert partner help implement suicide interventions in your setting.  These organizations offer training or contract assistance to help you lead this process.

Practical Approaches to Study Implementation

If you are a researcher or program evaluator, these practical approaches will help you think through implementation process evaluation. Some implementation science materials use a lot of unnecessary jargon, so we agree with Geoff Curran that simple non-scientific language is best when possible; his brief paper on this subject is a nice place to start.

When defining implementation science, some very non-scientific language can be helpful:

  • the intervention/practice/innovation is THE THING
  • effectiveness research looks at whether THE THING works
  • implementation research looks at how best to help people/places DO THE THING
  • main implementation outcomes are HOW MUCH and HOW WELL they DO THE THING

Curran, G. M. (2020). Implementation science made too simple: A teaching tool. Implementation Science Communications, 1(1), 27.

Helpful Video Explanations

These videos explain implementation science to suicide and general clinical researchers in a straightforward way:

Key Concepts

These key concepts in the field of implementation are worth understanding:

  1. Implementation Outcomes: How Much and How Well are People Doing the Thing?
  2. How do you Integrate Implementation Outcomes in Clinical Research? 
  3. What stuff can we change to help people and place do the thing?Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research
  4. How Cab We Get This Stuff To Change To Help People and Places Do The Thing?

Waltz, T. J., Powell, B. J., Matthieu, M. M., Damschroder, L. J., Chinman, M. J., Smith, J. L., Proctor, E. K., & Kirchner, J. E. (2015). Use of concept mapping to characterize relationships among implemen

Putting it All Together Logically


Smith, J. D., Li, D. H., & Rafferty, M. R. (2020). The Implementation Research Logic Model: A method for planning, executing, reporting, and synthesizing implementation projects. Implementation Science, 15(1), 84.