Funded by: National Institute of Health Research (SDO)
This project is funded by the National Institute of Health Research (SDO) for a two-year period. Health services are currently widely seen to require a new level of injection of technological change. Diagnostic, therapeutic and informatics technologies are being developed that have potential to improve the efficiency and the effectiveness of healthcare. Indeed, to a very significant extent, step-change improvement of health services is judged to be dependent on the extent to which new technologies can be adopted successfully. However, research reveals that health services – including the NHS – are often slow in adopting new technology. This project is examining this problem by focusing in some detail on the extent to which, and the ways in which, clinicians who innovate help improve the rate and the effectiveness of adoption. Hence, the research is concerned with whether technologies developed within the NHS have inherently different adoption characteristics compared with technologies developed outside the NHS
The central objective is to reveal the mix of factors that tend to produce "adoptable" innovations. This refers to ones that have clear advantages beyond their source organisation and low implementation complexity and are readily adaptable to new contexts. The research is seeking to answer the following questions: Do user-developed products perform differently in the technology assessment processes (evidence-based and preference-based) underpinning adoption decisions? What part do informal professional networks play in adoption decisions? Does the origin of the technology impact on the compatibility of a technology for adoption within an NHS organisation. Do user-developers have a greater opportunity to gather evidence and develop implementation guidelines that support the adoption decision process and does this allow them to achieve better trialability? Does the source of the technology impact upon the perceived relative advantage and the perceived complexity and if so, how?
Currently, the team is undertaking an initial survey of NHS-developed technologies. From this wider survey, six internally-developed technologies will be identified for further research. These will be match-paired and compared with six comparable technologies developed outside the NHS. A total of 12 case sites will thus be investigated, six using the internally-developed technologies and six using externally-developed. Detailed case studies will be undertaken that map the career histories of these adoption processes. These will then be used to develop an understanding of how a technologies origin impacts on its adoption.
Research centre: Responsibility and Regulation (R&R)