In recent years, tremendous progress has been made in developing prevention programs with proven efficacy for preventing risky behaviors and promoting positive outcomes for youth.Unfortunately, actual use of these evidence-based prevention programs (EBPPs) in real world settings continues to lag far behind. Research in the field of implementation science has underscored how research evidence alone is not sufficient for broad scale adoption and sustained use of EBPPs.In order to move research to practice, we must develop effective methods to address systemic barriers to implementing EBPPs in everyday practice in community- and school-based service settings. Only by lowering these barriers can EBPPs achieve broad public impact in which youth, and society at large, are able to realize the benefits of these effective prevention programs.
This SBIR Phase I project addressed a key implementation barrier to broad scale adoption and sustained use of EBPPs—the need for ongoing tracking and documentation of how and to what extent an EBPP results in intended youth outcomes under real-world conditions. Through this SBIR, we developed Impact, an easy to use, cost- and time-efficient technology platform to gather relevant process and outcome data and produce meaningful real-time reports at provider, service setting, and state-wide levels. The existing collaborations among 3C Institute, co-I Dr. Brian Bumbarger, and intervention developers Dr. Brad Stein and Dr. Lisa Jaycox provided a solid foundation upon which to build Impact and test it with EBPP stakeholders across the U.S.
As the healthcare market steadily moves toward outcome-based reimbursement models, process and outcomes data is critically important for helping payors and policymakers justify expenditures needed to adopt and implement EBPPs with fidelity (e.g., staff training, supervision). Ready access to these data is also an essential ingredient in continuous quality improvement (CQI) enabling providers to make data-driven decisions to ensure youth are making progress toward target outcomes. Concrete, real-time feedback by which providers can see how their service provision translates into benefits for youth fosters sustained quality implementation of EBPPs over time.