Background: We know that patient care can be improved by implementing evidence-based innovations and applying research findings linked to good practice. Successfully implementing innovations in complex organisations, such as the UK's National Health Service (NHS), is often challenging as multiple contextual dynamics mediate the process. Research studies have explored the challenges of introducing innovations into healthcare settings and have contributed to a better understanding of why potentially useful innovations are not always implemented in practice, even if backed by strong evidence. Mediating factors include health policy and health system influences, organisational factors, and individual and professional attitudes, including decision makers' perceptions of innovation evidence. There has been limited research on how different forms of evidence are accessed and utilised by organisational decision makers during innovation adoption. We also know little about how diverse healthcare professionals (clinicians, administrators) make sense of evidence and how this collective sensemaking mediates the uptake of innovations.Methods: The study will involve nine comparative case study sites of acute care organisations grouped into three regional clusters across England. Each of the purposefully selected sites represents a variety of trust types and organisational contexts. We will use qualitative methods, in-depth interviews, observation of key meetings, and systematic analysis of relevant secondary data to understand the rationale and challenges involved in sourcing and utilising innovation evidence in the empirical setting of infection prevention and control. We will use theories of innovation adoption and sensemaking in organisations to interpret the data. The research will provide lessons for the uptake and continuous use of innovations in the English and international health systems.Discussion: Unlike most innovation studies, which involve single-level analysis, our study will explore the innovation-adoption process at multiple embedded levels: micro (individual), meso (organisational), and macro (interorganisational). By comparing and contrasting across the nine sites, each with different organisational contexts, local networks, leadership styles, and different innovations considered for adoption, the findings of the study will have wide relevance. The research will produce actionable findings responding to the political and economic need for healthcare organisations to be innovation-ready.
- Infection prevention
- Innovation adoption
- National health service (NHS)