Barriers to translating evidence into practice

Sean Berenholtz, Peter J. Pronovost

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: The demand for high-quality care is increasing. A variety of therapies have been shown to improve patient outcomes in critical care. Nevertheless, relatively little research has focused on identifying how to deliver those therapies effectively and efficiently. As a result, the most cost-effective opportunity to improve patient outcomes will likely come not from discovering new therapies but from discovering how to deliver therapies that are known to be effective. Recent findings: The authors review the evidence regarding changing behavior of physicians and discuss barriers to translating evidence into practice. They also provide practical examples of how they applied the concepts of teamwork, independent redundancy, and reduced complexity to change the behavior of physicians and improve quality of care. Summary: Because quality is a multidimensional construct, it is unlikely that a single approach will be effective. ICU physicians and hospital leaders must assume a leadership role, implementing a combination of different approaches and developing appropriate systems for patient care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-325
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent opinion in critical care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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