Technology Transfer and Dissemination and Implementation Science
What is Technology Transfer?
Technology transfer is a multidimensional process that intentionally promotes the use of innovations, such as evidence-based mental health prevention, treatment, and recovery services (ATTC Network Technology Transfer Workgroup, 2011).
Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) Network Technology Transfer Workgroup. Gotham, H. J., Hagle, H., Hulsey, E., Krom, L., Roget, N., Squires, D., Waters, P., & Williams, A. (2011). Research to practice in addiction treatment: Key terms and a field driven model of technology transfer. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 41, 169-178.
The MHTTC Network provides technical assistance and training to accelerate the ability of the mental health field to use evidence-based practices that will improve the lives of people with or at risk of developing mental health disorders.
The Network uses findings from Dissemination and Implementation (D&I) Science research to provide more effective training and technical assistance services.
What is Dissemination & Implementation Science?
Dissemination and Implementation (D&I) Science is “the scientific study of methods to promote the systematic uptake of research findings and other evidence-based practices into routine practice, and, hence, to improve the quality and effectiveness of health services” (Bauer et al., 2015).
Behavioral health providers seeking to implement evidence-based practices should have a good understanding of D&I Science to better understand what it takes to foster real practice change. Additionally, D&I Science can help technical assistance and training purveyors design the most effective technical assistance projects that drive real change in practice. This page highlights key resources for both providers and for TA/Training Centers.
D&I Science Resources
- Applying implementation science in mental health services: Technical assistance cases from the Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) Network
- Lessons from Implementation Science to Help You Solve Challenges in Behavioral Health Services Delivery
- An introduction to implementation science for the non-specialist
- Bauer, M. S., Damschroder, L., Hagedorn, H., Smith, J., & Kilbourne, A. M. (2015). An introduction to implementation science for the non-specialist. BMC Psychology, 3(1), 32. doi:10.1186/s40359-015-0089-9.
- How Implementation Science Can (Help) Solve Longstanding and New Challenges in Behavioral Health Services Delivery for Persons with Serious Mental Illness | SMI Adviser
For technical assistance and training purveyors:
Making it Stick: A Practical Approach to Dissemination and Implementation
The MHTTC Dissemination and Implementation Working Group developed two products to build capacity of TA/Training Centers to use D&I science in planning technical assistance and training activities, with the goal of increasing the impact of these activities on implementing evidence-based prevention, treatment, and recovery supports.
- Making it Stick: Guide. This guide includes real-world TA examples and exercises that can be used by TA purveyor teams to learn about how to apply D&I science to their work.
- Making it Stick: Three-Session Learning Community. Access the three recorded sessions of a learning community held in Summer 2022. Each 90-minute session is a mix of didactic presentations, case studies, and peer discussions.
Implementation Project Template
The Implementation Project Template was developed by the MHTTC Dissemination & Implementation Working Group, with feedback from the ATTC and PTTC Networks. This template is a tool to assist in planning and tracking the progress of implementation support/technical assistance projects that have the goal of implementing an intervention/program/practice (versus those focused on awareness raising or training only). It consists of three iterative forms related to the stage of your project: Exploration/Preparation, Implementation, and Sustainment. Technical assistance providers can use this tool to focus on D&I science frameworks and concepts as you plan, track, and evaluate intensive technical assistance activities.
Implementation Science: Overview and Opportunity for SAMHSA
This 2017 white paper, written by MHTTC Network Coordinating Office Principal Investigator Mark McGovern, provides an overview of the emerging science of implementation, and suggests implications for SAMHSA’s leadership, administrative and funding role in the delivery of behavioral health services in the US.
Effective Implementation Strategies for Providers and Purveyors
- Article: Learning Collaboratives: a Strategy for Quality Improvement and Implementation in Behavioral Health. Download the full report and learn more about training methods and strategies.
- Implementation Strategies Infographics. One-page graphic summaries of two common intensive technical assistance strategies used to help states, organizations, and front-line providers implement effective services: Learning Collaboratives, and External Facilitation
Other Projects of Ours
MIC Stories (MHTTCs Implementing Change) feature our MHTTC Regional or National Focus Area Centers’ intensive technical assistance projects that had a significant impact on mental health prevention, treatment, or recovery support services.
Read more and learn about our intensive TA projects here.