Technology Transfer and Dissemination and Implementation Science
What is Technology Transfer?
The purpose of the MHTTC Network is technology transfer - disseminating and implementing evidence-based practices for mental disorders into the field.
Technology transfer is a multidimensional process that intentionally promotes the use of an innovation.
Technology transfer begins during the development of a new technology or innovation, continues through its dissemination (raising awareness), and extends into its early implementation (incorporation into practice). This process requires multiple stakeholders and resources, and involves activities related to translation and adoption. Technology transfer is designed to accelerate the diffusion of an innovation.
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.
Our “technologies” or “innovations” are evidence-based practices for mental health prevention, treatment, and recovery services. We seek 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.
What is Dissemination and Implementation Science?
Dissemination and implementation (D&I) science can be defined as “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.”* The MHTTC Network uses findings from D&I science research to provide more effective training and technical assistance services.
* 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.
An introduction to implementation science for the non-specialist:
Making it Stick: A Practical Approach to Dissemination and Implementation
At a time when SAMHSA is looking to drive real change in practice, D&I science can help. The MHTTC Dissemination and Implementation Working Group held a three-session learning community in Summer 2022 to build capacity of the TTCs to use D&I science in planning, technical assistance and training activities, with the goal of increasing the impact of these activities to change practice. Each 90-minute session was a mix of didactic presentations, case studies, and peer discussions.
Implementation Project Template
The Implementation Project Template was developed by the Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (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).
This template consists of three iterative forms: Exploration/Preparation, Implementation, and Sustainment. Each builds on the information entered previously, with several new fields that appear in the latter two forms. The new data elements in each successive form are bolded orange.
Making it Stick: A Guide to Using Dissemination and Implementation Science in Planning High-Impact Training and Technical Assistance
The materials from the internal learning community also served as the basis for a new D&I guide, Making it Stick: A Guide to Using Dissemination and Implementation Science in Planning High-Impact Training and Technical Assistance.
The purpose of this guide is to demonstrate how TA purveyors can use D&I science findings, models, and frameworks to provide the most effective training and technical assistance to accelerate practice change. The guide includes real-world TA examples, exercises that can be used by TA purveyor teams to learn about how to apply D&I science to their work, and an implementation project template that helps a TA purveyor plan and track an intensive TA activity. The guide will be posted soon.