Briefing on Linkage and Exchange

Facilitating Diffusion of Innovation in Health Services

by Annalijn Conklin, Michael Hallsworth, Evi Hatziandreu, Jonathan Grant

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This occasional paper, written and published in English in 2008, was originally prepared for the UK Department of Health (DoH) as an interim product of a larger project. The paper presents a briefing on the Canadian concept of "linkage and exchange" as a useful strategy to facilitate diffusion of innovation in health sciences research. The objective of the work was to define linkage and exchange; consider its applications; assess whether it works; and investigate how it can be relevant to the DoH for its work around innovation. The paper does not purport to be a systematic review of either the evidence-based movement generally, or the full range of linkage and exchange initiatives specifically. Nonetheless, it should be of interest to health policymakers who are concerned with facilitating diffusion of knowledge between health researchers and decision-makers (health managers, or health ministries).

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The research described in this report was prepared for the UK Department of Health and conducted by RAND Europe.

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