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At Novartis, our mission is to discover new ways to improve and extend people’s lives. Our strategy is to use science-based, healthcare innovations to deliver better patient outcomes.

A healthcare innovation may be as straightforward as updating a process to help discharge a patient from hospital ten minutes earlier, or as complex as a new medicine that targets a novel pathway driving a disease. Any development, simple or complex, that leads to improvements in patient outcomes and experiences can be seen as a healthcare innovation.

Similarly, an evidence-based practice (EBP) refers to innovations that have undergone sufficient scientific evaluation to be considered effective1, for example through clinical trials. However, establishing the effectiveness of an EBP does not guarantee its uptake into routine clinical use2. In fact, research shows that it takes up to 17 years, on average, for an innovation to be incorporated into routine practice in healthcare3,4,5; in other words, from the time it takes to first develop a new and effective medicine, to the time when it is used routinely across the UK for the benefit of patients.

This is where Implementation Science comes in…

The field of implementation science has been developed to improve the uptake of EBPs and therefore increase their public health impact and improve population health.

In other words, it is “the scientific study of methods to promote the systematic uptake of research findings and other EBPs into routine practice, and, hence, to improve the quality and effectiveness of health services.”6

Implementation science works to identify and address both the barriers and facilitators to the uptake of evidence-based clinical innovations.

At Novartis, we have a purpose to reimagine medicine to address some of society’s most challenging healthcare issues. Present at every stage – from discovery, to research, to delivery – it’s this purpose that drives us to advance healthcare every day. 

Evidence based practices that are not effectively implemented do not result in the expected health benefits. In healthcare, the goals of implementation science are to identify the factors, processes, and methods that can successfully embed evidence-based practices, in order to achieve better health outcomes. Through acting together to shed light on the ways we can ensure quicker uptake of healthcare innovations and successfully embed them in policy and practice, we can help realise this vision and deliver healthcare that truly works for everyone.

Samantha Dixon, Head of Implementation Science, Novartis.

In Conversation with… The UK’s Implementation Science Experts

This is the focus of our latest ‘In conversation with...’ series. Chaired by media medic and GP, Dr Sarah Jarvis MBE, our Global Head of Implementation Science at Novartis, Dr Samantha Dixon, shares the screen with experts on Implementation Science from across the healthcare landscape. This includes Dr Tracey Vell MBE (Medical Executive at GMHSCP and Medical Director at Health Innovation Manchester), Paul Wilson (Senior Lecturer Implementation Sciences, University of Manchester) and Piers Ricketts (Chief Executive of the Eastern Academic Health Science Network).

Over the course of five episodes, our expert panel will seek to bring the concept of Implementation Science to life, through real-world insight. We delve into the details of this approach, the key components required for success and the essential need for a collaborative and partnership-based approach, which sees local systems (including health, social care and public services) working together.

Tune in to the series below to find out more.

Episode One: Implementation Science… What is it?


Episode Two: Implementation Science... What does the science say?


Episode Three: Implementation Science... What role can industry play?


Episode Four: Implementation Science... Systemic solutions for the future


Episode Five: Implementation Science... How it works in practice



  • AHSN – Academic Health Science Networks
  • CCGs – Clinical Commissioning Groups
  • ICS – Integrated Care Systems
  • IS – Implementation Science
  • PCN – Primary Care Network


[1] Schillinger D. In: An Introduction to Effectiveness, Dissemination and Implementation Research. Fleisher P, Goldstein E, editors. San Francisco: Community Engagem. Progr., Clin. Transl. Sci. Inst., Univ. Calif; 2010.

[2] Bauer, M. and Kirchner, J., 2020. Implementation science: What is it and why should I care?. Psychiatry Research, 283, p.112376.

[3] Balas EA, Boren SA. Managing clinical knowledge for health care improvement. Yearbook of Medical Informatics. Schattauer: Stuttgart; 2000. pp. 65–70.

[4] Grant J, Green L, Mason B. Basic research and health: a reassessment of the scientific basis for the support of biomedical science. Res Eval. 2003;12:217–224.

[5] Morris ZS, Wooding S, Grant J. The answer is 17 years, what is the question: understanding time lags in translational research. J Roy Soc Med. 2011;104:510–20.

[6] Eccles MP, Mittman BS. Welcome to implementation science. ImplementationSci. 2006;1:1.

UK | September 2022 | 213923