Linkage between theory-based measurement of organizational readiness for change and lessons learned conducting quality improvement-focused research.


Organizations have different levels of readiness to implement change in the patient care process. The Hypertension Telemedicine Nurse Implementation Project for Veterans (HTN-IMPROVE) is an example of an innovation that seeks to enhance delivery of care for patients with hypertension. We describe the link between organizational readiness for change (ORC), assessed as the project began, and barriers and facilitators occurring during the process of implementing a primary care innovation. Each of 3 Veterans Affairs medical centers provided a half-time nurse and implemented a nurse-delivered, telephone-based self-management support program for patients with uncontrolled hypertension. As the program was starting, we assessed the ORC and factors associated with ORC. On the basis of consensus of medical center and research partners, we enumerated implementation process barriers and facilitators. The primary ORC barrier was unclear long-term commitment of nursing to provide continued resources to the program. Three related barriers included the need to address: (1) competing organizational demands, (2) differing mechanisms to integrate new interventions into existing workload, and (3) methods for referring patients to disease and self-management support programs. Prior to full implementation, however, stakeholders identified a high level of commitment to conduct nurse-delivered interventions fully using their skills. There was also a significant commitment from the core implementation team and a desire to improve patient outcomes. These facilitators were observed during the implementation of HTN-IMPROVE. As demonstrated by the link between barriers to and facilitators of implementation anticipated though the evaluation of ORC and what was actually observed during the process of implementation, this project demonstrates the practical utility of assessing ORC prior to embarking on the implementation of significant new clinical innovations.





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Publication Info

Jackson, George L, Christianne L Roumie, Susan M Rakley, Jeffrey D Kravetz, Miriam A Kirshner, Pamela S Del Monte, Michael E Bowen, Eugene Z Oddone, et al. (2017). Linkage between theory-based measurement of organizational readiness for change and lessons learned conducting quality improvement-focused research. Learning health systems, 1(2). p. e10013. 10.1002/lrh2.10013 Retrieved from

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George Lee Jackson

Adjunct Professor in Population Health Sciences

Areas of expertise: Epidemiology, Health Services Research, and Implementation Science

George L. Jackson, Ph.D., MHA is a healthcare epidemiologist and implementation scientist with a background in health administration.  He joined the faculty of the UT Southwestern Medical Center in February of 2023 as a Professor and Director of the Advancing Implementation & Improvement Science Program in the Peter O'Donnell Jr. School of Public Health.  Dr. Jackson is also a Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Services Research & Development (HSR&D) Research Health Scientist who works with the VA healthcare systems in both Durham, NC and Dallas, TX.  He is the Director of the Implementation and Improvement Science Lab/Core at the Durham VA Center of Innovation to Accelerate Discovery and Practice Transformation (ADAPT).  Additionally, he is a co-leader of a cooperative effort between the Dallas VA and Program on Implementation and Improvement Science designed to enhance the infrastructure for partnered health services and other research across the Dallas VA and UT Southwestern focused on enhancing the health and healthcare of Veterans in North Texas and across the Nation.

The UT Southwestern Advancing Implementation & Improvement Science Program seeks to further enhance collaborations between the UT Southwestern and affiliated health systems and community partners in the pursuit of common missions to enhance the health and healthcare of the people of North Texas.  The goal is to develop a system to identify potentially successful projects using implementation and improvement science – which uses rigorous, data-driven research to expand programs and improve a community’s health.

Dr. Jackson’s own research and evaluation efforts focus on the development, testing, and implementation of team-based approaches to address the treatment and prevention of chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and cancer.  He has also evaluated efforts to enhance the organization of mental health care.  As an implementation scientist, Dr. Jackson studies strategies focused on the adoption and spread of evidence-informed practices across large health systems.  He is currently the corresponding principal investigator for two VA program grants focused on the process of identifying, replicating, and spreading innovations across large healthcare systems.  These include the Spreading Healthcare Access, Activities, Research and Knowledge (SHAARK) partnered evaluation of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Diffusion of Excellence program and the Dynamic Diffusion Network (DDN) QUERI Program, both funded by the VA Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI).

Dr. Jackson received his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in epidemiology, Master of Health Administration (MHA), and Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) in health policy and administration degrees from the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He completed an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) pre-doctoral fellowship in health services research at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research and AHRQ post-doctoral fellowship in health services research in the Duke Division of General Internal Medicine and HSR&D Center at the Durham VA.  He came to UT Southwestern from Duke University, where he was a Professor in the Departments of Population Health Sciences, Medicine (Division of General Internal Medicine), and Family Medicine & Community Health.  He also co-taught evidence-based practice in the Duke Physician Assistant (PA) Program.  Dr. Jackson currently maintains appointments as an Adjunct Professor of Population Health Sciences at Duke and Adjunct Professor of Health Policy and Management at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Susan Merle Rakley

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Eugene Zaverio Oddone

Professor Emeritus of Medicine

I am a health services researcher whose primary research interests are: 1) evaluating the effectiveness of primary care with an emphasis on chronic disease, 2) assessing the reasons and testing interventions to reduce racial variation in access the health care and utilization of health services, 3) determining appropriate interventions to improve blood pressure control for hypertensive patients treated in primary care. I have research expertise in racial variation, blood pressure control, disease management, and tele-medicine. I also have methodologic expertise in designing and testing health services interventions in multi-site clinical trials.

Key words: primary care, racial variation, quality of care, hypertension


Ryan Shaw

Associate Professor in the School of Nursing

Ryan Shaw leads interdisciplinary teams focused on integrating patient-generated health data and emerging technologies into innovative care delivery models. These models are designed for patients with complex chronic illnesses and include data from wearables, sensors, and medical devices that interface with electronic health records (EHRs). His work has been supported by funding from institutions like the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), among others.

As the Director of Duke University School of Nursing's Health Innovation Lab, located adjacent to Duke Hospital, he oversees a space for entrepreneurship, product development and testing, and modeling care delivery processes. Additionally, he teaches classes in health informatics and research methods, and mentors students to become the next generation of health scientists and clinicians.

Dr. Shaw's work is shaping the future of healthcare through the integration of technology and patient-centered data in nursing practice and education.

He currently co-leads three NIH-funded projects:
EXTEND (Grant R01NR019594):
Log2lose (Grant U24HL150227):
Nurse-LEADS (Grant T32NR021171)

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