The Innovation Diffusion and Adoption Research Project (IDARP):

Moving from the diffusion of research results to promoting the adoption of evidence-based innovations in the Ohio mental health system

Phyllis C. Panzano, Ph.D.
Decision Support Services, Inc.

Dee Roth, M.A.
Dushka Crane-Ross, Ph.D.
ODMH, Office of Program Evaluation and Research

In the process of implementing its quality agenda, the Ohio Department of Mental Health is taking action in three arenas: consumer Outcomes, quality improvement, and evidence-based practices (EBP). This project is focused on the EBP component of the implementation process.

The ODMH hopes to improve quality of care by facilitating the adoption and assimilation of EBPs by service providers in Ohio. Coordinating Centers of Excellence (CCOE) have been established as structural mechanisms to accomplish this goal. Each CCOE is seen as the statewide technical expert with regard to the implementation of a specific one of these innovative practices . The major functions of CCOEs are to disseminate information about EBPs to provider organizations, to promote the adoption of EBPs, and to provide the technical assistance, training, and consultation required for the successful implementation of a specific EBP by service providers.

This research specifically focuses on four CCOEs and therefore, four EBPs which include:

1. The Ohio Medication Algorithm Project (OMAP). The OMAP CCOE disseminates medication algorithms developed through the Texas Medication Algorithm Project. These algorithms promote the use of atypical anti-psychotic medications, new generation antidepressant medications, and mono-therapy as a first line of treatment.

2. Cluster-Based Planning Alliance. This innovation involves the use of a research-based consumer classification scheme to guide staff training, consumer outcomes management, and treatment and service planning within mental health organizations.


1. Within the health care domain, evidence-based practices (EBPs) are interventions for which there is consistent scientific evidence that they improve client outcomes (Drake, Goldman, Leff, et al, 2000). In order for an EBP to be considered an innovation, the EBP must be perceived as new by adopting organizations. Given that EBPs tend to represent state-of-the-art practices, it is expected that EBPs will be seen as technical and/or administrative innovations to adopting organizations in this research. However, in contrast to the definition of an EBP, innovations, by definition, do not require consistent scientific evidence that they improve outcomes. For ease of reference and given the assumption that an EBP will be perceived as innovative, the terms EBP and innovation will be used interchangeably in this document.


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