There are a number of monikers loosely applied to what we at Health Affairs refer to as “diffusion” – implementation and dissemination science, translational science, scale, spread, adoption, and other labels. In this Blog series, we seek to encompass all aspects of the journey between development of a health care innovation and widespread adoption of change in the health care delivery system. As innovators and disseminators know, this path can be windy and even tortuous, with backtracks and sidetracks taken as learnings are accumulated. In the midst of all the variability, implementers are researching and developing a knowledge base for the process.

In March, Health Affairs published a theme issue on “Health Care Delivery System Innovations,” which highlighted innovations across commercial and public payers, from delivery to benefit design. Today, we launch a new featured topic on Health Affairs Blog focusing on the Diffusion of Innovation. This series of blogs will continue over the next year and culminate in a theme issue of Health Affairs journal in February of 2018 on how innovations are diffused across the health care delivery system.

The series kicks off today with articles from two author groups — one led by Will Shrank, chief medical officer of UPMC Health Plan and former Director of Research and Rapid-Cycle Evaluation for the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation, and one by Jeff Selberg, head of the Peterson Center on Healthcare and former COO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. In different ways, the posts address the need for speed in diffusion. We invite you to join the journey on our Blog, with comments to posts and submissions of your own that share your experiences, insight, and knowledge about how innovations diffuse across the health care system.

We are grateful to the Peterson Center on Healthcare, Blue Shield of California Foundation, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, and the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality for support of the Diffusion Of Innovation featured Blog topic and the February 2018 theme issue of Health Affairs. All Blog posts submitted for this topic are subject to Health Affairs’ standard vetting and selection process. Look for additional posts in the coming weeks and months.