Organizational perspectives on implementing complex health interventions: clinical genomics in Australia

Stephanie Best*, Janet C. Long, Clara Gaff, Jeffrey Braithwaite, Natalie Taylor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Clinical genomics is a complex, innovative medical speciality requiring clinical and organizational engagement to fulfil the clinical reward promised to date. Focus thus far has been on gene discovery and clinicians’ perspectives. The purpose of this study was to use implementation science theory to identify organizational barriers and enablers to implementation of clinical genomics along an organizations’ implementation journey from Preadoption through to Adoption and Implementation. Design/methodology/approach: We used a deductive qualitative approach study design drawing on implementation science theory - (1) Translation Science to Population Impact Framework, to inform semi structured interviews with organizational decision-makers collaborating with Australian and Melbourne Genomics, alongside and (2) Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF), to guide data analysis. Findings: We identified evolving organizational barriers across the implementation journey from Preadoption to Implementation. Initially the organizational focus is on understanding the value of clinical genomics (TDF code: belief about consequences) and setting the scene (TDF code: goals) before organizational (TDF codes: knowledge and belief about consequences) and clinician (TDF codes: belief about capability and intentions) willingness to adopt is apparent. Once at the stage of Implementation, leadership and clarity in organizational priorities (TDF codes: intentions, professional identity and emotion) that include clinical genomics are essential prerequisites to implementing clinical genomics in practice. Intuitive enablers were identified (e.g. ‘providing multiple opportunities for people to come on board) and mapped hypothetically to barriers. Originality/value: Attention to date has centred on the barriers facing clinicians when introducing clinical genomics into practice. This paper uses a combination of implementation science theories to begin to unravel the organizational perspectives of implementing this complex health intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)825-845
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Health, Organisation and Management
Issue number7
Early online date22 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2021


  • Clinical genomics
  • Implementation science
  • Organization decision-makers
  • Theoretical Domains Framework
  • Translation Science to Population Impact Framework


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