The rise of rapid implementation

a worked example of solving an existing problem with a new method by combining concept analysis with a systematic integrative review

James Smith, Frances Rapport, Tracey A. O'Brien, Stephanie Smith, Vanessa J. Tyrrell, Emily V. A. Mould, Janet C. Long, Hossai Gul, Jeremy Cullis, Jeffrey Braithwaite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Background: The concept of rapid implementation has emerged in the literature recently, but without a precise definition. Further exploration is required to distinguish the concept’s unique meanings and significance from the perspective of implementation science. The study clarifies the concept of rapid implementation and identifies its attributes, antecedents, and consequences. We present a theoretical definition of rapid implementation to clarify its unique meaning and characteristics.

Methods: Rodgers evolutionary concept analysis method, combined with a systematic integrative review, were used to clarify the concept of rapid implementation. A comprehensive search of four databases, including EMBASE, MEDLINE, SCOPUS, and WEB OF SCIENCE was conducted, as well as relevant journals and reference lists of retrieved studies. After searching databases, 2442 papers were identified from 1963 to 2019; 24 articles were found to fit the inclusion criteria to capture data on rapid implementation from across healthcare settings in four countries. Data analysis was carried out using descriptive thematic analysis.
Results: The results locate the introduction of rapid implementation, informed by implementation science. Guidance for further conceptualisation to bridge the gap between research and practice and redefine rigour, adapting methods used (current approaches, procedures and frameworks), and challenging clinical trial design (efficacy-effectiveness-implementation pipeline) is provided.

Conclusions: It is possible that we are on the cusp of a paradigm shift within implementation brought about by the need for faster results into practice and policy. Researchers can benefit from a deeper understanding of the rapid implementation concept to guide future implementation of rapid actionable results in clinical practice.
Original languageEnglish
Article number449
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2020. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Concept analysis
  • Implementation
  • Implementation science
  • Healthcare
  • Rapid implementation
  • Systematic integrative review

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