Michael Parchman, MD, MPH

“Until research is relevant to and used by practicing clinicians to improve the care they deliver, we have failed our most important stakeholder:  the patient.” – Michael Parchman, MD, MPH

In health care research, scientific discovery all too often leads to an article published in a professional journal – and it stops there. It has been estimated that it takes an average of 17 years for just 14% of new scientific discoveries to enter daily clinical practice. 1

For over twenty years our team has been engaged in research that aims to positively impact patient lives, and that evolve further and faster than ‘business as usual’ projects. MacColl Center Director Michael Parchman, in collaboration with the Institute of Translational Health Sciences (ITHS), continues this work in his role as Group Health Research Institute site prinicipal investigator in the three-year “Implementing Innovations into Community Practice” initiative.

The Implementing Innovations Program seeks to prioritize and rapidly implement innovations within a five-state region that have the greatest potential for direct and practical application.  Our goal in this work is to influence and improve primary care practice in ways that help patients live better lives - not just publish journal articles.   Known variously as ‘translational’ or ‘implementation’ research, this approach will be applied in primary care and community settings throughout Washington, Alaska, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming (aka, “WWAMI”).

The Group Health Research Institute and the WWAMI-region Practice & Research Network program will jointly develop a grants program to advance the science of dissemination and implementation research.  It will work closely with primary care leaders and researchers across these western states to identify and pursue grant funding opportunities that seek to generate findings that will become part of daily clinical practice and support patients in living better lives.

“Instead of bench-to-bedside-to-bookshelf, such as a journal publication, academic research must establish a tradition of bench-to-bedside-to-community”, says Dr. Parchman.

Translational research means different things to different audiences.   For us, it means working to build an evidence base for better care that directly links clinical practice to patients.


Westfall JM, Mold J, Fagnan L. Practice-based research--"Blue Highways" on the NIH roadmap.  JAMA. 2007 Jan 24;297(4):403-6. [Link]