Data collection approaches to monitor knowledge use

Consider using the following data collection approaches to monitor health-care providers’ knowledge use or uptake of the intervention/practice. 

​​​​Data collection approaches to monitor knowledge use or uptake of interventions/practices
  • Audit and feedback: You can collect data on specific aspects of the new intervention or practice, summarize them, and provide the results to health providers on how they may do better (Colquhoun et al., 2017; RNAO, 2012).
  • Focus group: You can facilitate the discussion among a group of stakeholders about their experiences, attitudes, or behaviour about the intervention or practice. Focus groups provide dynamic interactions in a group setting to your guiding questions. These group interactions can provide meaningful information on how the change in practice or the new intervention is going.
  • Interviews: You can conduct in-depth, one-on-one interviews to ask stakeholders about their experiences, attitudes, or behaviours about the intervention or practice change (RNAO, 2012).
  • Observation: You can conduct observations during morning huddles, team meetings, clinical practice can help you understand whether the change has been implemented in your setting (RNAO, 2012).
  • Surveys: You can ask stakeholders to complete structured questionnaires with rating scales. You can also include open-ended questions. Surveys may be administered in person, by telephone, or via the internet (Dillman 2007).
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If the level of knowledge use/practice uptake is acceptable, you could begin to consider strategies for monitoring in the sustainability phase. Stakeholder interviews can be helpful in establishing which methods might be most effective.

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 If the level of knowledge use/practice uptake is less than expected or desired, it may be useful to reassess barriers to knowledge use and or modify the implementation strategies accordingly.

Identifying roles, responsibilities, and timelines for monitoring

  • Assign responsibility for data collection so that everyone is clear of their roles and responsibilities. This also allows new change team members to come onto the project and get a sense of who is responsible for what, what they may be responsible for and when.
  • Collection of monitoring data may occur regularly over short intervals, or less regularly; depending on the intervention or practice, data collection may be conducted weekly, monthly, biennially, or annually.
  • You may also want to note any requirements that are needed to collect the data (staff, budget, etc.). It is important to budget for monitoring, taking into consideration the funds, human resources, equipment.

SOURCE: Evaluation Toolbox, 2010


Accelerate Your Success: When monitoring the uptake of the intervention or practice, you and your team may want to pay attention to any ‘emerging leaders’. Emerging leaders are the early adopters of the change; they can be role models in applying the practice or intervention in their work.   Check out the Social Movement Action Framework’s ‘Emerging leaders’ to learn more about how you can identify emerging leaders that support the change. You may want to find ways to support them so they become change agents for your change initiative!