Mobilising knowledge in complex health systems: a call to action

Bev J. Holmes, Allan Best, Huw Davies, David Hunter, Michael P. Kelly, Martin Marshall, Joanne Rycroft-Malone

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    135 Citations (Scopus)
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    Worldwide, policymakers, health system managers, practitioners and researchers struggle to use evidence to improve policy and practice. There is growing recognition that this challenge relates to the complex systems in which we work. The corresponding increase in complexity-related discourse remains primarily at a theoretical level. This paper moves the discussion to a practical level, proposing actions that can be taken to implement evidence successfully in complex systems. Key to success is working with, rather than trying to simplify or control, complexity. The integrated actions relate to co-producing knowledge, establishing shared goals and measures, enabling leadership, ensuring adequate resourcing, contributing to the science of knowledge-to-action, and communicating strategically.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)539-560
    Number of pages22
    JournalEvidence & Policy
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


    • Complexity
    • Health systems
    • Knowledge mobilisation
    • Knowledge-to-action


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