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Background: Uptake of proven interventions requires dedicated resources that may only result in local implementation, thus precluding international practice change. We explored international uptake through online dissemination of the fever, sugar, and swallow (FeSS) protocols from the Quality in Acute Stroke Care (QASC) trial, which showed decreased death and dependency by 15.7% 90-day poststroke. Aims: To identify: (a) the clinical discipline of healthcare professionals who downloaded the QASC resources; (b) the purpose for downloading; (c) successful implementation of any or all the FeSS protocols; (d) barriers to implementation; and (e) associations with self-reported successful implementation. Methods: A cross-sectional, online survey of those who downloaded the QASC resources between October 2011 and August 2013. Associations between implementation and participant characteristics were determined. Results: One-hundred and fifty-nine people from 21 countries participated. Nurses were the largest group to download the resources (n = 54, 38%), with the primary purpose to inform clinical practice (n = 97, 64%). Less than half (n = 77, 48%) downloaded, and less than a quarter (n = 38, 24%) attempted to implement all three protocols. Of those personally involved in implementation (n = 50) half reported doing so successfully for one or more protocols (n = 27, 54%) with 10 (20%) reporting successful implementation of all three protocols. Only about half (n = 13, 48%) used the proven implementation strategy with about one-third (n = 10, 29%) confirming successful uptake via audit. Implementation barriers were potential increase in nursing workload (n = 28, 56%) and lack of medical staff engagement (n = 27, 53%). Higher autonomy was associated with greater likelihood of implementation of all three protocols (p = .038). Linking Evidence to Action: The QASC intervention required use of all three protocols. However, less than half downloaded them all and implementation was not guided by the proven implementation strategy. While encouraging that these resources were being used to drive practice change, piecemeal implementation of a proven intervention is unlikely to improve patient outcomes.

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Journal Article

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