Background: It is widely acknowledged that health policy and practice do not always reflect current research evidence. Whether knowledge transfer from research to practice is more successful when specific implementation approaches are used remains unclear. A model to assist engagement of allied health managers and clinicians with research implementation could involve disseminating evidence-based policy recommendations, along with the use of knowledge brokers. We developed such a model to aid decision-making for the provision of weekend allied health services. This protocol outlines the design and methods for a multi-centre cluster randomised controlled trial to evaluate the success of research implementation strategies to promote evidence-informed weekend allied health resource allocation decisions, especially in hospital managers. Methods: This multi-centre study will be a three-group parallel cluster randomised controlled trial. Allied health managers from Australian and New Zealand hospitals will be randomised to receive either (1) an evidence-based policy recommendation document to guide weekend allied health resource allocation decisions, (2) the same policy recommendation document with support from a knowledge broker to help implement weekend allied health policy recommendations, or (3) a usual practice control group. The primary outcome will be alignment of weekend allied health service provision with policy recommendations. This will be measured by the number of allied health service events (occasions of service) occurring on weekends as a proportion of total allied health service events for the relevant hospital wards at baseline and 12-month follow-up. Discussion: Evidence-based policy recommendation documents communicate key research findings in an accessible format. This comparatively low-cost research implementation strategy could be combined with using a knowledge broker to work collaboratively with decision-makers to promote knowledge transfer. The results will assist managers to make decisions on resource allocation, based on evidence. More generally, the findings will inform the development of an allied health model for translating research into practice.
- Allied health
- Evidence-informed decision-making
- Knowledge broker
- Resource allocation