Implementation research addresses the delivery of effective public health and clinical policies and programs. It attempts to solve the wide range of implementation problems encountered in real world conditions and real world health systems. As a reflection of the real world, implementation research is not always clear cut and has been described to have four characteristics - systematic, multidisciplinary, contextual and complex – and therefore overlaps with other types of research used in medicine and public health. The World Health Organisation defines it as a form of research which " addresses implementation bottlenecks, identifies optimal approaches for a particular setting, and promotes the uptake of research findings: ultimately, it leads to improved health care and its delivery."
At Swiss TPH we address implementation research from the individual patient perspective as well as from the perspective of improving health of populations internationally and nationally. At the Medicines Implementation Research Unit we focus on strengthening equitable access to medicines and their appropriate use through the conduct of research that addresses the scalability and sustainability of effective medicines (drugs, vaccines and diagnostics). We mainly work through investigator driven trials, pragmatic trials, effectiveness-implementation studies and capacity building projects.