Experiential approaches to skills development using secondment models are shown to benefit healthcare organizations more generally, but little is known about the potential of this approach to develop capacity for knowledge translation (KT).
To evaluate the success of KT capacity development secondments from the perspective of multiple stakeholders.
A pluralistic evaluation design was used. Data were collected during 2011-2012 using focus group and individual interviews with 14 clinical and academic secondees, and five managers from host and seconding organizations to gain insight into participants' perceptions of the success of secondments and the criteria by which they judged success. Six After Action Reviews were undertaken with KT project teams to explore participants' perceptions of the contribution secondees made to KT projects. Semistructured interviews were undertaken with three healthcare managers on completion of projects to explore the impact of secondments on the organization, staff, and patients. Qualitative content analysis was used to identify criteria for success. The criteria provided a framework through which the overall success of secondments could be judged.
Six criteria for judging the success of the secondments at individual, team, and organization level were identified: KT skills development, effective workload management, team working, achieving KT objectives, enhanced care delivery, and enhanced education delivery. Benefits to the individual, KT team, seconding, and host organizations were identified.