Failed diffusion of innovations may be linked to an inability to use and apply data, information, and knowledge to change perceptions of current practice and motivate change. Using qualitative and quantitative data from three large-scale health care delivery innovations-accountable care organizations, advanced primary care practice, and EvidenceNOW-we assessed where data-driven innovation is occurring and where challenges lie. We found that implementation of some technological components of innovation (for example, electronic health records) has occurred among health care organizations, but core functions needed to use data to drive innovation are lacking. Deficits include the inability to extract and aggregate data from the records; gaps in sharing data; and challenges in adopting advanced data functions, particularly those related to timely reporting of performance data. The unexpectedly high costs and burden incurred during implementation of the innovations have limited organizations' ability to address these and other deficits. Solutions that could help speed progress in data-driven innovation include facilitating peer-to-peer technical assistance, providing tailored feedback reports to providers from data aggregators, and using practice facilitators skilled in using data technology for quality improvement to help practices transform. Policy efforts that promote these solutions may enable more rapid uptake of and successful participation in innovative delivery system reforms.
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