Implementation Evaluation of a Novel Surgical Intervention

Research Project Summary

Implementation Evaluation of a Novel Surgical Intervention

Virtual ACE is a promising intervention designed to improve post-surgical outcomes in elderly patients, increase mobility and reduce the incidence of post-surgical delirium. The project was implemented in two surgical units at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. The aim of this study was to evaluate the facilitators and barriers to successful implementation so that Virtual ACE could be disseminated to other hospitals.


The QHRC team developed the interview guides based on a review of the aims of Virtual ACE and the CFIR implementation evaluation protocol. Our team conducted in-person and virtual interviews with over 30 staff members, including hospital leadership ,IT, bedside nurses and allied health providers. We developed a codebook to align with CFIR principles, coded all transcripts using NVivo software, and collaborated with the study PI in writing up the implementation evaluation results, which are forthcoming in the Annals of Surgery.

“Very few clinical interventions in general – particularly in surgery – have gone beyond ‘is this effective or not’. But by working with QHRC, we were able to expand on that and also ask, ‘what works, what doesn’t, and what could make it more effective?'” I think the biggest advantage of working with QHRC was getting that level of information, to say now we know our next steps. The result of this project is that now we have a roadmap for improving this program and expanding it to other places to improve care for surgical patients.”

Courtney Balentine, MD, MPH

Client Team


Courtney Balentine, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Surgery Division of Endocrine Surgery University of Texas Southwestern VA North Texas Healthcare System

Melanie S. Morris, MD
Associate Professor
Department of Surgery
University of Alabama Birmingham


National Institute on Aging GEMSSTAR 1R03AG056330-01


Forthcoming in Annals of Surgery

Overview of Qualitative Research Performed

Official Project Title

Pilot Study of Dissemination and Implementation of a Virtual Acute Care for the Elderly Program on a Gastrointestinal Surgery Unit


  • Research Design
  • Data Collection
  • Data Analysis
  • Writing Support


  • Semi-structured Interviews
  • Directed Content Analysis

Research Area

  • Implementation Science