Adoption and Diffusion

Promoting wider and faster adoption of proven innovations

Adoption is a major step in the diffusion of innovation and it is how a consumer decides whether or not to try and adopt innovative product or services. Stages of adoption include awareness, interest, evaluation, trial, adoption or rejection. Understanding the process of adoption of innovations in the health and care system can help you to manage the implementation of a new service or product in your organisation at scale.

Diffusion of innovations and ideas is described as a social process in which information about a new idea is communicated from person to person, based on payoff (benefit) and local popularity (who else has adopted them).  Simply put, diffusion is the process by which an innovation is communicated and adopted among people through social systems.

This resource page will help you:

  1. Understand the process of adoption of innovations in the health and care system

  2. Explore how to optimise diffusion of an innovation in your organisation

  3. Access tools and techniques for adoption and diffusion of innovations


Process of Adoption

There are a number of resources available to help you research the process of adoption. The following links will take you to some useful sites:

Six questions every health innovator should ask if innovations are to be adopted across the NHS.

Accelerating the adoption of innovation in the NHS

Increase the scale and pace of the spread and adoption of innovation in the NHS

A practical guide for scaling up health service innovations from WHO

Optimising Diffusion

The following resources are available to help with optimising diffusion and sharing learning:

Communicating your learning

Spreading improvement through communication approaches

What leaders can learn from social movement theory

Diffusion of innovations in the NHS – a case study

NICE Evidence search – Diffusion of innovation

After the lightbulb: accelerating diffusion of innovation in the NHS

Tools and techniques

Below you will find tools and techniques for successful adoption and diffusion:

Practical tips for overcoming challenges that impede successful spread

A guide to spread and sustainability from Healthcare Improvement Scotland.


If you are interested in reading more about these topics the library services at Lancashire Care have pulled together a comprehensive literature review which you can find below:

Literature review - Diffusion 

Online resources - adoption and diffusion


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