Psychiatric Quarterly

, Volume 86, Issue 3, pp 311–323 | Cite as

Role of Leadership in Narrowing the Gap between Science and Practice: Improving Treatment Outcomes at the Systems Level

  • Sy Atezaz SaeedEmail author
  • Richard M. Bloch
  • Stuart Silver
Original Paper


It’s been well documented that health care does not reliably transfer what we know from science into clinical practice. As a result, Americans do not always receive the care suggested by the scientific evidence. Despite the best intentions of a dedicated and skilled healthcare workforce, this can often lead to poor clinical outcomes. As research and technology rapidly advance, this gap between science and practice appears to be widening. There is an increasing public concern about a lack of access to appropriate treatment, pervasiveness of unsafe practices, and wasteful uses of precious health care resources leading to suboptimum treatment outcomes. Leadership has a critical role in creating and sustaining the environment that supports health services for individuals and populations that increase the likelihood of desired health outcomes and are consistent with current professional knowledge. Leadership has some responsibility to improve outcomes by insuring effective use of evidence-based treatment guidelines; measurement-based care; knowledge and skills management; care coordination; and information technologies. This paper addresses leadership issues in these components of a system’s ability to improve treatment outcomes.


Science to practice Measurement-based care Leadership Evidence-based practices Treatment outcomes 


Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sy Atezaz Saeed
    • 1
    Email author
  • Richard M. Bloch
    • 1
  • Stuart Silver
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral MedicineBrody School of Medicine at East Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA

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