DOI: 10.1111/jan.15986 ISSN: 0309-2402

A virtual dissemination framework to inform and evaluate a neonatal project ECHO (NeoECHO)

Christina L. Wyles, Kimberly Shea, Alyssa Weiss, Sheila M. Gephart, Katherine Newnam
  • General Nursing



To present the development, implementation and evaluation of a theoretically grounded novel virtual dissemination evaluation (VDE) framework.


Care of intensive care unit patients requires access to the most up‐to‐date knowledge and best practices. To address this challenge, we present the development, implementation and evaluation of a theoretically grounded novel VDE framework. This framework is applied to a dissemination strategy, NeoECHO, in neonatal intensive care units. Evidence‐based virtual education is implemented to prevent, detect and treat necrotizing enterocolitis in neonates.


Research Methodology: Discussion Paper—Methodology.


The virtual dissemination evaluation framework is a sequential combination of Integration of Integrated‐Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services and Moore's Expanded Outcomes frameworks. The framework's conceptual determinants, virtual facilitators and implementation evaluations were operationalized in the NeoECHO dissemination strategy and evaluated for feasibility. The virtual dissemination evaluation framework was conceptually mapped, and operational activities were examined including theoretical constructs drawing on insights of nursing theorists, especially Fawcett's criteria (2005) for frameworks with practical application (significance, internal consistency, parsimony, testability and design fit). The NeoECHO strategy was evaluated for virtual dissemination evaluation adherence, operationalization and feasibility of implementation evaluation.


The virtual dissemination evaluation framework meets the criteria for a practical application and demonstrates feasibility for adherence and operationalization consistency. The implementation evaluation was usable in the virtual dissemination of best practices for neonatal care for necrotizing enterocolitis and healthcare providers were actively engaged in using NeoECHO as an implementation strategy.


This examination of the foundational aspects of the framework underscores the rigour required for generalization of practical application. Effective virtual dissemination of evidence‐based practices to hospital units requires structured delivery and evaluation, enabling engaged healthcare providers to actualize education rapidly. The virtual dissemination evaluation frameworks' potential for narrowing the evidence‐based practice gap in neonatal care showcases its wider significance and applicability.


Care of neonates in NICUs requires a multidisciplinary approach and necessitates access to the most up‐to‐date knowledge and best practices. More than traditional dissemination methods are required to bridge the implementation gap.


The effective use of the VDE framework can enhance the design, implementation and evaluation of knowledge dissemination, ultimately elevating neonatal care quality.

Clinical Relevance

This paper introduces the VDE framework, a sequential combination of the iPARIHS and Moore's EO frameworks—as a methodological tool for designing, implementing and evaluating a neonatal strategy (NeoECHO) for virtual dissemination of education in NICUs.

Patient or Public Contribution

No patient or public contribution.

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