The HLB-SIMPLe studies differ from traditional clinical trials in that they are implementation research, designed to identify and test strategies to achieve sustainable uptake of effective interventions in routine clinical, public health, and community settings. The interventions themselves – all designed to improve hypertension control – have already been proven to be effective, but there are certain barriers within and outside of the health system that have so far prevented these interventions from becoming part of routine health care delivery. The implementation strategies HLB-SIMPLe researchers are testing typically include training for health workers, updating information systems and processes in healthcare settings, auditing and providing feedback on how care is being delivered, and preparing patients to be active participants in the care they are provided.
The HLB-SIMPLe Alliance consists of six research study teams and the research coordinating center (RCC), which serves to promote collaboration, communication, and capacity building efforts across the entire Alliance.
Each research project was designed in two phases, a pilot phase (known by its NIH activity code UG3), and a scale-up phase (UH3), where the footprint and number of the participants in the study expands and lessons from the pilot phase are used to refine the interventions and/or implementation strategies. The studies finished their pilot phases in late 2022 and moved into their scale-up phases in 2023.