© 2015 by Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Purpose-Explores recent approaches to international best practices and how they relate to context and innovation in health services. Design/methodology/approach-Critical review of existing research on best practices and how they created, diffused, and translate in the international setting. Findings-Best practices are widely used and discussed, but processes by which they are developed and diffused across international settings are not well understood. Research implications-Further research is needed on innovation and dissemination of best practices internationally. Originality/value-This commentary points out directions for future research on innovation and diffusion of best practices, particularly in the international setting.