CAHO’s Spring Catalyst: Highlighting the Value of Health System Research
Health system research is a vital component to informing evidence-based policy and effective investment in Ontario’s health care system. The stories in CAHO’s Spring Catalyst highlight past research projects that have had a significant impact on patient care and system efficiency, as well as new research projects that can help steer the future of health care by addressing today’s system priorities. We hope that you enjoy and share these stories as part of the #onHWS conversation.
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Ontario is home to global leaders in childhood disability research who are doing foundational work in areas including cerebral palsy, autism, and concussion care. The Ontario Association of Children’s Rehabilitation Services (OACRS) hopes to leverage this world-class resource by bringing together researchers, clinicians, patients and families to facilitate the dissemination and adoption of top research evidence across the province, elevating care and improving health outcomes for the nearly 80,000 children and youth with special needs that they serve. With support from their pediatric rehabilitation partners at OACRS, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital has applied for a Health System Research Fund to support this work.
In 2008, researchers Tara Gomes and Dr. Muhammad Mamdani from St. Michael’s Hospital and Dr. David Juurlink from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre collaborated with researchers from across Ontario, establishing a research network that could rapidly respond to the policy needs of the Ontario Public Drug Programs. With support from the Health System Research Fund, the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network (ODPRN) has since delivered significant impact on the daily lives of patients—and significant savings for Ontario’s health system.
Researchers at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and St. Michael’s Hospital have spearheaded a knowledge translation project to move evidence-based care into hospitals across Ontario, establishing lasting improvements for seniors care. With support from the Health System Research Fund, 87 hospitals are participating in the Senior Friendly Hospitals ACTION program. The program is increasing capacity to deliver senior friendly care using quality improvement methods and change leadership skills. Many hospitals participating in the program are targeting improvements in delirium care and preventing functional decline.
Health system research is central to ensuring effective, sustainable healthcare for Ontarians. With a deep understanding of mental health care in Ontario, and a commitment to improving its delivery and efficacy, Steve Lurie, the Executive Director of the Toronto branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association, highlights the value of investing in health system research and demonstrates where we need to go next in order to improve care for Ontarians facing mental illness and addiction.