Population health

Current and Completed Projects:

Patient Portal Value Proposition

SRDC is working with Canada Health Infoway to assess the value and impact of Canadians’ access to online Personal Health Records (PHR) in terms of accessibility, quality, and productivity in healthcare. As a part of this study, SRDC is completing a targeted literature review and evidence synthesis focused on the value of Canadians of being able to access their online healthcare information. This work will support the development of a quantitative model estimating the value of such access for citizens and health system stakeholders. SRDC will also help to identify critical success factors that maximize the benefits of online PHR access. The primary audiences for this project include federal and provincial/territorial ministries of health, health systems organizations, and digital health leaders.

Start-end date: July 2017 - November 2017
Sponsor: Canada Health Infoway

Quebec Council on Tobacco and Health (QCTH) – Evaluation of Prevention Programs

For over 20 years, the QCTH has offered a variety of tobacco prevention services to Quebec’s Directions de santé publique (DSP), as well as directly to school and community groups. In order to keep its services relevant to its partners and to better target the needs of each community, a retrospective and summative evaluation of the activities of the QCTH will identify changes to be made to the services provided by the organization and its priorities in terms of prevention services in Quebec.

Start-end date: April 2017 - July 2017
Sponsor: Quebec Council on Tobacco and Health

Evaluation of the Global Patient Safety Alerts program

Patient safety is a critical dimension of healthcare, and efforts to identify, report, and learn from patient safety incidents are essential for the prevention of future harms. Recognizing a gap in sharing patient safety information across jurisdictions, in 2011 the Canadian Patient Safety Institute launched the Global Patient Safety Alerts program. This program is a publically available collection of online, evidence-informed patient safety alerts, recommendations, and advisories made possible by contributions from health organizations around the world. SRDC has been engaged to conduct an evaluation that will examine the program’s current functioning and perceived merit, worth, and significance in helping healthcare organizations prevent, respond to, and learn from patient safety risks and incidents; assess the program’s value for money; and identify areas for improvement and means to bolster program effectiveness. SRDC’s mixed methods approach includes an environmental scan of patient safety alert systems, key informant interviews, and an online survey of stakeholders.

Start-end date: March 2017 - November 2017
Sponsor: Canadian Patient Safety Institute

Evaluation support for Quebec Council on Tobacco and Health initiatives – Youth Programs

Despite the significant progress made in recent years, many factors in the youth environment continue to promote tobacco initiation. Between 80% and 90% of current smokers started smoking before the age of 18. To address this issue, the Quebec Council on Tobacco and Health (CQTS) has been implementing a series of innovative and best practice initiatives for the prevention and cessation of smoking among young people for more than 20 years. SRDC was hired to support the evaluation processes of these initiatives by providing technical advice and training to the CQTS.

Start-end date: January 2017 - March 2017
Sponsor: Quebec Council on Tobacco and Health

Immunization Partnership Fund: Development of a Performance Measurement (PM) Strategy

The Immunization Partnership Fund (IPF) aims to improve immunization coverage rates across Canada. It will support public health stakeholders in the development and implementation of projects, tools, best practices, and interventions to meet the objectives of the IPF, which are to enable providers to immunize clients, enhance access to immunization services, and increase demand for immunization. SRDC will support the IPF in developing a logic model and performance measurement framework to systematically monitor, assess, and report on IPF performance.

Start-end date: December 2016 - March 2017
Sponsor: Public Health Agency of Canada

Developing an effective public health approach to cannabis

In light of the Government of Canada’s announcement that it would introduce legislation to legalize and regulate cannabis, the Canadian Public Health Association has been funded by Health Canada to engage a range of individuals and organizations from the health, public health, and social service communities to enhance their knowledge of, and capacity to address issues related to cannabis and other substance use. The project is grounded in a public health approach to the legalization of cannabis. SRDC is working with the Association to evaluate the project, with a particular focus on outcomes related to knowledge transfer, capacity-building, and stakeholder engagement.

Start-end date: December 2016 - November 2018
Sponsor: Canadian Public Health Association

Community Hypertension Prevention Initiative

The Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), and MaRS Centre for Impact Investing (MCII) have partnered to launch a community‐based intervention to prevent cardiovascular disease, using a social impact bond as a financing vehicle. This intervention builds off of an evidence-based program called CHAP, and integrates local community partnerships, best-in-class lifestyle management resources, coaching, and digital technology to support participants in engaging in and maintaining healthy behaviours. The intervention aims to increase awareness of the risks associated with high blood pressure and to modify participant behaviour (e.g., physical activity, weight loss, smoking cessation) among pre-hypertensive Canadians 60 years of age or older. As the external validator, SRDC will be responsible for confirming the extent to which specified outcomes have been achieved – specifically in terms of volume and blood pressure outcomes – and the extent to which the risk-based funding contracts should be paid out to partners and investors. To our knowledge, this project represents the first time social finance has been used to support a population health intervention in Canada.

Heart and Stroke notice

Government of Canada news release

thestar.com notice

National Post notice

 

Start date: December 2016
Sponsor: The Heart and Stroke Foundation

Kid Food Nation

Canadian children are entering adulthood without sufficient knowledge to make healthy food choices. Moreover, rates of childhood obesity and chronic diseases such as diabetes are increasing. In collaboration with SRDC and other partners, Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada is designing and delivering a food skills and healthy eating curriculum for children aged 7-12 in select Clubs. This food literacy program will be supplemented by a national media campaign, and recipe competition and gala event for children. SRDC is evaluating the design and delivery of the initiative, as well as the extent to which food literacy and other outcomes have been achieved.

Government news release

Start-end date: November 2016 - March 2021
Sponsor: Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada

Active outdoor play

This project was initiated in response to two main needs identified by the community: (1) counter organizations’ tendency to limit occasions for children to engage in self-directed outdoor play, and (2) encourage children to engage in self-directed play. Project activities first focus on developing resources to inform adults as to the benefits of self-directed outdoor play to optimize child development and encourage lifelong healthy habits. Second, project activities center on the development and piloting of a series of workshops whose goal is to enhance the capacity of educators in offering children, aged 3 to 12, with opportunities for learning through exploration, outdoor play and inquiry. The project takes place in four schools, involves more than 600 adults (administration, early childcare educators, teachers and parents) and more than 400 children. To successfully carry out the first phase of the project, SRDC has partnered with the Association francophone à l’éducation des services à l’enfance de l’Ontario (AFÉSEO) and the Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario (CEPEO).

Aféseo notice (in French only)

Ontario Trillium Foundation award notice

CEPEO notice (in French only)

 

Start-end date: July 2016 - October 2017
Sponsor: Ontario Trillium Foundation

Evaluation of the Active Outdoor Play Strategy

'Active outdoor play' is unstructured and of varied intensity, takes place outdoors with natural materials, and involves an element of risk (e.g., due to the height, speed, context, or tools involved). A wide range of sectors and organizations has recently begun to promote active outdoor play as a means of correcting a perceived over-emphasis on safety/risk and injury prevention, as well as promoting healthy child development in the long term.

The aim of the Lawson Foundation’s Outdoor Play Strategy is to better understand how to support Canadian communities to foster children’s opportunities for outdoor play; in other words, how to create environments that enable – rather than hinder – such play. The Strategy is designed to support the development and implementation of a variety of creative ideas across sectors and a range of contexts, including community programs, services, and supports as well as policy and research initiatives. SRDC conducted an evaluation of the Strategy to develop understanding about how and why funded initiatives experience success, and to what degree. The evaluation includes information about both implementation and early impacts of the Outdoor Play Strategy, at three levels: individual projects/grantees; the collective cohort of grantees; and the broader landscape of stakeholders involved in outdoor play. In addition to examining multiple levels of operation and impact, the project takes a developmental evaluation approach – one that is flexible, future-oriented, and focused more on learning and performance improvement than on narrow definitions of merit and accountability.

Read more

 

Start-end date: November 2015 - April 2019
Sponsor: Lawson Foundation

Supporting Analyses of Cost Effectiveness for Innovation Strategy Interventions

Through its Innovation Strategy, the Public Health Agency of Canada funds and supports promising interventions to improve population health and reduce health inequalities, particularly in terms of achieving healthier weights and promoting mental health. To strengthen these public health interventions' readiness for scale-up, SRDC developed an approach that provided information on various ways to understand project costs and financial valuation of benefits, and considerations for determining which approach to economic assessment would be most appropriate and feasible for them. These approaches were selected with respect to best practices for conducting economic assessment, consistency with the IS program's focus on equity and population health, and leveraging the extensive data on IS projects' processes and outcomes.

Start-end date: November 2015 - March 2016
Sponsor: Public Health Agency of Canada

Measuring the value of Food Banks Canada’s work

SRDC was engaged by Food Banks Canada to assist in the development of an evaluation approach and framework for measuring the social impacts of its work. The approach and framework support Food Banks Canada's effort to measure the impacts of its programs and initiatives supporting the national food bank network, including its food sharing initiatives and research and advocacy, as well as report on the effectiveness of the financial investments its donors make to the network. SRDC assisted Food Banks Canada by: developing recommendations for an evaluation approach and framework for measuring the organization’s social value; developing recommendations for evaluating funding requests; and applying the new framework to prepare a report for donors on the impact of the organization’s Capacity Grant program.

Start-end date: February 2015 - May 2015
Sponsor: Food Banks Canada

Provincial and Territorial Engagement on Mental Health Issues

To support the MHCC in its preparations for a series of deliberative dialogues with P/T stakeholders about advancing Changing Directions, Changing Lives: the Mental Health Strategy for Canada, SRDC conducted background research and analysis on the mental health policy landscape in each of the 13 provinces and territories.

Start-end date: June 2014 - October 2014
Sponsor: Mental Health Commission of Canada

Impacts of Interoperability and Information Sharing Across Settings

The implementation and utilization of electronic health technology are playing an important role in coping with the increasing demand for health care services and managing the coordination of care, especially for patients with complex medical needs who are cared for by different health care providers in a variety of settings. This study looks broadly at the impacts of interoperability and information sharing across settings in BC’s Interior Health Authority to evaluate how the utilization of a regional medical health record hub impacts clinician access to complete patient information for clinical encounters and care coordination for their patients in both inpatient and outpatient settings. The results of this study contribute to research knowledge in this field and inform future planning.

Start-end date: April 2014 - July 2015
Sponsor: Canada Health Infoway

An Evaluation of the BRIDGES Incubator Model

The BRIDGES Collaborative identifies, develops, and tests models of integrated healthcare for patients with complex chronic conditions, with the aim of reducing avoidable hospital visits and improving quality of care. Funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health, BRIDGES is run by the Departments of Medicine, Psychiatry, and Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. SRDC conducted an evaluation of the impact and effectiveness of the BRIDGES model, and its potential impact on the health care system.

Start-end date: January 2014 - January 2015
Sponsor: University of Toronto

Measuring the Impact of the YMCA of Greater Toronto on Community Health

The project supports the YMCA of Greater Toronto’s 2010-2020 Strategic Plan and the establishment and continuous improvement of its new Centres of Community by identifying a community health monitoring strategy that cuts across life stages and the community level, the regional level, and the GTA. The project provides a set of options for a community health monitoring strategy based on an analysis of other community health monitoring initiatives in Canada and abroad, data availability and quality for selected indicators in the GTA, and the YMCA’s outcomes of interest related to its programming.

Start-end date: November 2013 - March 2014
Sponsor: YMCA of Greater Toronto

Evaluation of the Green Shield Canada Foundation Health Innovation Collaborative

The looming demographic “tsunami” of aging seniors will require a fundamental transformation of the health care system. The Health Innovation Collaborative (HIC) consists of five innovative health care organizations in Toronto working to improve care for seniors with complex medical needs through reinvented processes, shared knowledge, and technology. In collaboration with the Green Shield Canada Foundation and partner organizations, SRDC evaluated the effectiveness of the HIC and its potential impact on the quality of care and access to services and information. SRDC’s evaluation emphasizes systems thinking and the conditions for achieving collective impact in terms of equity, efficiency, and effectiveness.

Start-end date: September 2013 - September 2015
Sponsor: Green Shield Canada Foundation

Evaluation of the Healthy Eating After School project

Healthy Eating After School (HEAS) is a pilot project funded by the Ministry of Health and implemented by the YMCA of Greater Vancouver. SRDC was contracted to conduct the evaluation. The purpose of the project is to create an environment that supports healthy eating in the after-school care setting. The objectives of the project are to: 1) improve the knowledge and confidence of after-school care staff in healthy eating and in food skills and their confidence to implement these; 2) develop and implement healthy eating policies/guidelines for an after-school care setting; 3) engage parents of children in after school care, in implementing and maintaining children’s healthy eating behaviours; and 4) increase the interest and ability in food skills for children attending after-school care programs.

Start-end date: July 2013 - March 2014
Sponsor: YMCA of Greater Vancouver

Evaluation of WellnessFits

The Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon Division, in partnership with Healthy Families BC Initiative, has developed a comprehensive workplace health promotion program, WellnessFits. The aim of WellnessFits is to help employers and employees address key health behaviours that can reduce an individual’s risk for cancer and other chronic diseases. The program’s three principle strategies of educate, act, and support guide the overall development and delivery of the program. SRDC was commissioned to conduct an initial evaluation of this program.

Start-end date: December 2012 - April 2013
Sponsor: Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon Division

Summative Evaluation of HealthLink BC – Phase Two

HealthLink BC (HLBC) provides BC residents with 24-hour, 365-day access to medically approved information and advice. The aim of the second phase of this project is to conduct a summative evaluation of HLBC client facing services. This includes examining awareness, use, satisfaction, outcomes, impacts, and cost-benefit associated with the HLBC programs and services.

Start-end date: December 2012 - June 2016
Sponsor: BC Ministry of Health, HealthLink BC

Evaluation of HeartSmart KidsTM

HeartSmart KidsTM has trained over 8,390 educators to deliver health education to elementary school students. Its curricula based program is designed to help educators teach young people to have a healthy lifestyle and a healthy heart. The Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC and the Yukon commissioned SRDC to conduct an evaluation of this program to provide information for future development by identifying components that worked well and aspects of the program that could be improved.

Start-end date: August 2012 - March 2013
Sponsor: The Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC and the Yukon

Summative Evaluation of HealthLink BC – Phase One

HealthLink BC (HLBC) provides BC residents with 24-hour, 365-day access to medically approved information and advice. The goal of the first phase of the project is to develop an evaluation framework to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the HLBC services that examines awareness, use, satisfaction, outcomes, impacts, and cost-benefit associated with the HLBC programs and services.

Start-end date: December 2011 - December 2012
Sponsor: BC Ministry of Health, HealthLink BC

A multidimensional approach to reducing the appeal of sweet beverages

The main goal of the project is to gain a better understanding of how sweet beverages are marketed to target young Canadians so that it is easier to take concrete actions in the future to make environments more conducive to healthy lifestyle habits. To accomplish this, the project incorporates three main thrusts: 1) provide a comprehensive picture of the sweet beverage market in Canada and existing marketing strategies targeting young people; 2) adapt the Gobes-tu ça? project developed by Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec for young Francophones age 13 to 17 in Alberta and, if funding is extended beyond this period, identify other potential sponsors for the Gobes-tu ça? project elsewhere in the country; and 3) disseminate and use our study of the sweet beverage market and adapt this knowledge transfer tool accordingly.

Start-end date: June 2011 - October 2012
Sponsor: Association pour la santé publique du Québec and Public Health Agency of Canada

Healthy After School Pilot Project

The aim of this project is to develop a program around physical activity and healthy eating in after-school care. The program will provide after-school care providers with a range of supports and resources to encourage and facilitate children to be more active and to choose healthy foods. After-school care sites participating in the project will be trained and given a resource bin that will include some equipment and tools to help staff incorporate the program into their activities. Ongoing training and support will also be provided to staff and they can choose what to use from these resource bins. Lines of evidence: consultations, interviews, observations, surveys, and measurements of physical activity.

Start-end date: February 2011 - October 2012
Sponsor: Public Health Agency of Canada

Sip Smart! Follow-up

To make applications to selected Foundations and other funding sources for funding to conduct a longitudinal study of students involved with the Sip Smart! program.

Start-end date: January 2011 - March 2011
Sponsor: BC Pediatric Society

Sip Smart! Education Module

A process evaluation of a short-term early prevention school-based education program to inform students in grades 4, 5, and 6 about the risks of sugar-sweetened beverages. The resources were delivered by classroom teachers.

Start-end date: January 2010 - July 2010
Sponsor: BC Pediatric Society

Community Action for Seniors Independence – Evaluation Framework

Workshop facilitation with government officials to develop a logic model for a project delivering non-medical support and services to frail seniors.

Start-end date: September 2009 - September 2010
Sponsor: United Way of the Lower Mainland

Evaluation of the Dietitians of Canada School Guidelines Support Initiative

SRDC conducted a process evaluation to determine the impact of the School Guidelines Support Initiative. The initiative developed and implemented a range of tools, resources, and supports, including telephone support from Dial-a-Dietitians online tools and information to implement the provincial government’s Guidelines for sale of food and beverages in BC schools. SRDC managed evaluation and led all research components; analyzed qualitative and quantitative data, and wrote evaluation report.

Start-end date: September 2009 - February 2010
Sponsor: Dietitians of Canada

Family Dynamics

An evaluation of indicators used to measure family dynamics influencing child development.

Start-end date: October 2008 - October 2009
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Evaluation of the BC Healthy Living Alliance (BCHLA) Initiatives

BCHLA is a provincial coalition of organizations working together to improve the health of British Columbians. The coalition has implemented 16 initiatives in the health promotion and population health areas, designed to deliver activities across the province in three themes: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity, and Tobacco Reduction. In the first phase of the evaluation project, SRDC conducted evaluability assessments for each initiative as well as the clusters or themes to produce evaluation plans and budgets for “evaluable” projects and clusters. In the second phase, SRDC evaluated 6 of the 16 initiatives, as well as a case study of the Community Capacity Building Strategy and provided technical assistance to the other BCHLA initiatives that were not part of the evaluation project. Some of the evaluations involved vulnerable populations, such as Aboriginal communities.

Start-end date: July 2007 - May 2010
Sponsor: Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research
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2006 Manitoba Parent Survey

A one-hour telephone survey of 1,005 parents of kindergarten children in Manitoba whose children were assessed using the Early Development Instrument (EDI) in 2006, the creation of a linked (survey and EDI assessment) research file, and the preparation of a descriptive analytical report summarizing results including descriptive analysis and multivariate analysis of child development outcomes.

Start-end date: June 2006 - March 2007
Sponsor: Healthy Child Manitoba Office

2006 Manitoba Parent Survey Development

Start-end date: April 2006 - May 2006
Sponsor: Healthy Child Manitoba Office

Research and Services for the Healthy Child Manitoba Office (HCMO)

Providing advice and consultations on the development of data collection methodologies for informing policies on child well-being.

Start-end date: April 2005 - March 2006
Sponsor: Healthy Child Manitoba Office

Feasibility of a Birth Cohort Study

A background paper on the feasibility of designing and implementing a birth cohort study in Manitoba.

Start-end date: March 2005 - May 2005
Sponsor: Healthy Child Manitoba Office

2004 Manitoba Parent Survey

A survey of 1,000 parents of kindergarten children in Manitoba whose children were assessed using the Early Development Instrument (EDI) in 2004, the creation of a linked (survey and EDI assessment) research file, and the preparation of a descriptive analytical report summarizing results.

Start-end date: April 2004 - March 2005
Sponsor: Healthy Child Manitoba Office

Research and Services for the Healthy Child Manitoba Office (HCMO)

Providing expert advice and design options for a longitudinal survey of parents and children.

Start-end date: April 2003 - March 2004
Sponsor: Healthy Child Manitoba Office