General population

Current and Completed Projects:

Economic burden of cancer

The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer is the steward of the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control, and works to reduce the burden of cancer on Canadians. In 2017, the Partnership initiated a new program of work to quantify the economic burden of cancer and enhance system capacity for evidence-based decision-making using economic data and methods. In preparation for developing national estimates on the burden of cancer, the Partnership has engaged SRDC to conduct evidence reviews in three areas: the direct burden of cancer on patients and families/caregivers in terms of direct, out-of-pocket and time costs; the indirect burden in terms of productivity loss; and psychosocial burden such as pain and suffering. In each of these three areas, SRDC is conducting a comprehensive review of the Canadian and international research literature, and developing an inventory of methods and tools used to measure burden and estimate related costs; key informant interviews will supplement knowledge gained from the review. The results of these three evidence reviews will help identify opportunities to improve decisions for resource allocation and program funding.

Start-end date: June 2018 - November 2018
Sponsor: Canadian Partnership Against Cancer

Evidence Synthesis on System Performance Indicators for Cancer Control

The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer is the steward of the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control, and works with partners to reduce the burden of cancer on Canadians. After 10 years of collaboration, they are accelerating work that improves the effectiveness and efficiency of the cancer control system, aligning shared priorities and mobilizing positive change across the cancer continuum. The Partnership is currently launching a ‘refresh’ of the indicators used to assess cancer system performance, and has engaged SRDC to synthesize the evidence on indicators used in Canada and internationally. With the aid of an environmental scan and key informant interviews, SRDC will assess both existing indicators and those used in new areas of work related to cancer control. Results of the evidence synthesis will support the Partnership’s discussions with stakeholders and decisions about the most compelling set of indicators on which the Partnership will report, moving forward.

Start-end date: February 2018 - August 2018
Sponsor: Canadian Partnership Against Cancer

Workplace Drug Impairment Management System

Workplaces have had to provide accommodations for medical use of cannabis since 2001. With legalization of marijuana in 2018 and the current opioid crisis, employers face increasing challenge providing safe workplaces and supporting their employees, particularly in the absence of a way to assess impairment. The Canadian Standards Association operating under CSA Group has engaged SRDC to produce a research paper on the management of workplace drug impairment. By means of a literature review, environmental scan, and key informant interviews, SRDC will identify and assess the latest research on workplace drug impairment policies, guidelines, and training programs, and provide a gap analysis indicating which areas lend themselves to standards-based solutions.

Start-end date: December 2017 - March 2018
Sponsor: Canadian Standards Association (CSA Group)

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 - December 2018
Sponsor: Canada Health Infoway

Evaluation of the Child and Youth Diabetes Strategy

In the 16 years since it first launched the Diabetes Strategy, the Lawson Foundation has granted $13 million for applied diabetes research and a broad range of community-based projects that translate knowledge into clinical practice and community programs. In 2016, the Foundation launched its new targeted focus on the challenges faced by children, youth, and their families with or at risk for diabetes and its complications. SRDC has been engaged by the Lawson Foundation to examine how the new Child and Youth Diabetes Strategy can enhance its impact on the prevention and management of diabetes in Canada. We will also look at how the Foundation’s cohort approach to supporting grantees adds value to projects and supports them in furthering the Strategy’s goals. SRDC’s evaluation will take a developmental approach, in which staff of both organizations will work collaboratively to assess ways the Foundation can enhance delivery of the Strategy and its impact.

Start-end date: March 2017 - September 2019
Sponsor: Lawson Foundation

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

Advancing Women's Heart Health Evaluation

A general lack of awareness of how heart disease and stroke present differently in women and men is compounded by knowledge gaps among health professionals, leading to a predominantly male model of research and care. In response, Heart & Stroke – with support from Health Canada – has developed the Advancing Women’s Heart Health Project. Through leadership, research, partnership, and capacity building, this project aims to change the way in which heart health research is funded, conducted, and applied in Canada so that it accounts for gender and racial disparities and redresses health inequities. SRDC has been hired to develop a logic model and frameworks for performance measurement and evaluation, as well as data collection tools and an analysis plan for this initiative.

Start-end date: March 2017 - March 2018
Sponsor: Heart and Stroke Foundation 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

Flexible Workplace Practices in Support of Caregivers

Working Canadians often have multiple roles outside of the workplace that may conflict with the demands of their jobs. One increasingly prominent role is to provide unpaid care for family members or close friends with a long-term health condition, physical or mental disability. Caregiving commitments have a number of direct consequences for workers and businesses that employers can help mitigate through various leave policies, flexible practices, and supports. The objective of this project is to fill knowledge gaps with respect to the costs and benefits to Canadian employers of offering various flexible workplace practices in support of caregivers. SRDC conducted a series of nine business case studies with a comprehensive cost-benefit methodology that measures the return on investment for employers from introducing a range of flexible practices and policies in support of caregivers.

Start-end date: February 2015 - September 2015
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development 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

Evaluating the impact of patients’ direct lab access

As part of the move toward a more modernized health care system, tele-health and digital health services provide patients with direct access to health information and advice 24/7, 365 days a year. The aim of this study is to understand the impact of direct patient access to laboratory results in B.C. in terms of healthcare access, quality, and productivity. Through interviews with physicians and a survey of service subscribers and a general population panel, the study examines how direct access to lab results compares to traditional means of access (i.e., via the physicians’ office) in terms of service reliability and efficiency, patient experience, patients’ utilization of healthcare services, and physicians’ practices and workloads. Results of this study support future planning around patient access to health information and contribute to the peer-reviewed literature.

Start-end date: July 2013 - March 2014
Sponsor: Canada Health Infoway

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

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