Health services

Current and Completed Projects:

Improving Equity in Access to Palliative Care Collaborative

Healthcare Excellence Canada is an independent, not-for-profit organization that works with partners to spread innovation, strengthen capability, and catalyze policy change that supports safe, high-quality healthcare for everyone in Canada. Together with the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, it delivers a program called Improving Equity in Access to Palliative Care (IEAPC) Collaborative, which helps communities across Canada to design, deliver, and evaluate initiatives that provide palliative approaches to care for people experiencing homelessness or vulnerable housing. Between 2022 and 2026, support for up to 20 communities will be provided through Learning Collaboratives that will involve coaching, peer-to-peer networking, learning opportunities, and project funding to support initial design and implementation, and later, improvement, scale and spread of these innovative approaches. The goal of the program is to create measurable and sustained improvement in access to palliative approaches to care for under-resourced populations. In partnership with Reciprocal Consulting Inc – which specializes in culturally responsive evaluation and research – SRDC has been engaged to evaluate the IEAPC Collaborative, which will be done using a principles-focused, community-led, developmental, and transformative evaluation approach. Learning from the evaluation is expected to inform the work of the collaborative and participating communities, as well as ongoing program improvement, and communicate progress towards outcomes and future programming.

Start-end date: April 2023 - March 2026
Sponsor: Healthcare Excellence Canada

Primary care physician remuneration and substance use care – Evidence review

SRDC is supporting the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA), and the Canadian Executive Council on Addictions (CECA), to explore how the current landscape in health systems across Canada could inform innovation in substance use care, particularly in the context of COVID-19 and the demonstrated potential for rapid health system change. Building on findings from the Family Physician Remuneration for Substance Use Disorders Care report released last year, the CCSA and CECA wish to identify primary care physician remuneration models and payment mechanisms/processes that could be recommended to improve access to, and quality of, substance use care.

Start-end date: November 2020 - March 2021
Sponsor: Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction

Calgary Foothills Primary Care Network: Annual staff survey

Calgary Foothills Primary Care Network (CFPCN) is a group of more than 450 family doctors who collaborate with teams of other health professionals to offer care to approximately 379,000 patients in north Calgary and Cochrane, Alberta. SRDC is administering the 2019 iteration of CFPCN’s annual online survey of more than 200 staff members, and analyzing the quantitative and qualitative data. The PCN will use the results for internal reporting and ultimately to better understand staff engagement, how organizational values are being upheld, and acceptance of change management across the organization.

Start-end date: February 2019 - March 2019
Sponsor: Calgary Foothills Primary Care Network

Formative Evaluation of the BC SUPPORT Unit

The BC SUPPORT (Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials) Unit is a multi-partner organization created to support, streamline, and increase patient-oriented research throughout BC. Patient-oriented research is defined as research that engages patients as partners and focuses on patient-identified priorities with the goals of improving patient experiences, health outcomes, and the health system. BC’s Unit is one of 11 established across the country as part of Canada’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research led by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. SRDC is undertaking a formative evaluation of the BC SUPPORT Unit activities to date to identify lessons learned during the initial development stage. Focus areas include: relationship development across the BC health research sector; engagement and involvement of stakeholder groups in Unit activities; awareness and understanding of patient-oriented research across the province; similarities and differences in Unit implementation across components (e.g., regional centres, methods clusters); and progress towards meeting Unit goals and objectives. SRDC’s evaluation gathers information from activities across the Unit including methods clusters, regional centres, demonstration projects, operational working groups, and funding partner activity reports.

Start-end date: November 2018 - March 2019
Sponsor: British Columbia Academic Health Science Network Society

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

Quebec Council on Tobacco and Health (QCTH) – Evaluation of School and Community 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 highlight the needs of each community, a retrospective and summative evaluation of the activities of the QCTH was conducted in June 2017 among the DSP. This second phase rather constitutes a formative evaluation that targets school and community groups. The main objectives of the project are to: identify the elements that contribute to carrying out the prevention projects within schools and community settings; identify the missing elements in the provision of tobacco prevention services; and obtain recommendations to improve the provision of tobacco prevention services.

Start-end date: September 2017 - December 2017
Sponsor: Quebec Council on Tobacco and Health

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 - March 2019
Sponsor: Canada Health Infoway

Employer tools for workplace mental health

The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) has been leading efforts to establish a mentally healthy workplace culture in Canada, starting with the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. There are many resources to help employers implement the Standard and support workplace mental health more generally, but these may be difficult to locate and use. MHCC is leading an initiative to develop a free, online, bilingual electronic tool to bring these resources together and make them easy for employers to use. SRDC has been engaged to conduct a curated inventory of relevant resources, advise on current gaps, and to provide recommendations on how to address these.

Start-end date: January 2017 - March 2017
Sponsor: Mental Health Commission of Canada

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 notice

National Post notice


Start-end date: December 2016 - November 2020
Sponsor: The Heart and Stroke Foundation

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

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

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

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 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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