SRDC evaluating innovations in health care

SRDC was recently selected to evaluate projects with three new clients: Canada Health Infoway, the Green Shield Canada Foundation, and the University of Toronto. These projects all focus on innovations in healthcare — either the technologies used to deliver healthcare services or the ways in which healthcare services are coordinated across organizations. All of the projects aim to improve access and quality of service, while increasing the efficiency of the health care system.

The Direct Lab Access project, sponsored by Canada Health Infoway, studies the impact of patients having direct, online access to their laboratory results. Availability of this service is most widespread in British Columbia. SRDC is assessing how patients use this service and the impact it has on patient experience, patient-physician relationships, and physician practices. The results thus have the potential to inform the planning and delivery of digital health information services across the country.

The other two projects — evaluations of the BRIDGES Collaborative and the Health Innovation Collaborative — are focused on service innovations for people with complex chronic health conditions. BRIDGES is a collaborative run by the departments of Medicine, Psychiatry and Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. It uses an incubator model to support nine different projects testing innovations in integrated healthcare delivery.

Similarly, the Green Shield Canada Foundation sponsored Health Innovation Collaborative is a three-year initiative that supports five different healthcare organizations to work together as they develop innovative programs and services, focusing on big-picture change for seniors. This project is designed to address two of Canada’s greatest healthcare challenges: the country’s aging population and the rising costs of supporting patients with complex chronic conditions in hospitals or long-term care. More information can be found at gscfoundation.ca.

For both projects, SRDC is evaluating the potential for collective impact, which is a new way to assess the process, functioning, and outcomes of such collaborations. SRDC is taking a developmental evaluation approach in both cases, working closely with project stakeholders to identify challenges and help improve the initiatives as they develop over time.

For more information contact Heather Smith Fowler.