Innovations for Evaluation Program identifies innovative approaches to health human resources

22 November 2016

In 2005, the Health Services & Policy Research Support Network (HSPRSN) was launched to fund and build capacity for health services and policy research focusing on health system evaluation, redesign and innovation. MSFHR has worked with government, academic, and health system stakeholders to implement programs through HSPRSN that respond to health priorities and improve BC’s complex health system.

As the final program of HSPRSN, the Innovations for Evaluation Program was undertaken to capture innovative approaches to health human resources deployment that were taking place in the health system. Of the five projects funded, four evaluated collaborative care delivery models, which is in line with a BC Ministry of Health strategy in Setting Priorities for the BC Health System that identified inter-professional collaborative health care as priority. One evaluation focused on integration of nurse practitioners (NPs) into the BC health system.

A summary of the studies showed that the collaborative care models were implemented in response to the increasing number of patients/residents who are frail and elderly with chronic illness and complex health needs. Prior studies examining collaborative care models reveal that complex health needs are better served through a combination of skills and disciplines; no single discipline can address all of these issues.[1] However, the studies revealed that the reformation of teams involved staff mix changes, loss of team members and shifting responsibilities that impacted both individuals and overall team functioning. Supportive leadership, mentorship and transition support were recommended strategies to address the considerable impacts on staff.

Findings also showed that when strong leadership was in place, teams were more resilient to the impacts of change. The importance of consistent leadership from start-up through implementation was also identified as a key factor in keeping the purpose of the new model alive.

The evaluation focused on integration of nurse practitioners clearly demonstrated the value of adding NPs to the BC health system. NPs are seen as effective collaborators on healthcare teams, increasing access to care and providing consistent care that is patient-centred.

Overall, the findings from the five evaluations provide valuable information for practice and policy leaders in the development and further integration of innovative practices focused on health system improvement.

Read >> Innovations for Evaluation: Summary of Themes and Lessons Learned

Full reports of five evaluation projects

[1] Evaluation of the Enhanced Seniors’ Team Service at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.