Evaluation of Health Networks
There are systemic challenges in the way health care is delivered and experienced by patients in Saskatchewan. Efforts to address such issues include moving towards more integrated care in the form of Health Networks (HN). HNs are geographic areas that provide an infrastructure for interdisciplinary team-based healthcare delivered closest to where the patient lives or works and are defined as “collaborative teams of health professionals, including physicians and community partners, providing fully integrated services to meet the health needs of individuals and communities.” The aim of HNs is to provide care through an interdisciplinary team of healthcare professionals that is accessible, timely, and coordinated within the team and with community services. This evaluation, conducted by Fiona Fick, Research Analyst, Research Department and Brandy Winquist, PhD, Executive Director, Academics and Learning, was commissioned in order to understand the essential elements of networks that lead to improved health outcomes.
Movements towards more integrated care are desirable but not easy; they require significant systemic, structural, cultural, attitudinal, and behavioural changes. Sustainability of changes seems to rely heavily on perceived relevance and benefit of HNs to the provision of good patient care. Understanding the theoretical pathway of HNs, particularly the mechanisms that lead to change, as well as facilitators and challenges to team-based care can help understand how to replicate successes and minimize challenges within different contexts in Saskatchewan.
For more information, read the reports below.