Useful resource of policy-relevant documents: Ontario Health Systems Document Portal

The McMaster Health Forum recently announced the launch  of the Ontario Health Systems Document Portal, a continuously  updated repository of policy-relevant syntheses of research evidence about governance, financial and delivery arrangements within health systems, and about implementation strategies that can support change in health systems and address health system transformation in Ontario. It is housed within Health Systems Evidence, a portal is free to access, which provides "one-stop shopping" for documents usefult to health system policymakers and stakeholders in Ontario.

Users need to complete a one-time free registration here to access the database, Content is complementary and automatically available through the home page and advanced search page to all registered users accessing the portal from within the Province of Ontario. Users from outside Ontario need to click on "update my profile" at the top of the screen on the home page, and click the box for Ontario under "enable viewing of complementary content".

Examples of documents currently added include:

View the video tutorial to know more about searching the database.

Peer to peer healthcare-- resources and personal reflections

The internet makes it possible for any of us to proactively manage health problems through research. We can locate facts, statistics, opinion, advice, experiences of others experiencing similar health problems, and professional and practitioner research.However, getting to a satisfactory solution or to the point where I can formulate possible solutions or questions to discuss with a health professional can be very time-consuming. And in instances where research turns up innovative or non-traditional approaches to treatment, for example, dilemmas of choice, access, cost, trust and communication can make for a very frustrating experience.

PubMed Central Canada: A new information resource

As announced on the CIHR website: The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) has partnered with the National Research Council's Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (NRC-CISTI) and the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) in the creation of this central, electronic repository for CIHR-funded research publications." This is a great new resource. I look forward to using it.

EHR Impact Study Findings: Interoperability, long-term strategic focus, good management essential to realize eventual benefit from investment

There is very little evidence on which to base EHR implementation investment decisions. Fortunately, that is changing. Findings from the recently released EHR Impact study: The Socio-Economic Impact of Interoperable Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Eprescribing Systems in Europe and Beyond, show that EHRs and ePrescribing are not quick wins, but they are sustainable wins. An important finding was that interoperability is a prime driver of benefits from EHR and ePrescribing systems as benefits rely on access to information regardless of place and time. Local, closed ICT systems lacking interoperability would not release these substantial gains. Extremely important to success of such investments, also, is the skill and expertise of executives and managers in managing organisational change and resource redeployment.