Workshop during the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Institute of Health Services and Policy Research Symposium, Strengthening the Foundations (Montreal, November 24, 2003)

During the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Institute of Health Services and Policy Research inaugural symposium, Strengthening the Foundations, the Listening for Direction II partners took the opportunity to hold a workshop with decision makers and researchers. The objectives were to test the design of the listening exercise, and to identify both the issues researchers encountered with addressing the Listening for Direction I themes and the incentives for doing applied health services and policy research.

Prior to the symposium, 52 percent of the 362 registrants completed a survey asking decision makers for their current priority issues and researchers for their current research topics. The results were used as a springboard for discussion during the symposium workshop. In general, the survey results (at bottom of page) indicate that Listening for Direction themes from 2001 are still priority issues for decision makers and primary topics for researchers.

Approximately 50 decision makers and 180 researchers participated in the Listening for Direction II workshop at the symposium, divided into separate breakout groups.

Decision makers were asked if the themes identified in the 2001 consultation are still priorities for the next two to five years. Decision makers feel that:

  1. overwhelmingly, the existing Listening for Direction I themes do reflect priority issues for the next two to five years, and the upcoming Listening for Direction II consultation should use the existing themes as a starting point for priority setting;
  2. the themes need to be refined and regrouped, and linkages need to be recognized; and
  3. ethics and Knowledge Exchange are critical new cross-cutting priority issues.

Researchers were asked what issues they face in addressing the Listening for Direction I themes and what incentives would encourage them to do applied health services and policy research. Researchers feel that:

  1. research themes and opportunities must be widely promoted using several methods of communication;
  2. researchers need assistance in forming networks with each other and with decision makers;
  3. universities need to reward the type of activities that health services and policy research requires, such as Knowledge Exchange, and networking;
  4. researchers need more time to complete funding applications, and information on the application process needs to be more user-friendly; and
  5. young researchers and students need to be mentored in order to build research capacity, and mid-career and senior researchers need different incentives.

Survey Results

Prior to the symposium, 52 percent of the 362 registrants completed a survey asking decision makers for their current priority issues and researchers for their current research topics. The results indicate that both decision makers and researchers feel the theme "Performance Indicators, Benchmarks, and Outcomes" is at the top of their priority list. Results also indicate that Listening for Direction themes from 2001 are still priority issues for decision makers and primary topics for researchers.

Top Five Priorities for Decision Makers and Researchers  

 Decision Makers

  1. Performance Indicators, Benchmarks, and Outcomes
  2. Health Human Resources
  3. Driving and Managing System Change
  4. Continuum of Care and Delivery Models
  5. Financing and Public Expectation

 Researchers

  1. Performance Indicators, Benchmarks, and Outcomes
  2. Healthcare Evaluation and Technology Assessment
  3. Population Health
  4. Primary Healthcare
  5. Improving Quality