Workforce planning, training, and regulation

This priority issue encompasses issues regarding planning (such as surplus/shortage, recruitment/retention), training of health workers (such as new credential requirements, how to work in teams, cross-disciplinary approaches), as well as regulations of scope of practice (such as international health human resources to address Canada's health human resource needs, redefinition of roles).

  • Curriculum and training
  • Staffing interface between primary and acute care and long-term care
  • Team environments (collaborative models of care)
  • Emergence of new health professions
  • Specialization and creeping credentialism; expectations of new young health workers
  • Mix of regulated and unregulated healthcare providers

Healthy healthcare workplace

This priority issue includes issues that relate to improvement of the workplace, adequate workloads for all workers, and improvements to quality of work-life.

  • Healthy workplaces and how it can relate to patient safety
  • Legal liability
  • Workloads and how they relate to waiting list issues
  • Institutional belonging and commitment
  • Rural and remote issues
  • Labour relation issues
  • How to adapt workloads with regards to young workers entering and old workers retiring
  • Health and safety of the workplace

Public health and response to emerging issues

The major issue raised under this priority relates to infrastructure preparedness and the readiness to respond to crises (such as SARS).

  • Surge capacity
  • Do we have the capacity to respond (financial and human resources)?
  • Health security and human rights
  • Prevention and health promotion
  • Movement of disease

Waiting lists and timely access

The waiting list issue came out very often in terms of capacity of the system and governance perspectives. Inconsistency in access was also a key component.

  • Governance issues
  • Organizational structure to manage waiting lists
  • Access to the whole system (rehabilitation and mental health)
  • Rural and remote access (telehealth)
  • Capacity of the system to deal with waiting lists
  • Learning across jurisdictions
  • Access to care by minority groups (cultural, linguistic, religious, rural and remote)
  • Inconsistencies in access to particular services (rehabilitation, mental healthcare, palliative care, dentistry, eye care, specialties in which there are shortages)

Patient safety

This priority issue could be included in other topics but was viewed by almost all participants of the consultation workshops as being a top priority for synthesis activities. Participants felt that the public should be made aware of findings pertaining to the safety of care.

  • Medical and healthcare errors
  • In-hospital infections
  • Access to care for rural and remote
  • Legal liability
  • Impact of waiting lists
  • Systems approach to patient safety

Quality improvement based on evidence

This issue was brought forward to express the importance of learning from best practices approach and to use the knowledge from science to improve quality of care.

  • Rationale for using new technology
  • How to better evaluate the system?
  • Getting best practices to font-line workers and incorporating their experiences into research
  • Positive examples for innovation
  • Best practices from the international scene

System change and evaluation

This priority includes issues relating to sustainability and how different parts of the system link together in a sustainable fashion.

  • Values versus science as a determinant of change
  • Identifying barriers to good management
  • How to implement evidence-based change?
  • Evaluation of the system (efficacy and efficiency)
  • Sustainability by looking at the efficiency of a whole range of aspects of the system
  • Use of science in decision-making

Public expectations

This issue relates to the engagement of the public in decision-making.

  • Increased participation of the public in decision-making
  • Public versus private partnerships
  • Patient experience as a tool for decision-making
  • Informing the public about their health

Lower priority - Continuum of care

This issue was not as important in the short term as the issues mentioned above but still came through at numerous workshops.

  • Linked to health human resources
  • Linked to long-term care
  • Linked to primary healthcare (evaluation ? indicators; sustainability)
  • Chronic disease management
  • Financial implications of continuity of care