Commissioned Research

Evidence-Informed Change Management in Canadian Healthcare Organizations

by Graham Dickson, et al. | Jun 29, 2012
Full Report (PDF, 595.65 KB)

Key Messages

  • Recent developments within the Canadian health sector highlight a perpetually shifting landscape, coupled with an increasing demand for practical approaches to implementing effective change.
  • The purpose of this project was to identify a suite of evidence-informed approaches to support change in small and large systems that are applicable to a variety of contexts within the Canadian health system.
  • Key issues that leaders and managers face in responding to and initiating change were used to identify evidence-informed approaches.
  • A variety of theories, models, approaches, tools, techniques and instruments that decision makers can effectively use to oversee change exist; these approaches need to be deliberately chosen, with attention to stage of change and context, so as to have maximum utility and impact.
  • More attention to change readiness and change capacity prior to initiating change would contribute to better understanding about what strategies and approaches would help to initiate and support change effectively.
  • More formal learning regarding change in the four key areas of preparing for change, implementing change, spreading change, and sustaining change would be of benefit to decision makers.
  • Developers of university credit and non-credit professional development programs for leaders and managers should be encouraged to make the study of change a prominent feature in their curricula.
  • National and provincial agencies should be encouraged to develop a support platform devoted to leadership development in support of change in the Canadian health system (online access to tools and direct access to expertise).
  • While using approaches to change may be useful, increased attention to conceptualizing the change process would likely lead to more effective implementation and results.