Using knowledge to propel change: Accelerating health system transformation in Saskatchewan using prospective analysis and facilitated exchange

The Challenge: Accelerate evidence-informed change

The Saskatchewan Ministry of Health has a mandate to support Saskatchewan residents in achieving their best possible health and well-being. The Ministry establishes policy direction, sets and monitors standards, provides funding, supports regional health authorities and other organizations, and ensures the provision of essential and appropriate services. As the province undertakes a massive health system transformation agenda, a project was carried out to better understand how transformation occurs by embedding a health services researcher in the process.

The Collaboration: Embed researcher in change initiative

The Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI), working in collaboration with Saskatchewan Health and the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (JSGS), embedded a researcher in the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative. The project began in June 2011 and concluded in June 2014. The researcher’s work helped to accelerate the transformation of the Saskatchewan healthcare system and to develop a better understanding of the associated change-management processes.

The Result: A process that used storytelling, narrative analysis and observation

The embedded researcher used methods such as storytelling, narrative analysis and participant observation to derive a better understanding of the facilitators and barriers of large-scale health system transformation. The main results demonstrate that achieving large-system change, within the context of the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative specifically, requires a complex and interdependent set of strategies, processes and organizational arrangements.

The Impact: Important questions driving key research

The change process raised important questions that drove the analysis in this collaboration:

  • What are the factors that shape the success of attempts at large scale health system transformation?
  • What are the major barriers of large health system transformation?
  • What are the major facilitators of large health system transformation?
  • How are barriers to large health system transformation overcome?
  • How can facilitators be applied to optimize and accelerate large health system transformation?

Read the full report:
Accelerating Health System Transformation in Saskatchewan: Lessons Learned from the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative

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