Quality Worklife — Quality Healthcare Collaborative (QWQHC) Environmental Scan

by P. Gaye Hanson, Jane Fahlman, Dr. Manon Lemonde | Mar 01, 2007

Executive Summary

The Quality Worklife - Quality Healthcare Collaborative (QWQHC) Environmental Scan Report includes a summary of a series of recommendations for consideration by the Collaborative working groups in general and specifically the Knowledge Exchange in Research and Leading Practices Working Group, which is one of four groups working under the Steering Committee. The recommendations are founded in a literature review of nationally significant synthesis documents and a review of activities and initiatives underway being made in all Canadian jurisdictions. In addition, new data collection, analysis of quality worklife and knowledge exchange-related information added significantly to the quality of the recommendations. The input from a diversity of experienced and knowledgeable individuals from across Canada was invaluable.

This national coalition aims to improve quality of worklife in healthcare organizations to strategically address a broad range of health human resources challenges and improve healthcare delivery and patient safety. The National Steering Committee for the Collaborative is a standing group that reports to Canadian healthcare stakeholders (organizations, governments, professional groups, union associations and the public).

The principles that emerged from the review of literature and the work underway across Canada were validated in the discussion with key informants. The principles to guide the work in developing quality worklife and exchanging knowledge to enhance quality work environments and the delivery of quality healthcare are:

  • Share vision and values among all levels in healthcare delivery.
  • Use existing networks and capacity as a foundation to move forward.
  • Use experience and professionals from other sectors, as quality worklife is an issue for many economic sectors, both private and public, and a variety of professional and occupational categories.
  • Create opportunities for innovation and new ideas in management and governance as well as new models of healthcare delivery.
  • Create horizontal and vertical integration to move beyond silos and “turf” and ensure front-line investment.
  • Ensure ethics in decision-making in practice environments and support individuals facing difficult choices.
  • Show responsiveness to a range of organizational and provider groups to ensure an inclusive approach.

The recommendations developed based on the research activities include the following areas:

Knowledge Exchange

  • Storage and access to documented knowledge resources
  • Collection, storage and exchange of leading and promising practices
  • Customized knowledge products
  • Knowledge exchange options;
  • Internal and horizontal knowledge transfer and skill development

Quality Worklife

  • National promotion and awareness
  • National action strategy
  • Governance and senior management leadership and accountability
  • Access to information on leading practices
  • Identification and use of quality worklife indicators
  • Worklife survey tools, specific indicators and data systems
  • Education and training
  • Research and organizational impact assessment
  • New knowledge generation
  • Collaboration and partnership
  • Quality worklife funding programs
  • Link to health human resources (HHR) planning and implementation
  • Moving knowledge to implementation

National Co-ordination

  • National co-ordinating functions related to quality worklife and related knowledge exchange activities.

The environmental scan research work has informed the work of the Collaborative throughout the planning and strategy development process. The movement of the final report of the Collaborative is fundamental to the progress in quality worklife and quality healthcare in Canada.