The Contextualized Health Research Synthesis Program (CHRSP) is a collaborative partnership that includes applied health researchers at NLCAHR, leaders in Newfoundland & Labrador's provincial health and community systems, and patient/caregiver advisers. An innovative knowledge translation approach, CHRSP puts research in place by creating reports that support decisions on priority issues are identified by our health system partners. 

Support for a System in Transition

From 2024 to 2026, CHRSP is dedicated to supporting the transformation underway in NL healthcare, including the merger of four former regional health authorities into the singylar  NL Health Services.  In addition CHRSP will support the decisions required to implement Health Accord NL's ten-year plan to transform health and community services in this province with a strong emphasis on the Social Determinants of Health.

With new methods for delivering more immediate and responsive health evidence, CHRSP and the team at NLCAHR are creating stronger ties across sectors: between healthcare and social care systems; between institutional healthcare and the community; and between academic partners and the communities they serve.

Health System Consultations

The CHRSP team at NLCAHR has been consulting with the health system and government partners who are leading the transformation process to co-create a more responsive decision support approach.  A new, more iterative CHRSP topic selection and prioritization method has been established with a shift towards flexible and timely response to health system needs as they arise, rather than the once-a-year approach used in the past. The CHRSP team recognizes that in a period of transition, decision support requirements will evolve and change as new priorities arise and as  new programs and policies are designed and implemented.

As key partners in this new approach, health system and government leaders are working closely with CHRSP

  • to identify key research themes anticipated for the transition;
  • to prioritize these key thematic areas; and
  • to weave CHRSP decision support directly into strategic planning throughout the transition process. 

CHRSP support will now include new report options with optimal turnaround times and the organization of NLCAHR Experts’ Exchanges.  The new Experts' Exchange program connects decision makers virtually with national and international experts to address pressing needs for evidence.

To access community knowledge and the inclusion of patient voices in its research, CHRSP will also align its Research & Knowledge Exchanges with priority research themes and will consult with the NL SUPPORT Public Patient Advisory Committee, as required, on projects identified by our partners.

The CHRSP Approach

The overall CHRSP approach involves decision makers and researchers working together to:

  • focus on specific issues, rather than broad research themes
  • identify and prioritize issues of concern to health system leaders
  • formulate issues into researchable questions
  • report on quality research literature
  • provide a range of products to meet decision making needs as they arise
  • where appropriate, tailor the findings to the local context 
  • report research results quickly and in usable formats.

CHRSP Products

Recent consultations with the health system revealed that the 18-month timeframe required for CHRSP to produce a contextualized evidence synthesis (known as the CHRSP Evidence in Context report) would be too resource-intensive and time-consuming to meet rapidly-evolving demands for decision support throughout the transformation.  (To learn more about the Evidence in Context approach,  this journal article outlines the method that  established CHRSP as a national leader in integrated Knowledge Translation).

From 2023 to 2026, our partners have asked CHRSP to concentrate efforts on expedited health evidence reports and decision support/ guidance, including:

Health Evidence:

  • Rapid Evidence Reports (evidence, appraisal, key findings, contextual considerations)
  • Rapid Decision Support (summaries and highlights of evidence with hyperlinks to publications to help inform planning teams)

Decision Support and Guidance:

  • NLCAHR Experts’ Exchanges (a one-day, in-camera meeting in which leading experts answer critical questions and advise planning teams)
  • Snapshot Reports (jurisdictional scans of practices, programs, or policies used elsewhere that might be adapted for use here in Newfoundland and Labrador)
  • Focus Groups with Patients/Caregivers/ Research Exchange Groups to support contextualization and gain patient and caregiver perspectives on proposed changes to care delivery.

The team at NLCAHR is dedicated to providing responsive decision support that is attuned to our partners' needs. CHRSP is committed to ensuring that healthcare decisions in Newofundland and Labrador will continue to be guided by best evidence.

Link to completed CHRSP projects here.