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Health system priorities: supporting decisions for a system in transition 

Health and healthcare in Newfoundland and Labrador are being transformed as the province has moved from four regional health authorities to a single provincial authority organized over 5 geographical zones.  In addition, stakeholders from across our health and community services systems are at work implementing key recommendations of the Health Accord NL 10-year plan for health system transformation in NL.

To determine the best ways to support our system partners during this time of transition, the team at NLCAHR's  Contextualized Health Research Synthesis Program (CHRSP) held a province-wide Priority-Setting Meeting in March 2023.

CHRSP researchers conducted a series of pre-consultations with the leaders of the former Regional Health Authorities and with senior leaders and Deputy Ministers of two government departments: Children, Seniors, and Social Development and the Department of Health and Community Services to discuss their suggested priorities for CHRSP decision support through the transition year.

What We Heard: CHRSP Priority Pre-Consultations February 2023

The outcome of the March 1st meeting was a consensus list of priority themes for CHRSP decision support related specifically to two areas: the current health system integration from four Regional Health Authorities to a single Provincial Health Authority and the calls to action of the Health Accord NL. 

The summary report below provides a detailed analysis of the results of the voting/ prioritization process and a summary of our discussions with health system and patient partners. 

CHRSP Priority-Setting Report from March 1st meeting

 Summary of Key Messages in the Report | CHRSP Proecess for 2023 to 2025:

  • Our health system partners reviewed and assessed four priority research themes that had been identified:
    • Health Human Resources
    • Healthy Aging/Care for the Older Adult
    • The Learning Health and Social System/Health Information, and
    • Public Engagement & Communication
  • Each theme was considered in terms of its potential importance in five prioritization criteria:
    • Contribution to a successful transition
    • Decision-making impact
    • Urgency
    • Patient and Public impact
    • Opportunities for funding, partnerships, collaboration, and engagement
  • Participants reached a consensus that CHRSP should prioritize decision-support in all four of these areas. No one theme was ranked considerably higher than any other – all were deemed to be important.  

NLCAHR continues to consult closely with the NL Health Services leaders to identify specific projects for which decision support is needed.  This work has resulted in our producing a series of Rapid Decision Support reports that answer questions of pressing concerns in establishing a new provincial health authority: NL Health Services.