Health Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Common menu bar links

Health Care System

Guidelines for Stakeholder Input

Notice to the reader: The online consultation is now closed.

On June 24, 2014, Health Minister Rona Ambrose announced the creation of the Advisory Panel on Healthcare Innovation to look at creative healthcare ideas and approaches that exist in Canada and abroad, identify those that hold the greatest promise for Canada, and offer its recommendations on how the federal government can support them.

Over the next year, we will seek to identify five promising areas of healthcare innovation in Canada and internationally that have the potential to reduce growth in health spending while leading to better care. We will also be recommending ways in which the federal government can support those innovations.

As part of its work, the Panel would like to hear from stakeholders. This will be done through written submissions, as well as face-to-face meetings and consultations across Canada, to begin in fall 2014. We are soliciting your input on your experience in dealing with innovation within the healthcare system and what more can be done to support it in Canada.

What is healthcare innovation?

Healthcare innovation involves a range of activities around the development, uptake and adoption of new approaches that generate value in terms of quality and safety of care, administrative efficiency, the patient experience, and patient outcomes. Innovation can occur within a single healthcare facility or department (micro-level), across a regional health system (meso-level) or at the level of a provincial, territorial or national healthcare system (macro-level).

We are interested in innovation that is cost-effective (i.e. yields a meaningful improvement in health outcomes for a modest increase in expenditures), or, better yet, that is cost-neutral with improved outcomes, or results in cost savings for the health system with the same or better outcomes.

Innovation depends on the support and interaction of three critical components:

  • Practice, which encompasses people and the way they work. This is not only clinical practice, but also includes processes and interactions between clinicians and patients, clinicians and administrators, administrators and policymakers, etc.
  • Structure, which includes physical, organizational, economic, legal or other mechanisms that constrain or enable the actions of individuals in the system
  • Culture: the shared values, perceptions and opinions of individuals, and groups of individuals, with the system

What is the Panel interested in hearing about?

Successful innovation requires partnerships that cut across multiple sectors - including governments, healthcare providers and organizations, industry and research. For success, especially at the macro-level, change is needed in practice, structure and/or culture.

That's why we would like to hear from you about innovation that is improving the healthcare system, and what more needs to be done. This could relate to the successful introduction of new technologies and tools, new ways of working, new ways of organizing and/or financing healthcare, new ways of capturing and using information, and much more. This is an opportunity for you to share big ideas and perspectives, which would inform our work and ultimately the advice we provide.

The panel is interested in receiving written briefs from stakeholders of no more than five (5) pages. To assist you in drafting your submissions, we have set out a series of questions below. Feel free to address some or all of these, but please ensure that your submission does not exceed five pages in length.

Submissions will be accepted by email atá

This consultation opens on Tuesday, September 16th, and will end on Friday, December 5th, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Advisory Panel on Healthcare Innovation
September 2014

Guiding questions for input

  1. The panel has been asked to identify five key areas for innovation in the health system. Please describe the innovation that you would like the panel to know about (i.e., new processes and practices, new policy approaches, new ways of organizing care, new technologies/tools, new ways of using information, new ways of working collaboratively, etc.)
    • Why is this innovation important?
    • Where was the innovation implemented and who was responsible?
    • What factors were the most critical enablers for the implementation?
    • What were the most significant barriers to innovation? Assuming these barriers were overcome, what strategies worked best to surmount them?
    • If this innovation is already implemented in parts of Canada, do you think it could be adapted and implemented elsewhere in Canada and why?
    • If this innovation has been implemented in another country, do you think it could be implemented in Canada? Why/how?
  2. The panel is interested in innovation that is backed up by sound evidence and rigorous evaluation.
    • What is the evidence that the innovation has resulted in improvement? (e.g. better patient outcomes, administrative efficiency, quality and safety, etc.) If possible, provide references.
    • Is the innovation cost-effective? What is the evidence for cost-effectiveness? If possible, provide references.
  3. Reflecting on your own experiences and observations of healthcare, we are interested in learning about how well the system currently supports innovation, and what changes might make healthcare in Canada more innovative and sustainable.
    • What are the current strengths and weaknesses in Canada's current approach to innovating in healthcare?
    • Which programs or initiatives currently in place are critical to innovation in the healthcare system?
    • Whose responsibility is it to ensure that innovation that has been implemented in one setting (eg. facility, region, province) is spread elsewhere in Canada? Whose responsibility should it be?
  4. We are interested in your perspective on what the federal government can do to promote and support innovation in the healthcare system. Current mechanisms include tax and other incentives, regulation, support for research and development, and support for a number of federal and/or pan-Canadian agencies.
    • Which specific mechanisms/levers are most critical to federal support for innovation in the healthcare system?
    • What changes to current federal tools and programs should be made to better support innovation?
    • What new mechanisms should be put in place to improve support for innovation in the healthcare system?
  5. Thinking about the range of areas in healthcare that are undergoing change, which approaches have the greatest potential to deliver improved value for money (e.g. process improvement, data analytics, payment models, chronic disease management, electronic records, consumer incentives, pharmaceutical and/or device development , diagnostics, workforce management)?