Biennial Report - April 2021

The past two years have been unprecedented in many ways, creating new challenges and opportunities for the Forum. First, the government of Ontario initiated a large-scale health-system transformation, and the Forum pivoted quickly to establish Rapid-Improvement Support and Exchange (RISE) to support emerging Ontario Health Teams. Second, the COVID-19 pandemic led government policymakers to ask many urgent questions about all aspects of the COVID-19 response, and the Forum pivoted quickly to establish the COVID-19 Evidence Network to support Decision-making (COVID-END), with a global focus on enhancing coordination and reducing duplication in the evidence response to COVID-19 and a domestic focus on synthesizing and contextualizing the best available research evidence for Canadian decision-makers. Third, the COVID-19 pandemic required new ways of working, and the Forum pivoted quickly to hosting virtual versions of its stakeholder dialogues, citizen panels, and other engagement processes.

The Forum was able to move as far and as fast as it did because of its partnerships with groups that powerfully complement the Forum’s areas of strength. With RISE, for example, we partnered with Rob Reid and colleagues at Trillium Health Partners’ Institute for Better Health. With both RISE and COVID-END, we partnered with Jeremy Grimshaw and colleagues at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. With COVID-END global we partnered with more than 55 world-leading evidence-synthesis, technology assessment and guideline-development groups, and with COVID-END in Canada we partnered with the SPOR Evidence Alliance, Cochrane Canada, and more than 40 evidence-synthesis teams from across the country.

Through all of this work, the Forum maintained its focus on impacts, whether that involved: 1) helping OHTs achieve the quadruple-aim of improving care experiences and health outcomes while keeping providers engaged and per-capita costs manageable; 2) helping leaders around the world make evidence-informed decisions about COVID-19 related public health measures, clinical management, health-system arrangements, and economic and social responses; or 3) strengthening health systems and getting the right programs, services and products to those who need them.

Read more in our Biennial Report.