Want to better understand how the health and social systems work and how you can better advocate for changes that would improve these systems for you and your family? Enhance your knowledge with one of our free courses for citizens:

Finding and using research evidence: A guide for citizens

In this free online course, you’ll be provided with solutions to overcome the most commonly cited frustrations people have when trying to access research evidence. Prepared by the McMaster Health Forum with support from the Ontario SPOR SUPPORT Unit, the course is now available online as a set of eight videos:

Here are helpful resources that are drawn on in the course:

Don’t miss the most important resource for citizen-targeted evidence about healthy aging:

Understanding how to navigate the health system

Knowing how your health system works will better you to navigate the system, identify opportunities to make things better, and advocate for changes that you’d like to see. This free online course describes the 'building blocks' of Ontario’s health system as well as how those building blocks are used to provide care in the province in different ways (e.g., by sector, condition, treatment, population). While Ontario is the example, these principles are useful to understanding health systems other jurisdictions in Canada and internationally.

Prepared by the McMaster Health Forum with support from the Ontario SPOR SUPPORT Unit, the course is now available online as a set of six videos:

Here are helpful resources that are drawn on in the course:

Don’t miss the most important resource for citizen-targeted evidence about healthy aging:

Masterclass on patient-oriented research

The Forum’s masterclass was designed to prepare future champions for the conduct and use of patient-oriented research and future mentors to others becoming involved in the conduct and use of patient-oriented research. While we are not currently planning any Masterclass sessions, you can access all of the course material to learn more about patient-oriented research.

Virtual masterclass on patient-oriented research

The Forum and its collaborators are pleased to be hosting a ‘virtual’ version of the masterclass on the conduct and use of patient-oriented research in Ontario’s health system. All sessions will be conducted online using Webex. Learn more and register.

Workbook on contextualizing guidance supports localized, evidence-based policy development

Apr 27, 2016, 11:16 AM
Title : Workbook on contextualizing guidance supports localized, evidence-based policy development
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Looking for a tool to apply recommendations from a guidance document to your context? A newly released workbook on "Contextualizing health-systems guidance" outlines how to adapt guidance recommendations for developing local policy recommendations or decisions about health-system arrangements and implementation strategies. Developed in concert with the World Health Organization and authored by the McMaster Health Forum’s Elizabeth Alvarez and John N. Lavis, this tool is appropriate for use on any health-system topic. The workbook includes:

  • overview of the steps for contextualizing health systems guidance
  • examples of how the steps can be applied
  • worksheets for applying the steps

"This workbook can help policymakers and stakeholders apply recommendations from a global guidance document to address an issue/problem in their local context,“ says Elizabeth Alvarez.

The workbook includes a narrative of how to use the tool and provides questions for the users to consider in developing national or subnational guidance or policy informed by global guidance. The workbook also provides prompts for what type(s) of evidence (e.g., systematic reviews, local studies, administrative data, etc.) could be looked at to help answer the questions. The worksheets, which summarize this information, help users navigate through each section. Generally, each step utilizes broad health system or political system questions, prompts for the use of research evidence (where applicable), and ends with a summary of findings to highlight key messages from that section.  

While it is recommended that guidance developers include a tailored workbook to help contextualize their particular topic, this workbook is developed to be generic enough for any health system issue. 

>> Download the Contextualizing health-systems guidance workbook (PDF).

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated and can be sent by email to Elizabeth Alvarez (alvare@mcmaster.ca).

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