Qualitative analysis and integration of stakeholder engagement into provincial policy roll out of free prescription contraception: Application of gender-based analysis plus (GBA+)

This Health System Impact Fellowship is co-funded by CIHR, MSFHR, and BC Ministry of Health – Population and Public Health (health system partner), to help build BC’s health policy research capacity for the integration of policy research into decision-making.

In late 2020, the Government of British Columbia committed to a policy of free contraception for all. This first-in-Canada policy presents an opportunity to address the cost barrier that limits access to contraception, and to understand and address how other identity factors like race, ethnicity, religion, age, and ability intersect with gender to affect the experience of contraceptive access. The goal of this project is therefore to use a gender and diversity lens called Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) to support the planning, implementation and evaluation of free contraception policy and programs in BC. Specifically, a family planning researcher will work with the BC Ministry of Health to engage with stakeholders about the impact of free contraception on communities known to face various barriers to safe and appropriate contraception care. Stakeholder engagement will be complemented by reviews of the relevant scientific evidence as well as invited presentations from researchers doing work connected to gender, diversity, and contraception. In alignment with the Ministry mandate to provide free contraception for all and addressing systemic discrimination, the results will be shared with policy makers to inform decisions about free contraception policies and programs and will be used to inform templates and guidelines for future GBA+.

Source: CIHR Funding Decisions Database

Moving beyond headcounts: improved physician workforce planning for primary care in BC

Consistent access to high-quality family medicine improves the health of the population and lowers the costs of health care. Reports of family medicine shortages and of difficulties in accessing family physicians are ubiquitous in British Colombia (BC). To address shortages and access challenges, the Ministry of Health needs a clear understanding of how many active family doctors are working within provincial borders, how many are providing comprehensive and patient-centered care, how they structure their practices, and how patients access (or do not access) the services they provide. 

The Ministry also needs a method to accurately estimate the future supply of family physicians and services in order to proactively design and implement policies that will address upcoming accessibility issues. These challenges are particularly salient given the upcoming rollout of team-based care across the province. 

To address these issues, this fellowship will integrate the results of several ongoing studies into a strategy for proactive physician workforce planning, supporting recruitment and retention efforts and the development and evaluation of new models of family medicine practice. It will provide granular data on the supply of comprehensive care, identify current and future gaps, and inform policy on training, recruitment and retention of family physicians. Ultimately, it will enhance the capacity for evidence-informed workforce planning within BC's Ministry of Health, leading to downstream improvements in access to family medicine across the province.

Patient/Public Engagement Measurement and Evaluation Project (PEMEP) within the British Columbia Ministry of Health’s Patients as Partners Initiative

In 2010, the Patients as Partners Initiative of the British Columbia (BC) Ministry of Health began work to improve the BC healthcare system by partnering with patients to empower patients and to develop and support the implementation of sustainable healthcare policies. This quality improvement initiative provides leadership, strategy, policy, collaboration, and funding to bring patient voice, choice, and representation to the forefront of the health sector. 

This initiative's spectrum of patient engagement activities is performed across many projects using the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) approach of inform, consult, involve, collaborate and empower at the individual, community, and health system levels. A small but growing number of publications cover the principles, measurement, and evaluation of patient engagement in various aspects of the healthcare system.  But to date, no measures or quality indicators have been validated to assess the outcome and impact of patient engagement activities. Further research is vital to providing evidence-informed tools to quantitatively evaluate both the impact of integrating the patient/public perspective into planning, policy and services of BC's healthcare system and the impact that engagement is having on health outcomes. 

The overall aim of this project is to identify, validate, and implement quality indicators of patient engagement at the individual, community, and system level within the Patients as Partners Initiative by the BC Ministry of Health. This will be conducted in a three-phase study: 1) a scoping review will identify key quality indicators from the published and grey literature; 2) a Delphi study with a 20-member panel of key stakeholders will validate the identified indicators; and 3) a stakeholder consultation workshop will facilitate creation of a plan to pilot test and routinely collect the quality indicator to measure and evaluate the success of patient engagement.