A Message From the Chair

Health System Research: Transforming Ontario Health Care

Catherine Zahn Aug 2015
Chair, CAHO, Dr. Catherine Zahn:

Good evidence is the foundation for rational and effective investment in the Ontario health care system. CAHO hospitals collaborate with our health community partners to conduct the research that informs policy decisions to address resource gaps that limit equitable access to excellent care. This edition of Catalyst demonstrates the power of evidence-based investment in our healthcare system.

Ontario’s research hospitals were disappointed with the Ontario Government’s decision to halt the Health System Research Fund (HSRF). While we understand that our government was faced with difficult choices for the recent Ontario Budget, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has consistently expressed a commitment to evidence-based policy decisions. We believe that the opportunity cost of this decision was not sufficiently analyzed and have recommended that the HSRF be reinstated.

The research themes requested through the recent HSRF call for proposals were well aligned with priorities of the Ministry’s Patients First Discussion Paper. The hospital research community embraced these priorities and worked with sector and community partners, patients, caregivers and care providers to develop proposals that could support the Patients First promise – creating evidence to address pressing policy issues. For examples of this work, see two stories in this edition of Catalyst, which include input from CAHO partners Jennifer Churchill, CEO of the Ontario Association of Children’s Rehabilitation Services, and Steve Lurie, Executive Director of the Toronto branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association:

Previously funded HSRF projects have demonstrated value with policy impact, cost savings and improved quality of care. Read the following stories in this edition of Catalyst:

There are many examples of the power of research to guide health policy. I hope that those highlighted here demonstrate the vital role of health system research in generating a healthier, wealthier, smarter Ontario.