The Nova Scotia node of the Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit (MSSU) aims to support evidence-informed health care practice and decision-making in the province. We support evidence use in priority health areas by building connections and collaborations between policy and clinical decision makers, researchers, and patients, providing background evidence for decision-makers, and by supporting priority research projects to fill local evidence gaps. We have implemented a new regular event, the NS Bridge Event, to help achieve these goals.
The NS Bridge Event was launched as a result of collaboration between the MSSU, Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness (NS-DHW), Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (NSHRF), the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA), the IWK Health Centre and the BRIC Network (another SPOR based entity focused on primary healthcare research and challenges).
The first in a series of biannual events, the inaugural event held on June 20 and 25, 2018, brought together over 100 participants with representation from health system policy decision-makers (44), researchers (37), MSSU affiliated scientists and staff (13), and patients (8). There were participants from several academic institutions including St. Francis Xavier, Mount Saint Vincent, Saint Mary’s and Dalhousie.
Facilitated large and small group discussions took place on seven priority areas identified by NS-DHW:
- Primary health care: collaborative care teams,
- Access to health care: definitions and models of access to health care,
- Mental health and addictions care outcomes,
- Mental health and addictions: opioid use and overuse,
- Orthopedic surgery: outcomes and alternative provider impact,
- Healthcare workplace injury rates, and
- Communication with the public: platforms to access, validate, and communicate with the public.
We were pleased with the terrific discussions in each of the small groups. Outcomes of the event include new connections and potential collaborations, with seven groups identifying next steps towards developing research projects related to the priority areas. Event feedback was extremely positive.
“It was inspiring to see so many like-minded people from diverse backgrounds in one room discussing the challenges with and potential solutions to important provincial health issues. The event highlighted how collaboration between researchers, practitioners and decision-makers can drive change within the health system, and I look forward to turning the connections I made into ongoing and productive working relationships. After seeing first-hand the success of the event, I will be making future Bridge Events a priority to attend!” – Dr. Robert Strang, Chief Medical Officer of Health
We look forward to the next scheduled NS Bridge Event to be held November 29, 2018.
An objective of the NS Bridge Event is to facilitate linkages between patients, researchers, and decision-making partners to identify gaps in evidence and develop projects that will close these gaps to support evidence informed decision-making. The MSSU aims to support projects in line with these objectives by offering resources to facilitate activities including early team development, research conduct, and dissemination. This will be done by way of the call for proposals for MSSU Priority Project Support. For selected projects/teams, in-kind support will be provided. Details about the Priority Project Support application can be found on the MSSU website.