[This article was originally published in Healthcare Papers, 13(2) ]

In their paper "Using Evidence to Meet Population Healthcare Needs: Successes and Challenges," Tomblin Murphy and MacKenzie highlight the critically important need to shift health system reform efforts from those focused on the more salient provider or supply side to those that more appropriately attempt to better meet patient and population health needs. A population needs–based focus on health workforce planning that is more than just rhetoric is indeed important, as is acknowledging that population health needs are best addressed through an interdisciplinary approach to care. Most importantly, the authors also argue that rigorous evaluation is needed to scale up the most promising health workforce innovations: this could be best addressed with a dedicated arm's-length health workforce evidence infrastructure.