HealthcarePapers 16(3) January 2017 : 41-46.doi:10.12927/hcpap.2017.25081

The Drive towards Sustainable Health Systems Needs an Alignment: Where are the Innovations in Health Systems Planning?

Gail Tomblin Murphy, Stephen Birch, Adrian MacKenzie, Janet Rigby and Mary Ellen Purkis


Clarifying the healthcare innovation agenda is critical in order to advance the impact of system innovations. As part of this agenda-setting it is important to address the four conditions within which innovations can enhance system sustainability: 1) the innovation agenda reflects and is aligned with healthcare objectives and policy; 2) planning methodologies for services, workforce and funding are aligned with healthcare objectives and policy; 3) innovations in services are accommodated in systems through innovations in policy, planning and funding; and 4) innovations are systematically monitored and evaluated. In order to illustrate these conditions, the authors present a case study of an evaluation of one Canadian Health Authority's efforts to transform healthcare delivery. This case study reveals that aligning innovations in policy, planning, funding and health services is critical to transforming health systems and that, in the absence of such alignment, sustainable health systems are difficult to achieve.



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