Research, Evaluation, and Quality Improvement report

Submitted by Dr. Dan Horvat

2017-18 Highlights

RCCbc approach to evaluation – developing a discussion document outlining an approach to evaluation that incorporates key concepts instrumental in helping RCCbc achieve its aims. This approach was discussed with the broader Core group in March 2018, and has been supported by the Evaluation sub-committee.

NITAOP program evaluation – working with consultant Kyle Pearce to develop and design a NITAOP evaluation framework. Interviews were conducted with a wide variety of partnership pentagram stakeholders including rural physicians, administrators, policy makers, academics and patients/community members. Initial data analysis and interpretation began in early 2018 and will continue on throughout the year. Dr. Horvat provided support for the implementation of this evaluation, and assisted with interpretation of the findings.

Dr. Horvat is hopeful that the NITAOP evaluation framework might be useful for informing evaluation of other RCCbc, JSC, Ministry of Health and health authority programs.

RCCbc/REAP Research and Evaluation Workshop – Dr. Horvat co-hosted a workshop with REAP in March 2018 to gain an increased understanding of RCCbc and REAP initiatives and how these might best be evaluated.

Rural Equity Initiative – working with stakeholders to develop an approach to evaluate the Rural Equity Initiative, a strategy funded by the JSC to support primary care network development in rural BC. The Primary Care Networks initiative is gaining momentum and will be a key project in the 2018-19 year – an evaluation framework will be developed during this time.

Rural Physician Research Support Project – RCCbc developed the processes and forms for this research support grant and successfully launched the first call for applications in January 2018. The Grant Committee met in February to review and select applications in February and notified successful applicants in March. Advertising for the next rounds of grants began in March 2018, with an application deadline for May 2018. Calls for application for this grant will be issued twice yearly going forward.

Rural Global Health Partnership Initiative – RCCbc began developing the processes and forms to implement the Rural Global Health Partnership Initiative in March 2018. The call for applications was issued in April for a May deadline. Calls for application of for this grant will be issued twice yearly going forward.

Submitted by Dr. Stefan Grzybowski and Nisrine El Amiri

2017-18 Highlights

Watch videos of Dr. Grzybowski and Nisrine El Amiri discussing recent activities of RHSRNbc (click on link below):

The Rural Health Services Research Network of BC (RHSRNbc) supports rural health services researchers with project development funding awards, CME activities, access to conferences, and the development of research infrastructure tools. These activities align with our mission to support health services researchers through collaboration, capacity development, and communication.


Funding awards in 2017-18 have included a collaborative team building award of $5,000 which was awarded to develop and host café scientifiques in select rural communities with the goal of securing research collaborations and activating community involvement in defining a research agenda that creates health and social services sustainability in rural health settings. RHSRNbc also funded nine (9) medical students who conducted research projects in rural BC in partnership with rural health service providers. The network received great feedback from students, supervisors and the course directors. This initiative is very important as it exposed students to rural settings early in their medical education and has influenced a few to consider practicing medicine in rural communities.

RHSRNbc has begun mapping geographic catchments around rural healthcare facilities using 1-hour surface travel time and linking population data to the maps. The data platform that is being developed will be available to rural health services researchers and creates a foundation for research projects, program evaluation and CQI initiatives.

Access to CME activities and conferences has been facilitated through our partnerships with health authorities in hosting regional health research conferences. The network is part of the planning and steering committees for the Interior Health Building Intersections 2018 conference and will be presenting about the geographic catchments project.

Finally, RHSRNbc is planning a symposium for June 7, 2018 with the BC Emergency Medicine Network with the objective of defining research questions to enhance our understanding of the capacity of rural emergency services and how to better support those services across rural BC.

Read the complete RHSRNbc Annual Report now