Recently, I attended the annual BC SUPPORT Unit patient-oriented research conference. I was delighted to speak about the activities of the British Columbia Academic Health Science Network (BC AHSN) to nearly 300 patients, researchers, health care providers and health system decision makers. I have been inspired by meeting over 100 stakeholders across the province. Through these interactions, I have been able to introduce the work of BC AHSN and raise awareness of our collaborative efforts, and to seek the opinions and advice of a wide and diverse array of stakeholders and collaborators.
BC AHSN sees itself as a champion and facilitator of innovation, enabling and supporting a learning health system. Over the last months and before my arrival, BC AHSN has been working to enable and embed research, teaching and ongoing professional support across the continuum of health services in British Columbia. Much more can, should, and will be done. Together, we’ve launched a new harmonized ethics review platform, called PREP; redesigned our websites; and engaged new personnel and expertise.
The three units of BC AHSN – the BC SUPPORT Unit, Clinical Trials BC and Research Ethics BC – are now fully operational or taking shape quickly and have begun to have a meaningful presence in our province. I invite you to visit the websites of all our operational units by starting at BCAHSN.ca.
BC AHSN is founded on strong connections, collaborations and partnerships with individuals, groups and organizations. Working collectively, we foresee the evolution and maturation of a robust and high-performing Learning Health System in British Columbia.
What’s a Learning Health System? To paraphrase our friend and Quebec colleague, Dr. Denis Roy (2016), it’s an integrated health system where progress in science, informatics and care culture become aligned to create new knowledge which results in continuous improvement in health and health care.
To advance our ideas and enable a Learning Health System in BC, an organizational Action Plan, called Learning Health Systems in British Columbia: Focus and Finish, was recently submitted to British Columbia’s Deputy Minister of Health. This is a dynamic working document that will be implemented by BC AHSN to share our vision, promote collaboration, and develop plans and initiatives with involvement from stakeholders across our province. This action plan will complement the forthcoming BC AHSN Strategic Plan, which will be finalized after further input from you – our stakeholders – and will be distributed in June 2019.
As we continue to develop as a unified organization, I’d like to hear from you. Please contact mewith your feedback and thoughts as we work to improve our ability to implement system-wide innovations and improve health outcomes and value to create lasting change in British Columbia.