The Knowledge Translation Supplement Program

The objective of the Knowledge Translation Supplement program is to facilitate the dissemination and uptake of research results through appropriate knowledge translation activities following the successful completion of a peer-reviewed grant. The CIHR Knowledge Translation Branch provides supplemental funding to disseminate the results of the research beyond the traditional scientific community and using methods supplementary to publication in peer reviewed journals.

Specific goals of the conference

  1. to discuss all aspects of the methodology of policy analysis using computer simulation
  2. to present results in health care evaluation with simulation experiments
  3. to outline further steps in applying the methods to evaluate proposed changes before implementing

Background Research

In the original research, called SIMCARE, we examined the impact of quality improvement initiatives on patient and system outcomes in a network of surgical care centers by means of simulation modelling. In particular, we evaluated various management alternatives proposed for improving access to coronary revascularization. Our findings suggest that compared to other alternatives pooling referrals will substantially reduce access time for appointment at the expense of a slight delay in the timing of elective operations. We obtained results showing that, relative to hospitals that book from wait lists, those that pre-book operations at the time of the decision to operate were less likely to have cancellations of high-priority elective procedures. We also showed that a larger proportion of patients on wait lists were likely to undergo surgery each week with pre-booking surgery.

Knowledge dissemination

Most results in healthcare improvement arise from a local, practical problem that regional decision makers are to address. The results of computer simulation experiments designed to evaluate management alternatives for scheduling patients’ clinic appointments and for booking surgery were previously reported and discussed with decision makers at Vancouver Coastal Health and Provincial Health Services Authority in BC. However, if the healthcare evaluation remains embedded in the local context, then even the most successful interventions will be restricted to local aspects of the problem. To be valuable to the larger community of decision makers, strengths and limitations of our approach should be considered in the broader context.