What works? A first look at evaluating Manitoba’s regional health programs and policies at the population level

Published: March 1, 2008
Category: Bibliography > Reports
Authors: Bailly A, Burchill C, Burland E, Chateau D, Fransoo R, Martens P, Need To Know Team, Oulette C, Prior H, Romphf L
Countries: Canada
Language: null
Types: Population Health
Settings: Government, Hospital

Winnipeg, MB, Canada: Manitoba Centre for Health Policy.

Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Although many descriptive healthcare studies are available for Manitoba’s Regional Health Authorities(RHAs) and Manitoba Health, a question of critical importance for planners and decision–makers is “what works”—what are the effects of various programs or policies on the population as a whole. This report is looked at long–term trends in the rates of some health outcomes of key interest to RHAs and the province—for example diabetes, teen pregnancy, mammography uptake, and so on—and the possible influences on these outcomes. The question becomes: has the entire population’s health status or healthcare service use pattern changed over time, and does this change appear to be related in any way to specific policies or programs?
In Manitoba, we are fortunate to have a collaborative researcher/planner group known as The Need To Know Team who identified the need for population–based information on “what works” as a critical aspect of regional and provincial planning. This is the fourth joint epidemiological research project of The Need To Know Team, directed by Dr. Patricia Martens of the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy (MCHP). The Need To Know Team is a nationally acclaimed collaborative group of researchers from MCHP, planners from Manitoba Health, and planners from each of the eleven RHAs of Manitoba. They have been meeting together three times a year since 2001 to enable (1) creation of new knowledge of relevance to regions and to researchers, (2) capacity building—for the academics on how to do research of relevance to RHAs and for team members on how to understand and interpret research, and (3)dissemination and application of the research at the planning and decision–making level.
Within this report, both the prevalence of mental illness diagnoses, as well as the health care use patterns of such services as physicians, hospitals, home care, personal care homes (PCHs) and pharmaceuticals, are examined at a population-level. The report also includes information on the Mental Health Management Information System (MHMIS) and its usefulness in yielding population-based information.
Every indicator is given separately for males and females, since patterns can differ substantially between sexes. Geographical comparisons are given for the majority of indicators, including comparisons by RHA, by districts within each RHA, and by aggregate areas. The “North” refers to an aggregate of Burntwood, Churchill and Nor-Man RHAs, and the “Rural South” refers to an aggregate of South Eastman, Central, Assiniboine, Interlake, North Eastman, and Parkland RHAs. Because the focus of The Need To Know Team is the rural and northern RHAs, Winnipeg rates are given only as a comparative grouping (without the sub-regional divisions).
For many of the indicators in this report, two further socio-demographic comparisons are provided: (a) by age grouping, and (b) by five neighbourhood income groupings (called “income quintiles”) based on the average household income of the area.

Equity Evaluation,Population Markers,Practice Patterns Comparison,Canada

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