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ABOUT THE PROJECT
Why is this research important? [top]
ACTION for Health research aims to fill gaps about existing
knowledge of Canada's health info-structure. Currently,
health technology in Canada is reviewed in terms of its
clinical and cost-effectiveness. ACTION for Health goes
beyond the limits of such traditional assessment by considering
the social, ethical and legal aspects of introducing new
technologies into the health sector.
Our research is concerned with the social implications
of information technology and its introduction into the
health system. This innovative approach enhances health
technology assessments, leading to improved policies and
What is ACTION for Health? [top]
The Context - Information technology (IT)
has an expanding role in Canada's health sector. IT initiatives
absorb millions of dollars every year in health care spending.
Their increasing importance can be seen in everything from
the prevalence of health promotion websites to the expansion
of patient tracking databases and the implementation of
automatic drug dispensing units.
The Questions - ACTION for Health examines what
these changes mean for health practitioners, health care
recipients and other stakeholders. Research is conducted
in settings that range from libraries to hospitals, and
rural communities to urban centres.
Research questions examine how health information technology
The Values - According to the National Forum on
Health, Canadians have high expectations of their health
care system. They believe it should reflect values such
as equity, compassion and respect for others, as well
as individual and collective responsibility. They also
expect the health care system to be both accountable and
efficient. ACTION for Health explores whether Canada's
current use of health information technologies are meeting
How is the research organized?
The research is divided into three inter-related themes:
- The role of information technology in the public consumption
of health information (Theme l).
- The effects and challenges of increasing computerization
in health sector work environments (Theme ll).
- The legal and ethical issues associated with information
technology in the health sector
How will the findings be used?
ACTION for Health researchers work closely with decision-makers,
health practitioners, community groups and other stakeholders
to bridge the gap between academic findings and real-world
Results will be used to:
- Create practical tools and recommendations for healthcare
providers and the public
- Improve the design of policies and systems in Canada's
- Help governments avoid unnecessary costs in the implementation
of IT in the health sector
- Support Canada's vision of the New Economy in the area
of health information
- Inform diverse audiences of our findings through a range
of publication outlets, conferences,
media pieces and policy briefs
Project Proposal [top]
Project Overview Poster [top]
This poster provides a visual overview of the ACTION for Health project. It was presented at The Knowledge Project, an ideas expo sponsored by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada on Feburary 17, 2005.