Reflections on the 2013 Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research conference

The Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research held their annual conference in Vancouver from May 28 to 31, 2013. The conference was well attended by the Healthcare Funding team, and we gave a presentation about our evaluation of the effects of introducing activity-based funding in BC and a poster about linking costs of care across different parts of the health system.


We appreciated the chance to present our work and to receive feedback, and we were impressed by the breadth and quality of the conference plenary and breakout sessions. Our team of researchers, data analysts, and students liked the theme of the conference, Making Good on the Triple Aim. The following are some of our comments:

“Improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction), improving the health of populations and reducing the per capita cost of health care should be major goals of Canadian health care policy. Utilizing this framework helps me, as an analyst in healthcare research, to understand broadly the issues challenging the Canadian healthcare system. I am glad to be able to contribute to improving the Canadian healthcare system through my own involvement in research. Participants from all over the world were all keen in searching for the best fit policy for Canada. Particularly, I was inspired by the in high quality presentations from graduate students – the next generation of health policy experts in Canada.”

“I enjoyed the sub-plenary session, “Pursuing the Triple Aim: Measuring Progress, Performance and Outcomes.” This session provided a great general overview of population health, patient reported outcome measures and healthcare funding. Besides learning about different research topics and findings from concurrent and poster sessions, I gained poster presentation skills and obtained insightful feedback from participants by presenting a student poster at CAHSPR. Overall, CAHSPR has broadened my understanding of healthcare services and policy research.” ~Graduate student

“As my first conference in the field everything was new and exciting. I like the mixture of formats: plenary talks, panels and shorter talks with recent results.”
~Postdoctoral fellow

“The conference brought together a good mix of policy and evaluative research across health sectors and across Canadian jurisdictions. The enthusiasm of Canada’s health services researchers was evident throughout the conference. It was clear from the abstracts and presentations that research related to performance measurement, disparities in health and access to care and the integration of care is well developed in Canada. Research related to funding model design and evaluation seemed under-represented in the agenda compared to its relative importance. Given the fiscal situation of most provinces, funding is not likely to keep pace with the rapidly increasing demands and costs of care over at least the next five years. Research in the policy, economic, and service delivery domains that would help providers cope with this problem seemed absent from the conference.”
~Postdoctoral fellow

Our research team also presented work on patient-reported outcome measures.

Hope to see you at CAHSPR next year in Toronto!