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Poster Abstracts

Developing capacity for internal evaluation of integrated care: Advancing a local learning health system


Sara Shearkhani ,

East Toronto Health Partners, Canada, CA
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Anne Wojtak,

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Mark Fam

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Introduction:  In 2017, building on over 25 years of partnership, a group of more than 50 health and social care delivery organizations formed East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP) in order to co-create a system without discharge; it translates into a seamless journey for patients/clients and their caregivers and families transitioning from one care setting to another. The Anchor Partnership Model brought together different facets of health and social care, an evolving network of health, community care, and social service providers that supports 300,000 residents in 21 diverse neighborhoods including five priority neighborhoods.

Aim and methods: The aim is to create a learning health system (LHS) within ETHP by embedding rapid cycles of evaluation to support learning for scale and the spread of a new integrated model of care. A partnership was formed between ETHP and several University of Toronto members to lead the evaluation endeavor. Early-implemented ETHP projects were evaluated using a developmental evaluation approach. Series of consultation sessions with internal and external experts, and community members are being held to create a framework for a community-led LHS, and a plan to operationalize the concept. The ideas generated are being tested by evaluating additional integrate care projects.

Highlights or Results or Key Findings: A framework was developed based on the “6 phases of the rapid-learning health care system”. Three consultations sessions were held in the fall of 2021 and more are being scheduled for the winter of 2022. A purpose statement was drafted and short-term, intermediate and long-term outcomes were identified. Series of interviews are being held with partners to identify the following assets and resources within ETHP including research, quality improvement, evaluation, knowledge translation, data sources, and digital and analytical supports. Learning from evaluating ETHP projects includes but not limited to: a) a need for significant investments in building internal evaluation capacity such as choosing appropriate metrics at the project-level; b) a need for a collaborative approach to address the system-level issues identified through the evaluation (e.g. primary care attachment); c) an immediate need for redefining the evaluation processes to meet the project-level needs.

Conclusion: By embedding rapid cycles of evaluation and holding consultation sessions in order to create a community-led LHS, ETHP aims to support strategic expansion of integrated models of care across its entire population. 

How to Cite: Shearkhani S, Wojtak A, Fam M. Developing capacity for internal evaluation of integrated care: Advancing a local learning health system. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2022;22(S3):413. DOI:
Published on 04 Nov 2022.


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