Facilitating Adoption of Innovation Practices (COPD)
3 June 2018
Vancouver, British Columbia
On June 3rd, as part of the 2018 Health Technology Assessment International (HTAi) Annual Conference in Vancouver, the Institute of Health Economics (IHE) led a panel presentation on facilitators, innovators, and innovations in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) care in Canada. The panel Facilitating Adoption of Innovative Practices was sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim Canada. The theme of the international conference was “Strengthening the Evidence-to-Action Connection”. 
The panel session was chaired by Dr. Philip Jacobs of the IHE and had three presenters. Summaries of the presentations are outlined below, including download links of the PowerPoints. Related work by the IHE on COPD is noted at the bottom of the page.
Presentation one: Collaboration for change: the role of public-private partnerships in healthcare
- George Habib, President and CEO, Lung Association of Ontario
George Habib discussed the role of the Ontario Lung Association in its collaboration with the ministry of health, physicians, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and other providers. The non-profit organization served as a facilitating party for innovation in care in three pilot projects, and ensured that a range of services would be appropriately distributed to persons with COPD at three pilot sites. In two of these projects, services were provided by family medicine practices, and, in the third project, by multiple providers. Industry participants provided resources in all three projects.
Presentation two: Strategic Clinical Networks: A Model for Health System Innovation
- Shelley Valaire, Senior Provincial Director, Respiratory Health Strategic Clinical Network (RHSCN), Alberta
Shelley Valaire discussed the role of the SCN in developing clinical pathways and ensuring that these are followed through. Participation in the SCN is broad and monitoring is increasing to ensure that the recommended procedures are followed. Among the clinical pathways developed by the RHSCN are COPD admission order sets and COPD specified discharge services. The RHSCN has been successful in reducing the average length of stay of COPD patients in Alberta by one day, with associated savings of $1,000 per day.
Prsentation three: Pharmacists as Agents of Innovation in COPD Diagnosis and Management
- Tatiana Makhinova, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Services, University of Alberta
Dr. Tatiana Makhinova discussed the changing role of pharmacists in prevention, early detection, and disease management. Dr Makinhova discussed Alberta pharmacist practices including their role in smoking cessation, administering questionnaires to determine risk, and administering spirometry tests. Pharmacists in Alberta also administer vaccines and check for drug adherence. Dr. Makhinova presented a comprehensive picture of the current situation regarding pharmacy practice in all provinces.
In 2016 and 2017, the IHE presented two research reports on the state of the market for COPD-related services, funded by research grants provided by Boehringer Ingelheim.
- Economic Surveillance for COPD in Alberta documented the flow of services and related recipients from preventive services such as smoking cessation through to surveillance and diagnosis, early treatment, and late-stage care. An infographic developed by Arianna Waye (included in the surveillance document) accompanied the analysis, and highlighted the lack of coordination between service need and the availability of services.
Link: Economic surveillance for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Alberta.
- Bringing about change in COPD care identified innovative practices across Canada that successfully addressed the gaps in care for specific groups. This document recognized the role of facilitators who bring about the innovations. Among the groups which facilitate interventions are: non-profits such as the provincial and national lung associations; Strategic Clinical Networks (SCNs) such as the Respiratory Health SCN in Alberta; and professional associations such as the Canadian Thoracic Society and the national and provincial associations of pharmacists.
 An interesting infographic from the closing plenary of the conference, “Connecting The Dots: Essential Elements Of An Efficient HTA Ecosystem,” can be found at: https://www.htai2018.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/HTAi-2018-Plenary-III-Connecting-The-Dots-Essential-Elements-Of-An-Efficient-HTA-Ecosystem.jpg.