HTAi Panel: Facilitating the Adoption of Innovative Practices

Facilitating innovation in the market for COPD – related services.

Philip Jacobs, IHE 7/9/18

In 2016 and 2017 IHE presented two research reports on the state of the market for COPD - related services, based on research grants provided by Boehringer Ingelheim. The first report, Economic Surveillance for COPD in Alberta (available from, 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. The second document, Bringing about change in COPD care (available from LINK HERE) was a white paper identifying innovative practices across Canada that successfully addressed the gaps in care for specific groups. This second document recognized the role of facilitators who bring about the innovations. Among the groups which facilitate interventions are: nonprofits such as the provincial and national lung associations; strategic clinical networks 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.

In June, 2018, Boehringer – Ingelheim sponsored a panel session on facilitators, innovators and innovations in COPD care in Canada at the 2018 Health Technology Assessment International (HTAi) Annual Conference in Vancouver. The theme of the international conference was ‘Connecting The Dots: Essential Elements Of An Efficient HTA Ecosystem.’ An infographic of the organization of the conference can be found at : The panel session was chaired by Philip Jacobs of IHE and had three presenters .

These were:

George Habib, president and CEO of the Lung Association of Ontario. Mr. Habib made a presentation on Collaboration for change: the role of public-private partnerships in healthcare. The innovation of public / private partnerships is described in the Ontario Chamber of Commerce document, Prescription for Partnership and in the Lung Association’s document, Collaboration for Change (October, 2017). This presentation focused on the role of the Ontario lung association, in conjunction with the ministry of health, physicians, pharmaceutical manufacturers and other providers. The non-profit organization – the Lung Association -- served as a facilitating party for innovation in care in three demonstration projects. The Lung Association ensured that a range of services would be appropriately distributed to persons with COPD at thee demonstration sites. Two of the providing groups were family medicine practices and the a third included multiple providers. Industry participants provided resources in all three projects.

Shelley Valaire, Senior Provincial Director of the Respiratory Health Strategic Clinical Network (RHSCN) in 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.

Tatiana Makhinova, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Services at the University of Alberta 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 administrating 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.

Copies of all three presentations are found in the accompanying pdf files.


  • Conference Title: Health Technology Assessment International (HTAi) 2018 Annual Meeting. Vancouver, BC.
  • Presentation Title: Panel: Facilitating the Adoption of Innovative Practices
  • Speakers/Presenters:
    • Moderator(s):
      • Phil Jacobs (IHE), Don Husereau (IHE, University of Ottawa)
    • Panelists:
      • Collaboration for change: the role of public-private partnerships in healthcare
        • George Habib, President & CEO , The Lung Association - Ontario
      • Pharmacists as Agents of Innovation in COPD Diagnosis and Management
        • Tatiana Makhinova, BScPharm, PhD, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Alberta
      • Strategic Clinical Networks: A Model for Health System Innovation
        • Shelley Valaire, Senior Provincial Director, Respiratory SCN, Alberta Health Services
  • Date/Location: Sunday, June 3rd, 2018
  • Short blurb on talk with URL for conference: This panel session provided an overview of programs working to implement innovative practices in the treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. It builds off of a related IHE White Paper: “Bringing about change in COPD care”.
  • Power point presentation(s): (attached)
  • Support: Funding support for this panel’s participation came from Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd.