Best Practices, Innovation and Research

The Quality Management and Research branch of Western Health provides direction and support to the organization in strategic planning, research, evaluation, ethical decision-making, quality improvement, risk management, and clinical effectiveness ( and ).

Planning & Research

Working with the Department of Health & Community Services, the Quality Management and Research staff has developed Western Health: A Planning Framework to guide organizational strategic planning. This framework ensures that all staff work toward the achievement of the strategic directions of the Department of Health and Community Services and, beyond that, work toward the organizational strategic and operational priorities, considering our own Environmental Scan of regional areas of risk. Western Health reports annually on its progress toward achievement of the strategic directions. The Annual Report is shared publicly at the Board of Trustee's Annual General Meeting every September.  It is also available on our website under Publications

Western Health supports research and evaluation as an integral component of everyday decision making. Building evaluation capacity is a priority for the Quality Management and Research branch. Branch staff has prepared an Evaluation Framework to support organizational staff in their ongoing efforts to evaluate programs, through process and outcome evaluations. The Director of Planning and Research and the Regional Research Coordinator/Planner, respond to requests for assistance with evaluation, in keeping with the process outlined in the Evaluation Framework document. The Quality Management and Research branch maintains the organization database of evaluation projects.

The Western Health Ethics Committee is responsible for meeting the organization’s need for (a) education; (b) policy development and review; (c) case facilitation, consultation and review; (d) research, as it relates to ethics and ethical issues. The Ethics Framework guides the work of the Western Health Ethics Committee. Reporting to the Western Health Ethics Committee is the Research Review Board. This board meets approximately monthly to review all requests for research studies involving Western Health clients, staff, resources or data. The Research Review Board maintains the database of research studies reviewed and approved.

Western Health recognizes the contribution of policies and procedures in defining the responsibilities of staff and ensuring consistency in clinical best practices. The Quality Management and Research branch developed the Policy and Procedure Framework for the organization and chairs the regional policy and procedure committee. The committee meets approximately monthly to review all new and/or revised policies to ensure consistency with the directions of the Framework and to minimize policy duplication. The initial work of the policy and procedure committee is being supported by An Environmental Scan of Policies to identify areas of risk within our current policy climate.

The Canadian Stroke Strategy - Best Practice Recommendations for Stroke Care, 2006 (PDF)