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Health System Transformation

News release! RNs step up to transform health care [PDF, 659.8 KB]

Registered nurses are bringing the principles to guide health-care transformation [PDF, 3.3 MB] to life and demonstrating their commitment as a leading force for change. In several jurisdictions across Canada, nurses have taken the lead in developing new programs, redesigning processes and adopting new technologies that improve the delivery of services across the continuum, from primary care to the end of life. RNs are working to meet the expectations of Canadians for more accessible, sustainable, efficient and effective health systems and services. They are engaged in leading practices that enhance the health-care experience for Canadians and their families, improve the health of the population and maximize the value for every dollar spent on health care.

Cuts to Health Council of Canada are shortsighted

The federal government announced in April 2013 that funding to the Health Council of Canada will end in 2014. The council’s mandate was to monitor the implementation of the 2004 Health Accord. In response, we sent this letter to the federal health minister, outlining our concerns and urging her to instead renew a commitment to federal leadership in improving health. CNA recognizes that structures need to be in place that will support health-system transformation at federal, provincial and territorial levels. Dismantling this national, federal resource, especially at a time when the need to transform health-care is greater than ever, is short-sighted. Doing so will certainly reduce accountability and have adverse consequences on health.

Read our letter to the minister of health.

Read our letter to the editor of the National Post [PDF, 148.9 KB].

Principles to Guide Health Transformation in Canada

Together, CNA and the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) have defined a set of principles to guide health-care transformation in Canada. We’re both working to encourage provincial, territorial and federal governments to use them as they develop a successor to the current health accord, which expires in 2014. Building on the five pillars of the Canada Health Act, these principles steer our future health-care system toward public funding, sustainability, adequate resources and universal access to quality care. Health organizations from across the country have endorsed these principles, a powerful expression of their relevance and resonance.

The joint CNA-CMA principles for health-care transformation can be summarized as follows:

  • Patient-centred: Patients must be at the centre of health care, with seamless access to the continuum of care based on their needs.
  • Quality: Canadians deserve quality services that are appropriate for their needs, respectful of individual choice and delivered in a timely, safe and effective manner, according to the most current scientific knowledge.
  • Health promotion and illness prevention: The health system must support Canadians in preventing illness and enhancing their well-being, while attending to broader social determinants of health.
  • Equitable: The health-care system has a duty to Canadians to provide and advocate both for equitable access to quality care and for commonly adopted policies that address the social determinants of health.
  • Sustainable: Sustainable health care requires universal access to quality health services that are adequately resourced and delivered in a timely and cost-effective manner across the board.
  • Accountable: The public, patients, families, providers and funders all have a responsibility for ensuring the system is effective and accountable.

Download Principles to Guide Health Care Transformation in Canada [PDF, 3.5 MB].

Evidence-Informed Healthcare Renewal Portal – now available!

A new resource to support health-care renewal, transformation and innovation

As health system policy-makers and stakeholders in settings across Canada work to transform health care, they need reliable, accessible evidence on health-care financing, governance and sustainability. The Evidence-Informed Healthcare Renewal Portal (EIHR Portal) is a single window into a continuously updated collection of reliable evidence that can guide health-care leaders in their timely pursuit of health system renewal, transformation and innovation.


Health system innovation and transformation

Health-care services are not immune to the negative impacts of a recession, and in the best of times, the public coffers are not bottomless. We must continually bring to the attention of managers, executives, employers and health-care decision-makers the value of nursing and the difference that registered nurses (RN) make in our publicly funded health-care system.

More than 250,000 RNs are working on the front lines of care, saving lives, promoting health and reducing costs. RNs are a sound investment [PDF, 266.2 KB] in any economic climate.

Read the research below and equip yourself with the information and evidence you need to speak out and speak up about the cost-effectiveness of nursing services and the vital role RNs play in health care.

Registered Nurses: On the Front Line of Wait Times – Moving Forward now available! [PDF, 841.9 KB]

The 2009 Registered Nurses: On the Front Lines of Wait Times [PDF, 323.7 KB] presents innovative examples of the many ways in which RNs are reducing or managing wait times across the continuum of care and across the country by promoting better health, providing more entry points in the health system, collaborating as members of interprofessional teams, preventing and managing chronic disease and providing quality care to improve health outcomes. The 2011 updated version sheds new light on how RNs are working in creative ways to address the negative impacts of waiting on individuals and families. Executive Summary. [PDF, 344.5 KB]

RNs contribute to a cost-effective health-care system [PDF, 239.4 KB]

As clinicians, consultants, researchers, policy leaders, administrators and educators, RNs offer innovations that reduce health-care costs and enhance the effectiveness of the health system.

RNs reduce health-care costs and improve quality of care [PDF, 120.6 KB]

Increasing health-care costs challenge the sustainability of our current health system. CNA’s return on investment research findings demonstrate how nurses are solution providers by reducing health-care costs, increasing system capacity and improving quality of care. The following studies are authored by both Canadian and international researchers; reflect a variety of clinical settings; and include health promotion, interprofessional care and the use of technology.

  • Nurses Caring for Children with Asthma [PDF, 118.2 KB]
    Nurse-led follow-up of children with asthma is as effective as follow-up by a pediatrician, but the cost is 17.5 per cent lower.
  • Nurse-led Respiratory Intermediate Care Teams [PDF, 114.6 KB]
    Having nurse specialists manage the care of patients at home reduces admissions and shortens the length of hospital stays, thereby reducing health system costs.
  • Registered Nurses Providing Direct Care in Nursing Homes [PDF, 116.4 KB]
    Increasing the time RNs spend providing direct care to residents of nursing homes from 10 minutes per resident per day, to 30-40 minutes, reduces adverse outcomes, thereby achieving net cost savings over the long run.