Health Systems Learning
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Health Systems Learning

>> Register now for Health System Learning courses and workshops

Health Systems Learning (HSL) is an educational program developed and managed by the McMaster Health Forum, to provide online and in-person training about how to reform, renew or strengthen health systems, and how to get cost-effective programs, services and drugs to those who need them. The program is designed to build the capacity of policymakers, stakeholders and researchers who are interested in developing a range of skills including: 1) finding and using research evidence to inform their work related to prioritizing problems to address, and developing and implementing policies and programs; and 2) understanding the political factors that shape the processes underlying the prioritization of problems and the development and implementation of policies and programs. With future development, the program intends to expand its focus to include courses that will support those engaged in innovative efforts to support the use of research evidence in policy and organizational decisions.

The program builds on the experience of Forum Director John Lavis in conducting nearly 100 training workshops in more than 30 countries with health system policymakers, stakeholders and researchers drawn from more than 60 countries. The workshops have been continuously updated based on formative and summative evaluations. Some of the workshops recently conducted by the Forum include:

  • Research Manitoba and the Manitoba Ministry of Health, Healthy Living and Seniors - Policymakers from the Manitoba Ministry of Health, Healthy Living and Seniors, with support from Research Manitoba, took part in the ‘Finding and Using Research Evidence to Inform Decision-making in Health Systems and Organizations’ course (Winnipeg, Manitoba, March 23, 2016)
  • Ministry of Health, Iraq - Policymakers from the Ministry of Health, Iraq, took part in the ‘Finding and Using Research Evidence to Inform Decision-making in Health Systems and Organizations’ course (Istanbul, Turkey, Nov. 22-23, 2015)
  • Caribbean Public Health Agency – Policymakers and stakeholders from across the Caribbean took part in the ‘Setting Agendas and Developing and Implementing Policies’ course (Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Nov. 18, 2015)
  • Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care – Policymakers from the  took part in the ‘Finding and Using Research Evidence to Inform Decision-making in Health Systems and Organizations’ course (Toronto, Canada, Oct. 15, 2015)

"I'm very grateful for being able to finally join you at McMaster and learn from your unique expertise and innovative evidence informed systems and policy research.  While I have much more to absorb, practice and still learn online, I felt like I walked away with solid grasp of the systematic process you have developed.  I remain in awe (and envious) of the fabulous team and diverse processes for engagement with stakeholders, citizens and policy makers you've created in Canada and globally." - Participant in the five day winter training workshop hosted by the McMaster Health Forum

>> Read more testimonials and feedback about our Health System Learning workshops and online courses.

For inquiries and course registration, please email hslearn@mcmaster.ca. A direct link to each course offering will be provided here once the online course registration system is in place. Please review our terms of use.

Course offerings

Finding and Using Research Evidence to Inform Decision-making in Health Systems and Organizations (available in English/disponible en Français)*
Our first course was launched in early 2014 and is open for registration. It has three objectives:

  1. to develop your knowledge about tools and resources available to help health system policymakers and stakeholders in order to support their use of research evidence;
  2. to examine the attitudes that are supportive of using research evidence in health system decision-making; and
  3. to enhance your skills in acquiring, assessing, adapting and applying research evidence.

Download the course overview and curriculum for more information.

* Ce cours en ligne est aussi disponible en français. Pour vous inscrire, cliquez ici.

Setting Agendas and Developing and Implementing Policies
Our second course launched in February 2015 and is open for registration. This course has three objectives:

  1. to develop your knowledge about the frameworks and resources available to support health system policymakers and stakeholders in their efforts to set agendas and develop policies, and to influence agendas and policy development;
  2. to examine the attitudes that are supportive of setting agendas and developing policies, and influencing agendas and policy development; and
  3. to enhance your skills in setting agendas and developing policies, and influencing agendas and policy development.

Download the course overview and curriculum for more information.

Interested groups and organizations can request real-time online facilitated sessions with the Forum director, assistant director, and/or lead, Health Systems Evidence and Learning to complement the online course. Alternatively, you can request an in-person interactive workshop, which can vary in length from one hour to five days. For more information about scheduling and pricing online facilitated sessions or in-person interactive workshops, please contact us mhf@mcmaster.ca.

Course formats and pricing

All Health Systems Learning courses are available in multiple formats, which can be customized to suit your individual and organizational needs.

Course participants can select one of two online course streams, namely ‘to learn’ and ‘to work’, based on their personal goals. The ‘to learn’ level allows participants to focus on key online modules, tasks and resources from select units of the course. It is designed for those who need to know how to set expectations for individuals and teams who do this type of work. The more time-intensive ‘to work’ level covers all of the online modules, tasks and resources, and is designed for participants who are aiming to efficiently apply their acquired knowledge, attitudes and skills in their work. A third more time-intensive ‘to master’ level involves an additional in-person workshop and cannot be ordered online. Given the flexibility in formatting, prices quoted in each of the options below are estimates based on our most frequently delivered formats. We have a base price for individual participation, and are pleased to offer discounts for organization-sponsored group training, calculated in increments of 20 participants (for example a 15% discount applies for groups up to 19 participants, and a 30% discount applies for groups of 20-39 participants). Appropriate taxes are added as applicable.

  1. Online course only

    Participants are granted access to the online Health Systems Learning course of their choice for 30 days. The online course is available in English and in French.

    The base individual price is $440 for the ‘to learn’ goal and $530 for the ‘to work’ goal. Prices shown are in Canadian dollars. 

  2. Combination of online course and in-person interactive workshop

    This format is suitable for organizations interested in offering in–person workshops for their constituents and sponsoring a group of 10 to 40 individuals. The online course is typically a pre-requisite for the in-person interactive workshop. Participants are granted advanced access to the online Health Systems Learning course of their choice for up to one month prior to the in-person interactive workshop, in which one of the McMaster Health Forum’s expert staff will further support individuals in working through the material provided in the online course. Participants will continue to have access to the online course for one month following the workshop. Workshops can be scheduled for 1-1.5 hours, a half day, one day, two days or five days.

    Prices vary depending on several factors inherent in the customization process with online/in-person combination cohorts, such as the length of the workshop, the number of participants, the number of facilitators required, and location and travel expenses.

    The date and venue of the workshop will be selected based on the organization’s needs and the course instructors’ availability. Please contact us at hslearn@mcmaster.ca to discuss your interest.

    In-person workshops can be conducted in English or French.

  3. Spring and fall training workshops

    This format is currently available only for the ‘Finding and Using Research Evidence to Inform Decision-making in Health Systems and Organizations’ course.

    For interested individual policymakers, stakeholders and researchers, the McMaster Health Forum is offering regular in-person training workshops twice per year, in April and in October. Each workshop consists of a combination of online instruction and a five day workshop in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

    The workshop consists of a combination of online instruction and a one-day in-person workshop in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The fee is $1,118 ($530 for the online component plus $588 for the one-day session – all prices shown are in Canadian dollars).Training workshops are open for individual registrations on a first-come basis. The fee is $2,480 ($530 for the online component plus $1,950 for the 5-day session). Access to the online component will be granted up to one month prior to the first day of the workshop and will extend for one month afterwards.

    Dates for the upcoming workshops are:

    • Fall: October 17-21, 2016 (registration open until September 30, 2016) 
  4. One-day training workshops

    Want to be at the leading edge of a fast moving field in terms of how to bring the best evidence to bear in support of policy development and health-system strengthening? Register now for the McMaster Health Forum’s one-day workshop, where you will:

    • develop your knowledge about tools and resources available to help health system policymakers and stakeholders in order to support their use of research evidence;
    • examine the attitudes that are supportive of using research evidence in health system decision-making; and,
    • begin to develop your skills in acquiring, assessing, adapting and applying research evidence.
    The workshop consists of a combination of online instruction and a one-day in-person workshop in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The fee is $1,118 ($530 for the online component plus $588 for the one-day session – all prices shown are in Canadian dollars).
     
    Dates for the upcoming workshops are:
    • September 15, 2016

    This format is currently available only for the ‘Finding and Using Research Evidence to Inform Decision-making in Health Systems and Organizations’ course.

  5. Custom workshops
    Customized group training workshops are available for health system policymakers, stakeholders, researchers, students, journalists and citizens at large. These sessions can be tailored to your group’s needs through consultation with staff at the McMaster Health Forum, and can include components of the online course and in-person workshop, as well as other components to supplement these formats (e.g., group webinars).

    For more information about scheduling and pricing such workshops, please contact us at hslearn@mcmaster.ca.

Related tools and resources

The Forum also provides the following tools and resources to assist individuals in learning about how to reform, renew or strengthen health systems, and how to get cost-effective programs, services and drugs to those who need them, based on the best available research evidence:

All of these tools and resources are also available on our Resources page.

Acknowledgements

The Finding and Using Research Evidence to Inform Decision-making in Health Systems and Organizations online course was prepared by the McMaster Health Forum with support from the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to accelerating healthcare improvement in Canada, and with support from Knowledge Translation Canada and Cochrane Canada, two national research networks funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (grant numbers 87776 and 105145 respectively).

The Health Systems Evidence video tutorial was prepared with support from Knowledge Translation Canada, a national research network funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (grant number 87776).

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