Knowledge to Action

Building a knowledge infrastructure to support evidence-informed health care decision making: a collaborative approach between the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) and the University of Ottawa.

The Champlain LHIN is one of 14 newly established regional health care systems in Ontario. It has the responsibility to effectively plan, coordinate and fund health systems for a population of 1.1 million citizens living in diverse settings. One of the major challenges it faces is the development of knowledge capacity and infrastructure to support evidence-informed decision making.

The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and University of Ottawa has a concentration of expertise in the areas of information retrieval, knowledge synthesis and knowledge translation. It houses the University of Ottawa Evidence based Practice Centre, the Canadian Cochrane Network and Centre, four Cochrane entities, two CIHR Evidence on TAP centres, a CIHR knowledge synthesis capacity building program, and has internationally recognized knowledge translation researchers.

The overall objective of the CIHR-funded Knowledge to Action research program is to build a partnership between the Champlain LHIN and applied health researchers at the University of Ottawa (UofO) and Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI). In particular, the program seeks to develop and assess the impact of a regional knowledge infrastructure that supports evidence-informed decision making by managers and stakeholders of the Champlain LHIN.

Our partnership will address 2 key components of a regional knowledge infrastructure through a series of push and pull activities:

Knowledge intelligence services (push activities)

  1. Rapid Response Service: identification of relevant knowledge syntheses, studies and literature and a summary of the evidence that addresses topics submitted from managers and decision makers within the LHIN.

    Evidence summaries produced by the KTA team to-date are:
  2. Horizon Scanning Service: to provide a knowledge horizon scanning service that will identify relevant knowledge syntheses and key articles addressing the self-identified interests of managers and decision makers and push out information to these decision makers.

Capacity building in evidence-informed decision making (pull activities)
The partnership will provide workshops for LHIN management addressing the principles of evidence-informed decision making. Workshops will focus on the contribution of research evidence to policy and decision making, how to identify and appraise sources of evidence and how participants can make use of the knowledge intelligence services.

Curriculum content will be adapted to a specific research question (e.g. diabetes management) identified by the LHIN as timely and relevant. Workshops will be resourced by OHRI researchers and other Faculty members from the UofO community.

Upcoming workshops will be posted here with dates, times and locations as they become available.

Evaluation of the impact of the knowledge infrastructure will be undertaken. Activities will include:

  • Assessment of LHIN management’s ability to understand research evidence and the intentions to seek and use evidence to inform decision making;
  • Key informant interviews with LHIN managers to assess perceptions on the value and use of evidence and their perspectives on the knowledge infrastructure;
  • Exploratory content analysis of key policy documents to assess organizations’ use of evidence in the development of policies e.g. citation of systematic reviews.

Links to online resources for health services management, policymakers, stakeholders and decision makers

Project team
Investigators: Drs. Jeremy Grimshaw, David Moher, Rob Cushman
Research Coordinator: Kristin Konnyu

For information or to comment on the Knowledge to Action research program, please contact the study coordinator at

Canadian Institutes of Health Research [KAL-86796]