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Table 1 Examples of rapid realist reviews undertaken by our group

From: A time-responsive tool for informing policy making: rapid realist review

Commissioning agency Title Purpose statement Duration
Public Health Agency of Canada Interventions To Increase Organisational Capacity To Address Health Literacy (2012) The purpose of this project was to conduct a realist review of available literature (published and grey) to summarize what we know and what we don’t know about the development of capacity within organizations to plan, implement, and sustain health literacy interventions. This review did not assess the relative efficacy of health literacy interventions themselves, but rather, attempted to identify what mechanisms and contextual factors improve the capacity of healthcare organizations to address health literacy in the individuals they serve by planning, implementing, evaluating and sustaining interventions. Six months
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Partnering organization - Saskatchewan Ministry of Health) Knowledge And Action For System Transformation (KAST): A Systematic Realist Review and Evidence Synthesis of the Role of Government Policy in Directing Large System Transformation (2010) The Saskatchewan Ministry of Health has a mandate to support a significant transformation of the provincial health system. Large system transformation refers to systematic initiatives to create coordinated change across organizations working toward shared priorities within specified boundaries. The Ministry recognizes that success hinges on a cultural change based on collaboration, a comprehensive innovation strategy for system redesign, and systems integration. Therefore, they seek guidance -- on such considerations as successful models and strategies, partnership principles (including with patients), monitoring and evaluation -- from a systematic review of knowledge on large system transformation. With all of these considerations, there is an emphasis on the role of government. Six months
HealthLink BC and QUILTS Tele-health Contributions to Emergency Department and Discharge Operations (2009) A rapid review of tele-health contributions to Emergency Department (ED) and discharge operations was conducted to: Five months
1. Describe the patient population in selected local ED facilities; identify major drivers of ED utilization, throughput and follow-up; and conduct a rapid review of the effectiveness of tele-health strategies for improving ED/discharge system performance.
2. Scan best practices in other jurisdictions and identify potential opportunities for HealthLink BC to add value for regional health authority ED/discharge systems.
3. Produce a model of system operations and a framework for ways in which HealthLink BC tele-health services might help to improve performance for ED services, and for discharge planning and follow-up.
Public Health Agency of Canada Evidence-informed public health policy and practice through a complexity lens (2007) This RRR was commissioned to summarize what is known about systems to support evidence-informed policy and what is not known. The review focused on frameworks most applicable to public health, with an emphasis on chronic disease prevention and healthy living. The review process also initiated an international collaboration with a focus on system development for evidence-informed public health. Two months
HealthLine Services BC Tele-health in Support of Chronic Disease Management (2007) The purpose of this project was to provide HealthLine Services BC (HLSBC) with a review of evidence and best practices for health line support for chronic disease management. Six months
Vancouver Coastal Health Population-based Framework for Chronic Disease Self-management Support (2006) The overall goal of the project was to identify the most current view on effective models for self-management and self-management support, and to provide decision makers in the policy and practice community at Vancouver Coastal Health with a practical understanding of evidence-based interventions, within a population-based framework for self-management support. Three months
NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research and the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation Interorganizational partnerships (2006) To provide a RRR of evidence-based principles for effective interorganizational collaboration and partnership, as the principles relate to two contexts: the collaborations in which health research funders engage; and the forms and processes of linkage within universities and their community partners to promote interdisciplinary health research and effective knowledge exchange. The review also summarized the existing evidence to identify aspects of interorganizational partnerships (a) where sufficient evidence exists to conduct a full systematic review, and (b) where insufficient evidence exists to articulate the further primary research that is necessary. Two months