Reg Joseph is Alberta Innovates’ vice president of Health.
patients, families, community groupsand policy-makers. They workindependently or with other SCNs touse research, innovation and evidence toimprove how we deliver care.
Q: Are SCNs unique to Alberta?
Wasylak: We’re not the first in theworld to have these networks, butours are unique because they includethe research arm. We are facing toughhealthcare problems and by bringingthe research community and clinicalcommunity together, we’re better able tounderstand and solve those problems.
Q: What’s an example of a problem?
Wasylak: One is how antipsychotic
drugs were being used in caring for older
adults in long-term care. We once had a
high rate of use of these drugs and now
we’re leading the country in stopping
their use where they’re no longer
needed. Our Seniors Health SCN and our
Addiction and Mental Health SCN have
led this work. And in June, they began
helping New Brunswick’s healthcare
system make similar changes.
Q: How do the SCNs learn what the
researchers are doing?
Joseph: Researchers are part of every
SCN and we also have specific programs
designed to help bring research to the
SCNs. One of those is the Partnership for
Research and Innovation in the Health
System. This partnership is funded 50-
50 by AHS and AI. Funding from this
partnership helped our Surgery SCN to
improve patient care before, during and
Another program, AcceleratingInnovations into Care, is administeredby AI to bring innovative products andsolutions into the healthcare system. Itworks by having an SCN identify a needand having AI reach into the researchcommunity to find the solution. It’s acase of matching existing needs withAlberta-made solutions.
Q: What’s the difference between that
and a clinical trial?
Joseph: We’re involved after clinical
We’re involved after
clinical trials in what we
call a real-world evidence
trial . . . (they’re) a more