Levelling up innovation: WCH’s office of spread and scale
At Canadian hospitals and research institutes innovation is commonplace. Media segments and articles regularly highlight new programs, treatments or procedures developed to address long-standing issues. However, many of these innovations rarely reach new communities or patient populations – something Women's College Hospital is looking to change through our Office of Spread and Scale.
The Office of Spread and Scale, led by a multi-disciplinary team from the Women’s College Hospital Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care (WIHV), works with teams across WCH and beyond to advise on how effective innovative projects can spread elsewhere or scale up through new policy development. The team also provides rapid dissemination support to ensure that best practices and new innovations are shared across the health system.
"With COVID-19 generating massive mobilization and program development, particularly at WCH, our team recognized the need to disseminate information on new models of care and best practices quickly," said Zahra Ismail, director of operations, WIHV and Office of Spread and Scale. The Office developed a series of materials summarizing WCH’s virtual care COVID-19 initiatives so that other organizations could gain insights. "There is also the opportunity to partner with innovative care programs such as COVIDCare@Home, which provides virtual care to those with COVID-19 recovering at home. The Office can help these programs explore options for how to spread and scale this new model of care," Ismail added.
COVID-19 greatly exacerbated existing inequalities and continues to disproportionately impact Black, Indigenous and other racialized people. In response, WCH leadership asked the Office to conduct a review of anti-racism best practices in healthcare to inform future anti-racism work that is meaningful, evidence-based and sustainable.
"In a relatively short period of time our team has had the opportunity to support the hospital in advancing priorities during the pandemic," said Ismail. "Looking forward, we will be focusing on amplify WCH initiatives and innovative models of care through enhanced spread and scale."