The Service Delivery Models Project

Providing access to leading innovative service delivery models

The Service Delivery Models Project of the Health Human Resources Action Group is identifying innovative and promising models for delivering cancer control from within Canada and around the world – and promoting their use across Canada.

The project draws together experts from several groups across Canada. It is led by a committee representing the British Columbia Academic Health Council, the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists, CancerCare Manitoba, Cancer Care Ontario, Lakehead University, the McGill University Health Centre, the New Brunswick Cancer Network and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.The project’s research will add to knowledge about Canada’s health human resources issues – and contribute to their resolution by providing examples of how to optimize the skills, knowledge and resources available in order to deliver optimal care to Canadians.

The Service Delivery Models Project expects to:

  • develop a searchable database of at least 100 innovative leading models of service delivery, drawn from Canada and around the world, that optimize the contribution of health professionals while striving to improve the patient’s experience
  • forge links and help create communities among Canadian stakeholders involved in service delivery and human resources planning for the cancer workforce

Phase 1: Developing the framework

After intensive consultation with stakeholders, a framework for describing promising innovative models of service delivery in cancer control was completed in December 2008. This framework enables consistent, comprehensive data to be gathered in the project’s second phase. The framework allows service delivery models to be described, assessed and compared in areas such as work team configurations, service delivery effectiveness, implications for future cancer workforce requirements and viability of adaption to different organizations, jurisdictions and population groups.

Dr. Eshwar KumarUsing this tool, stakeholders may begin to look at the models and ask, “How can we improve?” or “Is this something we can consider in our planning efforts?” They could look at three nurse navigation models, perhaps, then come up with something quite different that’s tailored to their own needs.€€”

– Dr. Eshwar Kumar, New Brunswick Cancer Network and steering committee member

Phase 2: Gathering and sharing leading service delivery models

Researchers will identify promising innovative service delivery models, considering those

  • tested and evaluated formally or informally in Canada;
  • that have not been evaluated, but could be assessed and replicated;
  • identified as innovative and/or promising as per the definition developed in Phase 1 for the purposes of this project;
  • that have been put in place internationally and may be applicable to the Canadian context.

A request for innovative and/or leading models of service delivery that meet the definition developed for this project will be distributed throughout the cancer control community to help identify models that should be included in the database.
Input from stakeholder groups to help identify innovative service delivery models to be considered for the project is essential. Groups will be contacted directly and are encouraged to contact the project team proactively as well.

“If someone in Nova Scotia or New Zealand has a model of service delivery that can be shown to be effective in overcoming existing human resource challenges faced within their cancer system, we want to know,” says Dr. Brent Schacter, Chair of the project’s steering committee.
“We will collect as many innovative models as we can find in Canada and internationally, and then share them so everyone can apply the information to their own organizations and jurisdictions to enhance service delivery and system and process deployment.”

Of particular interest are models that

  • are focused on cancer control and/or care
  • are designed to maintain or improve patient care
  • attempt to optimize the productivity/use/contribution of multiple professional groups
  • involve a new approach or an improvement relative to more traditional approaches in one or more of the following areas:
    1. health-care delivery systems and processes
    2. organization, integration and management of human resources
    3. use of resources (including new technologies and research findings) to enhance effectiveness, efficiency and/or efficacy could be transferable to other organization and/or jurisdictions: Once the initial round of research is complete and short descriptions of all models have been developed, a short list of 60 innovative and/or leading service delivery models will be selected by the project’s experts to be detailed comprehensively. This will be completed in 2009. Soon after, individuals and organizations will be able to start using the data to see how they can improve service delivery via a user-friendly, searchable database located on the Partnership’s web portal.

Dr. Andrew PadmosThe project will strengthen capacity by increasing our understanding of challenges currently facing the cancer workforce and by building on this strong foundation to develop and share innovative solutions. This is a huge priority because human resources are the foundation for all cancer control services, from prevention through palliation.€”

– Dr. Andrew Padmos, Chair, Health Human Resources Action Group

Phase 3: A stakeholder symposium

Stakeholders will be invited to a symposium to be held January 25-26, 2010. This event will foster collaboration and stimulate those interested in learning more about how they can implement aspects of innovative models and improve service delivery in their areas. This will, in addition, help to identify next steps both for organizations interested in adopting leading service delivery models, as well as for the Health Human Resource Action Group, which expects to identify many opportunities to build upon the learnings/ information attained from this project.


The creation of a user-friendly database of at least 100 leading innovative models of service delivery, including 60 fully described models, will facilitate both  the sharing of reliable information and better decision-making in cancer control. Further, by providing a platform for partnership, the project links those with shared goals across Canada – and internationally. By building capacity in the cancer control workforce, this project will strengthen the delivery of cancer control services for all Canadians.

If you have questions regarding the project or the symposium, or if you are interested in submitting a model for consideration for the database, please contact Muneerah Kassam.