Research

The challenge of developing public policies that support health while delivering high-quality, cost-effective health care is becoming increasingly complex. The School of Health Policy and Management offers a distinct approach to health and social systems research. Its unique team of researchers explores health from an interdisciplinary social science perspective to address current health care challenges. Faculty members’ research focuses on themes that address the organization and management of Canadian and international health care and approaches to public policy.

Scholars engaged in health management research address a number of diverse and interesting areas including integrated approaches to the delivery of care, the influence of things such as leadership and organizational culture on healthcare errors and quality of care, workplace violence.

The interests of health management faculty members also intersect with health informatics faculty interests given the ways in which health care has been moving towards increased sophistication in the use of financial, clinical and health information in order to function more effectively and support strategic planning and decision making at the organization and system levels. Increased emphasis on accountability, performance measurement, and evidence based decision making translates into increased demand for and reliance on various information sources. Our researchers in health informatics address the rapidly changing technologies that have created a need for system-wide data, information, and knowledge management/utilization programs.

In the area of health policy, faculty members’ research critically analyzes the political and economic forces that shape both health care and the various determinants of health. They explore health and social justice issues at the local, national and international levels that concern both developed and developing nations. Issues of power, influence, and political ideology are of particular interest as experience indicates that evidence is applied by governmental and agency authorities only when it is consistent with prevailing values and attitudes.

Researchers focused on critical disability theory and policy address broad issues, of human rights, social justice, disability rights monitoring, the legal and social construction of inequality from multi-disciplinary perspectives including law, history, anthropology, sociology, geography, arts, philosophy, and education. Their research is local, national and international.