The Rural Evidence Review wants to hear about your health service issues and priorities

Submitted by the Rural Evidence Review project

The Rural Evidence Review (RER) project is a four-year initiative, jointly funded by the Rural Coordination Centre of B.C. and Canada’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research. The project aims to work in collaboration with rural patients and community stakeholders to provide robust, comprehensive and rural-relevant evidence to inform rural health services planning in British Columbia. The Activities involved to achieve this goal include:

  1. engaging rural citizen-patients in B.C. to identify their rural health service priorities,
  2. synthesizing the international evidence on the stated priorities, and
  3. promoting the uptake and use of the evidence into policy and planning discussions in the province.

Past issues and priorities that the RER has reviewed include community-led initiatives and strategies for the recruitment and retention of health care providers to rural and remote communities and the willingness of urban patients to travel to rural areas for elective surgical care. The RER project’s current review explores community participation in health services planning and decision-making via boards of health. To learn about rural citizen and community priorities for health services, the research team developed a survey that is publicly available via the project’s webpage. The anonymous survey – which can be completed in 10 minutes or less! – serves as a way for the RER team to communicate with rural B.C. community members about health service issues and priorities.

The RER’s goal is to learn from as many rural community members as possible about the health service issues that are most important to themselves and to their communities — no issue is too big or too small! The information gathered from the survey responses helps to ensure that the project answers the questions that matter the most to rural citizen-patients, and generates evidence that is relevant, appropriate and useful for rural communities across the province.

The survey tool is not the only form of outreach that the RER team uses to engage with rural patients and community representatives. Christine Carthew, the project’s Coordinator, stresses: “we welcome phone calls and emails too, either in addition to or instead of the survey. We want to connect with as many people as possible, in whatever way that they are most comfortable to discuss their rural health care priorities!”

To learn more about the Rural Evidence Review project, or to speak with the Project Coordinator about the health care priorities that matter the most to your rural community, visit the project’s webpage, call 1-604-827-2193, or email Christine at christine.carthew@ubc.ca. Or, click here to complete the RER’s brief and anonymous survey.