Future

With continued support for the ‘network of networks’ and extant partnerships, ongoing coordination, and expansion into the two remaining Canadian territories, PIHCIN will facilitate efficiencies in knowledge translation, expand patient and community partnerships, and offer a training environment that could create a truly Canadian learning health system.

Unlike other specialties, primary and integrated care has developed in response to a broadly perceived lack of adequate primary health care, before an active research base was established. To address this lag and enhance the generation and integration of relevant research for the betterment of the Canadian population, an infrastructure that is uniquely suited to the challenges faced in primary care is needed. The PIHCI Network directly addresses this gap with its unique reach into the Canadian population and partnerships with patients, health care providers and policy makers. Not only can PIHCIN help achieve the strategic vision of the ‘network of networks’ to improve health, health equity, and health system outcomes for individuals across the life course, but it can provide innovation research, research methodologies, training in these methodologies and stakeholder engagement to contribute to the academic discipline of patient-oriented primary and integrated health care.

The next phase for PIHCIN will be to build on the solid achievements from the initial investments made by CIHR, and to maintain key infrastructures and partnerships particularly with health care providers, patients and policy makers. We propose the expansion of our networks into Practice-Based Learning Networks that will support a pan-Canadian learning platform. The future focus will be in line with CIHR’s investment in a SPOR National Training Entity with PIHCIN concentrating on the training and development of highly qualified personnel who are able to work in the patient-oriented primary and integrated health care context.

PIHCIN is ideally situated to support the growing pan-Canadian quality improvement movement and to tie this strongly to primary care research, practice improvement and policy changes. The SPOR PIHCIN infrastructure is also key to the success of ongoing programmatic grants.