Better health systems and policies revealed from research and innovation – A webinar featuring TO-REACH

2 September 2020

On 1 September, To-Reach was featured in a webinar part of the EHMA Webinar Series ‘COVID-19: from Viral to Containment’. The webinar ‘Better health systems and policies revealed from research and innovation‘ focused on the challenges health systems are facing that have been further highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic – and how having a framework that facilitates policy and innovation transfer could be a game changer.

To speak about the work conducted by the To-Reach project we had Sabrina Montante, Senior Advisor at Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS – Italian National Institute of Health) and Marius Ungureanu Director of Education at Babeș-Bolyai University in Romania.

The webinar opened with an overview of the To-Reach Strategic Research Agenda (SRA), which has the ambition to address the increasing health systems challenges directed to research areas of major relevance. In particular, the SRA aims to provide a European strategy to advance knowledge and understanding of the adoption, implementation and scale-up of service and policy innovations, while also addressing their translation to other settings within and across countries

Then SRA was informed by a systematic analysis of priority challenges to strengthen health systems, as identified from policy documents, as well as through consultations within Member States and a Europe-wide stakeholder survey, along with a review of the relevant academic literature.

The Strategic Research Agenda has identified the following key priority areas:

  • Person and population-centered health services and systems
  • Integration of services
  • development and integration of long-terms care services
  • Redefining hospitals
  • Strengthening primary health services
  • Improving mental health
  • The health workforce
  • Information and communication technology for health
  • Measuring and improving quality
  • Governance and financing

Also, it has identified elements for the successful transfer of innovations:

  • knowing the characteristics of the innovation and its originating system;
  • translating and adapting it to the receiving system;
  • setting up the decision-making and implementation process;
  • analysis of the effects and performance on the receiving system.

In the light of COVID-19, when thinking about the challenges health systems have been facing – such as population aging, accelerated advances in biomedical technologies, growing consumers expectations, healthcare professionals’ shortages and uneven distribution, and persistent health and financial inequalities – these challenges are not new, but have certainly been exacerbated by the pandemic. However, COVID-19 also highlighted how health and care systems are key translators of innovation, a needed feature for any organisation to ensure efficient and sustainable solutions.


The webinar recording is available at the link below.

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