Jenna M. Evans


jenna.evans[at]utoronto.ca

 

Dr. Jenna Evans is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Institute of Health Policy, Management & Evaluation, and a Certified Health Executive with the Canadian College of Health Leaders. Her work focuses on intellectual capital and knowledge management in healthcare organizations, and on the implementation, measurement, and management of integrated care initiatives. Her research and teaching interests include integrated care, quality improvement, organizational culture and cognition, knowledge/learning, complex-adaptive systems, and organizational and systems change.

Dr. Evans holds a Bachelor of Health Studies with Honours in Health Management from York University (2008) and a PhD in Health Services Research from the University of Toronto (2014). Her doctoral work, entitled 'Health Systems Integration: Competing or Shared Mental Models' was funded by a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship and the Health System Performance Research Network.

LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/jenna-m-evans/3a/a38/a23

Twitter: @DrJenEvans

Current Work:

Intellectual Capital in Healthcare Organizations & Systems

The most valuable assets of healthcare organizations tend to be the knowledge, skills, and experiences of their leaders and professionals. These intangible resources, coupled with the value derived from internal capabilities and external relationships, constitute the intellectual capital of healthcare organizations and systems. Healthcare organizations possess vast unstructured stockpiles of informal know-how distributed across the minds of individuals, captured in files, databases, and reports, and embedded in the culture and routines of organizations themselves.

 

Although healthcare is a knowledge-intensive industry, few healthcare organizations systematically and strategically manage their intellectual capital to meet strategic goals and improve performance. Furthermore, the explicit application of the concept of intellectual capital to the healthcare sector is relatively new and has not been rigorously examined conceptually or empirically, nor has the work to date been synthesized and critiqued. The aims of this study (supervised by Drs. Adalsteinn Brown and G. Ross Baker) are to conduct a scoping review and bibliometric analysis to examine the extent, range and nature of research activity on intellectual capital in healthcare organizations, to summarize dominant perspectives and evidence, and to identify directions for future research and practice. The review will be supplemented by stakeholder consultations. The overarching goal is to build research capacity and a program of research in this area of inquiry.

 

Organizational Capabilities & Context for Integrated Care Delivery

Mixed performance outcomes across community-based integrated care models may be explained partly by differences in organizational factors. This study (which feeds into broader HSPRN projects led by Drs. G. Ross Baker and Walter Wodchis) aims to identify, organize and assess quantitative instruments to describe and compare organizational structures, capabilities and contexts, and potentially predict the success of integrated care initiatives. The Context for Integrated Care (CIC) Framework was developed and instruments are being mapped to the framework and systematically summarized, compared and assessed by their scientific properties and practical considerations. The output of this work will be a Case Study Guide with a bank of reliable, valid tools for data collection and comparison across care providers and settings.

This study was presented at the 2014 CAHSPR Conference in Toronto, where it garnered two awards for Best Poster.

 

Health Systems Integration: Competing or Shared Mental Models?

Dr. Evans' PhD dissertation (supervised by Dr. G. Ross Baker) argues that structural and process strategies for integration need to be supplemented by attention to the social cognitions that characterize the behaviours of actors within healthcare systems. The aims of the thesis were to explore how Shared Mental Model Theory might advance our understanding and measurement of integration processes and performance through three inter-related studies: (1) an examination of the evolution of healthcare integration strategies over twenty-five years as reported in the academic literature, (2) the development of a theoretical framework of antecedents, outcomes and moderators of mental models of integrated care and a framework of mental model content, and finally, (3) the validation and revision of the proposed mental model content with a pan-Canadian group of diverse integration experts. This dissertation provides constructs and frameworks that enable researchers and practitioners to describe, analyze, and manage health systems integration from a socio-cognitive perspective.

The next steps in this line of research are to develop a measurement tool for capturing and comparing mental models of integration, to compare the results of measures of organizational culture and mental models, and to test the propositions and frameworks proposed in the dissertation.



Current Projects: