Discussion: The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CMI) is a national, not-for-profit organization responsible for developing and maintaining Canada's health information system, providing timely and accurate information that is needed to establish sound health policies, manage the health care system effectively and generate awareness of the factors that affect good health. CIHI's national dissemination strategy responds to the increasing demand for health information by key stakeholders and contributes to the creation of an evidence-based, information-oriented culture across the continuum of the health care system. It is driven by identified stakeholders' needs for information and draws on a significant national effort called the Health Information Roadmap, designed to improve Canada's health information system. Our dissemination strategy carries a two-pronged approach:
a. build ongoing communications with key stakeholders to increase their level of awareness of what health information is available, where they can access it and how they can use it;
b. leverage findings from analysis activities to generate timely policy-relevant information and create a climate of accountability within the health care system.
This approach is based on identifying our stakeholders, understanding their information needs and reaching them in a timely and systematic manner. To this end, we employ a combination of electronic/multi-media, face-to-face and paper-based communication channels and tactics to disseminate information. Furthermore, we ensure that we communicate information that is relevant to these stakeholder groups, tailoring our communication messages and developing tools that meet their information needs, based on market research and consultations. Finally, building ongoing communications with national partners and key stakeholder groups is an important component of our national dissemination strategy. By reaching out to these stakeholder groups, or intermediaries, we can reach larger numbers of stakeholder groups in a cost-effective manner.