In response to a number of requests to expand and review the services it offers, HKN engages Lori Van Rooijen of Larkspur Associates Inc. in 2003 to complete a provincial needs assessment. This comes ten years after HKN’s launch as a grant-funded project, and a year after it becomes a self-sustaining entity.
Invitations to participate are extended to health care influencers, practitioners, and policy makers, and to health information providers in Alberta. Sixty-six interviews are conducted along with seven focus groups; and, a literature search on research utilization in practice and evidence-based medicine is conducted.
In 2004, Van Rooijen completes the report and finds that providing researchers, policy makers, practitioners, and information specialists with access to authoritative, credible, and relevant health information could help attain superior health care. She also finds that having a single provider of licensed electronic information in the province, such as HKN, would help to maximize existing budgets and minimize the costs to the province.
“… there needs to be a provincial approach to providing access to relevant, credible health information. This applies to decision-support tools, knowledge transfer and to the provision of an information infrastructure.” (2004, p. 3)
The HKN Partners and Executive Committee use the report as a call to action to advocate for seamless and cost-effective access to health information for practitioners and researchers not only in Alberta, but across Canada as well.