The Seniors' Health Knowledge Network (SHKN) was launched in 2005 in Ontario to improve the quality of health care provided to seniors. A group of leaders involved with older persons in Ontario’s health system initiated consultations across the province about the benefits of a province-wide knowledge exchange network.
This group, which was referred to as the Ontario Knowledge Exchange (OKE) Advisory Committee, noted the complex and changing needs of older persons who are served by multiple caregivers and organizations which in turn require up to date information and knowledge to implement best practices.
With funding from the Ministry, over time the three organizations (The Alzheimer's Knowledge Exchange, The Ontario Research Coalition, The Senior's Health Research Transfer Network Knowledge Exchange) banded together with the following aims:
• To influence practice and health system change for seniors • To advance knowledge exchange • To promote research • To build a community
Our Network of Networks consists of ‘Knowledge Networks’: groups of experts who work together on a common concern, strengthen their collective knowledge base and develop solutions.
This Network’s goal is to be a relevant, useful and responsive province-wide resource by facilitating knowledge exchange opportunities for formal and informal caregivers, researchers and policymakers.
Until the launch of the Network, only healthcare organization caregivers, faculty members and students in a university or community college in Ontario could easily access a specialized health library. Now our Network is available to other sectors including Ontario's 625 long-term care homes and over 800 community care agencies. Our Network has built trust among thousands of people committed to the improvement of the care of older adults.