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Bruyère Research Institute investigators key players in new HSRF-funded projects


The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) recently announced the results of the 2017/18 Health System Research Fund (HSRF) Program Awards competition. Through the HSRF Program Awards, Ontario is investing $27.94 million over three years to improve the health of Ontarians. The HSRF provides funding to research projects that aim to advance home and community care, health promotion, and health system performance.

There were 14 successful program award applicants for 2017/18. The competition included both patient and peer review to ensure the research undertaken addresses patient needs while meeting the standard of competitive peer review. Bruyère Research Institute (BRI) investigators are on four teams to be funded through the HSRF Program Awards. Our investigator’s receipt of this funding highlights the importance of their work to Ontario’s health system.

BRI investigators Dr. Peter Tanuseputro and Heidi Sveistrup, PhD are leading a project called the Quality for Individuals Who Require Long-Term Support Program—or QUILT, for short. This project – funded for a total of $2,085,701 over 3 years – will improve system integration and care quality for Ontario’s older adults across a continuum of settings and levels of care.

QUILT - QUILT is a collaboration of three teams across Ontario: The BRI, the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (led by Kathy McGilton), and the UW-Schlegel Research Institute for Aging (led by Veronique Boscart). These members will work together to synthesize evidence, assess the needs of older adults and their caregivers, and use healthcare data to trace patients’ journeys through the Ontario health system. The outcome of this research will inform planning and policy decisions for Ontarians with long-term care needs, and help to promote the delivery of equitable care across the province.

HSPRN - Dr. Tanuseputro is also co-investigator on another project, the Health System Performance Research Network (HSPRN), which works closely with decision-makers in the Ontario health system to ensure the right patients are matched to the right health programs. Dr. Tanuseputro and his team will use health data to identify key areas of improvement in Ontario’s end-of-life and palliative care systems. With this information, the team will then identify best practices and how they might benefit patients across the province.

INSPIRE-PHC-2 – BRI investigators Dr. Clare Liddy and Simone Dahrouge, PhD are collaborating on a program called INSPIRE-PHC-2—short for Innovations Supporting Primary Healthcare through Research—led by Dr. Michael Green of Queen’s University. The program will study and support health initiatives that will ensure access to primary health care for all Ontarians. More specifically, it will provide better quality information on patients’ primary health care needs in specific geographic areas. It will then assess the provincial health care system’s current ability to meet those needs, and will provide feedback on the successes and challenges of implementing specific reforms.

BRI’s Simone Dahrouge will be responsible for testing whether community Patient Navigators can help patients overcome social factors that may create barriers to adequate access to primary health care. The goal is to determine whether these Navigators can reduce inequities in access and optimize the use of primary health care services. The implementation of Patient Navigators would represent a novel approach to the facilitation of access to primary health care. This work will be conducted in partnership with Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN) of Ottawa and in North Eastern Ontario.

BRI’s Dr. Clare Liddy will leverage the successful Champlain BASE™ eConsult service (www.ChamplainBASEeConsult.com), which she co-leads with Dr. Erin Keely, to test the acceptance and evaluate the use of an eCase conferencing or similar electronic approach. The goal of the project is to improve the integration of care for patients with complex needs, particularly in the long-term care sector, their caregivers and healthcare providers, allowing them to come together and share information, discuss treatment plans, updates and medications, quickly and confidentially. Outcomes will include acceptance and use of eCase conferencing; patient and provider satisfaction, patient outcome measures and costs.

DICE - BRI’s Barbara Farrell, PharmD will lead the Deprescribing Initiatives Using Community Engagement (DICE) project. Her team will explore how public and health care professional community engagement strategies can be used to implement deprescribing into the routine care of patients in two communities in the Champlain LHIN. This community engagement model will work to raise awareness, create champions and promote uptake of deprescribing initiatives, with a goal of scaling up activities across the province. This project brings together investigators from the Ontario Pharmacy Evidence Network (OPEN)—a network initially funded by the HSRF in 2013 to examine the quality, outcomes and value of medication management services in Ontario. OPEN teams identified strengths and weaknesses in Ontario’s medication system and, with new funding from the HSRF, will now test potential solutions to the challenges they found through a series of projects, including DICE.

The Bruyère Research Institute supports investigators who contribute to a better, more responsive health care system that delivers the best care to patients, residents and families. As a fully affiliated research institute with the University of Ottawa and a proud partner of Bruyere Continuing Care, it provides solutions to improve the health and health care of aging and vulnerable Canadians. The Institute’s research focuses primarily on evidence, health system evaluation, brain health, geriatrics and rehabilitation, primary care, palliative care, and global health.

For more information about HSRF funding recipients, including full 2017/18 competition results, click here: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/ministry/research/hsrf_program.aspx#results. This is the second round of the HSRF Program Awards.

For more information about BRI, click here: www.bruyere.org/bri