Seminar April 25: Towards better integration of care for people with chronic conditions and complex care needs at risk of frequent use of healthcare services

Catherine Hudon, Université de Sherbrooke
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
219 (within 201), 2206 East Mall
School of Population and Public Health
University of British Columbia

Dr. Catherine Hudon will present pieces of her research program describing complex patients and how we can improve care integration, especially through case management programs.

Dr. Hudon is a family physician, and professor and research director at the Department of Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine at the Université de Sherbrooke. As a CIHR embedded clinician-researcher, her research expertise focuses on self-management support and care coordination for people with chronic conditions and complex care needs at risk of becoming frequent users of healthcare services.

This seminar is sponsored by the UBC Centre for Health Services and Policy Research. A light lunch is included in this seminar. Please contact Joyce ( to RSVP for lunch by Monday, April 23. You may also join remotely via GoToMeeting: Please let Joyce know if you would like to join this way.

March 2018 BC-PHCRN Update

It is finally spring and the BC-PHCRN has been busy in the months since our last update. Highlights from this period include facilitating the submission of a number of Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) Primary Integrated Health Care Innovations Network (PIHCIN) grant applications; hosting an exhibitor table at the Centre for Health Services and Policy Research (CHSPR) conference on March 8 and 9; releasing the Priorities for Research (PREFeR) survey to patients, providers and researchers; moving forward with some exciting work with the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network (CPCSSN); and hiring a new BC-PHCRN Research Network Manager.

We look forward to telling you all about it below.

Please share this Update with interested colleagues, and get in touch with us with any questions.

In this Update

Progress on Funded Quick Strike, Knowledge Synthesis, and Comparative Program and Policy Analysis SPOR PIHCI Grants in BC

The SPOR PIHCI initiative awarded funding in 2015 and 2016 through three types of grant competition: Quick Strike (QS), Knowledge Synthesis (KS), and Comparative Program and Policy Analysis (CPPA). Two QS, two KS, and three CPPA grants with BC investigators were funded. Click here for updates on these projects.

In 2017, CIHR released two calls for grant proposals. Funding decisions for the first round of two-year Programmatic grants were made a few weeks ago, and although the BC-PHCRN supported five applications, none of these five proposals were funded by CIHR. The BC-PHCRN is reviewing the funded proposals to determine whether there are ways we can more effectively support researchers applying from BC. The deadline for the second round of KS and CPPA grant was March 6, and the BC-PHCRN supported two CPPA and four KS applications. We are very excited about these proposals and will keep you updated on the CIHR funding decisions.

Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network (CPCSSN)

CPCSSN is a pan-Canadian project studying and tracking eight chronic conditions using data from primary care electronic medical records. Recently, two new case definitions were validated (for paediatric asthma and herpes zoster), and a new definition for diabetes mellitus was added (derived from a machine learning study), while several more are in the final stages of verification. BC-CPCSSN has just completed its latest extraction cycle and now contains data on over 77,000 de-identified patients from 47 clinicians in 11 clinics across the province.

BC-CPCSSN also provides participating clinicians a pair of complementary web-based quality improvement (QI) tools. InQuIRE is an intuitive graphical tool for exploring the characteristics of a clinician’s patient panel and investigating indicators related to hypertension, diabetes, and depression. It is possible to explore dozens of indicators with the filtering options provided.

The Data Presentation Tool (DPT) offers unparalleled exploration of patient data and detailed feedback capabilities along with the ability to identify patients in the clinic. We are currently setting up the DPT in BC and we are looking forward to rolling it out with the latest data very soon.

BC-CPCSSN will be taking part in an exciting new pilot project to investigate how CPCSSN tools can play a role in connecting the various nodes of patient care. In addition to incorporating new clinics into CPCSSN, this will be a first step in implementing infrastructure and supporting data governance for program evaluation in the primary care network context. This will be done via cross-linked and de-identified information aggregated from both community providers and the health authority.

CPCSSN data are being used in the Frailty project described above, and for many other projects. Rita McCracken, MD, a UBC PhD candidate, is using CPCSSN data to complete her dissertation. She will be able to describe how high blood pressure is being treated, in people aged 70 and older who receive their care from CPCSSN clinicians. Early results suggest that <10% have a mean systolic blood pressure ≤ 120 mmHg. This group of people is of special interest to many clinicians and policy makers since the release of the SPRINT hypertension treatment target trial results, and the subsequent addition of a ≤ 120 mmHg “target” in the latest Canadian hypertension guidelines. She looks forward to sharing complete results in her dissertation and forthcoming publications.

New BC-PHCRN Staff

The BC-PHCRN welcomed its new Research Network Manager, Alexandra Warren, in January of this year. Although we were sad to see Melody Monro go, we are thrilled to welcome Alex to the team. Alex brings years of public policy and grant administration experience to the BC-PHCRN, as well as a Master’s degree from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and a Bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College in Boston, MA. Alex looks forward to working with decision-makers, researchers, patients, and clinicians to facilitate collaboration and help transform primary care, together.

If you have any questions for Alex about the BC-PHCRN and its activities, please do not hesitate to contact her at or 604.822.3226.

Priorities for Research Project (PREFeR)

UBC and SFU researchers were awarded a CIHR SPOR Patient-Oriented Research Collaboration grant in April 2017 to facilitate patient engagement in the research process. Despite the fact that much of primary care research focuses on studying patient needs and gaps in care, patients are not frequently included in prioritizing research ideas.

The goals of the project are to:

  1. Identify patient priorities for primary care research in BC;
  2. Build new projects and collaborations based on these priorities; and
  3. Help primary care researchers involve patients more actively in research.

To date, the researchers have undertaken the following activities:

  1. Built a panel of engaged patients, the BC-PHCRN Patient Advisory, to provide ongoing input on primary care research in BC;
  2. In partnership with the BC-PHCRN Patient Advisory, led the development of 10 patient-identified priority issues in primary health care;
  3. Created and disseminated surveys asking patients and primary care providers to rank those 10 priorities in terms of importance. The team also created a survey for researchers, asking about their upcoming research themes in primary care. The surveys were launched in February and the deadline for submissions is May 2018.

If you are interested in primary care research and you would like to fill out our surveys, please see the links below:

Are you a primary health care provider? If so, please fill out the provider survey.

If you are a resident of BC and have been to your doctor or walk-in clinic, please fill out the patient survey.

If you are a primary health care researcher in BC, please fill out the researcher survey.

In recent news, co-PIs Dr. Louisa Edwards and Dr. Ruth Lavergne have been selected to present orally on the PREFeR project at the 2018 CASHPR conference in Montréal. Congratulations Ruth, Louisa, the BC-PHCRN Patient Advisory and everyone else helping with this project!

In addition to its work with the PREFeR project, the BC-PHCRN Patient Advisory has also reviewed and ranked letters of intent requesting BC-PHCRN support for last fall’s SPOR PIHCI Programmatic grant competition, as well as this year’s Knowledge Synthesis and Comparative Program and Policy Analysis grants.

CHSPR Conference 2018

On March 7, 8 and 9, 2018 the Centre for Health Services and Policy Research (CHSPR) held its 30th annual health policy conference, “The System Awakens: Building Learning Health Systems in Canada,” with opening keynote speaker Charles Friedman from the University of Michigan. It was a great success, with hundreds of attendees, great speakers, and many opportunities for knowledge exchange and learning.

The BC-PHCRN held an exhibitor table at the conference, manned by the BC-PHCRN Network Manager, Alex, and the CPCSSN Data Manager, Andy. Alex and Andy served mandarin oranges and spoke to passers-by about the exciting ventures of CPCSSN and the BC-PHCRN.

The Research Lead for the BC-PHCRN, Dr. Sabrina Wong, facilitated a pre-conference workshop, “Using an Upstream Approach to Frailty in Seniors”. This workshop stemmed from the BC-PHCRN supported Quick Strike project, funded in 2015. The workshop was well-attended and included presentations by Dr. Tyler Williamson (University of Calgary), Annette Garm (Fraser Health Authority), and Dr. Rita McCracken (Providence Health Care).

The BC-PHCRN also supported five members from our Patient Advisory to attend the conference. One of these patient-partners also served as a panelist on a post-conference workshop where he and others had a rich discussion about the evolving ethics of research with Indigenous peoples in Canada.

For more information about the CHSPR 2018 conference visit the website, and check out the hashtags #CHSPR2018 or #CHSPRStarWars on Twitter!

About the BC-PHCRN

The BC Primary Health Care Research Network (BC-PHCRN) is one of 11 Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) Primary and Integrated Health Care Innovations (PIHCI) networks in Canadian jurisdictions designed to support evidence-informed transformation of the delivery of primary and integrated health care.

The goal of the BC-PHCRN is to encourage, facilitate, and support collaborations between government, health authorities, health professionals, patients and researchers. The BC-PHCRN aims to seek out, develop, and facilitate adoption of health care innovations to improve BC’s health care delivery system.

The BC-PHCRN is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.

BC-PHCRN is an open network and welcomes individuals from all sectors involved in primary health care – researchers, patients, health care providers and policy makers. To join, visit our website.

Follow us on Twitter @BC_PHCRN.

BC patients and primary care providers invited to shape future research

The PREFeR (PRioritiEs For Research) Project invites all patients and primary care providers in BC to rate the top 10 topics identified by the BC-PHCRN Patient Advisory. The more patients and providers who express their views, the better understanding we will have of the priorities for different people in different parts of BC. If you would like to help shape future research about primary health care in BC, please complete the 5-10 minute survey.

For more information or to complete the survey by phone, please email Louisa Edwards (Research Fellow, Simon Fraser University & Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation) or call (604) 875-4111 (extension 67241).

New issue of MSFHR Spark about BC researchers using ‘everyday’ mobile health technologies

Everyday tech for better care is all about BC researchers who are using ‘everyday’ mobile health technologies to support care providers and patients, and improve patient outcomes. We loved Story 1, featuring patient Roger Stoddard from the SPOR Primary and Integrated Health Care Innovation Network (PIHCIN) leadership council.

Read Spark here

Networks Leadership Symposium March 19-20 – Networks as Balancing Acts: Managing Inherent Tensions?

March 19 – 20, 2018 | 0830 – 1600
Westin Bayshore Hotel
1601 Bayshore Dr, Vancouver, BC

This symposium will focus on ​​networks as balancing acts: managing inherent tensions.

Why participate in NLS 2018?
Participants will explore a broad range of network tensions and how, or if, they can be managed.

NLS 2018 will embrace an interactive, inquiry-based approach to encourage dialogue. Our objectives are to:

  • examine how working in networks often requires a balancing act
    explore if and how inherent tensions in networks can be practically managed
    discuss the key characteristics of highly functioning networks
  • share lessons learned and realities of networks from different sectors and locations
  • explore the importance of a developing a collaborative culture as key to growth and sustainability
  • review recent innovations in network research, practice and evaluation.

Who should attend?
Practitioners, researchers, policy or decision makers, and funders from diverse fields and members of the public who have an interest in supporting or exploring the value of networks as vehicles for change in the service of the public good. Registration is limited to encourage active participation among registrants and with presenters. Register early to avoid disappointment!

More information and registration

MSFHR to provide match funding for CIHR Knowledge Synthesis and Comparative Policy Analysis grants

To support BC’s leadership in the field of patient-oriented research, MSFHR is pleased to offer matching funds to support the highest ranked BC applications in CIHR’s Knowledge Synthesis and Comparative Program and Policy Analysis Grants.

Learn more: Funding Opportunities

Recruiting for executive director of PIHCIN national coordinating office

The SPOR Primary and Integrated Health Care Innovations Network (PIHCIN) is recruiting for an executive director in the national coordinating office. The successful candidate can be located in Vancouver or Toronto. Other locations, such as Ottawa, may also be considered. This role is responsible for program and stakeholder management, communications, and evaluation for the national PIHCI network (of which BC-PHCRN is a provincial node). The successful candidate will have expertise in project management, team building, and strategic communications, and knowledge of university-based grant management and the Canadian primary care sector.

Please see the details on the Women’s College Hospital web site.

Please share with your networks.

SPOR PIHCI Network Comparative Program and Policy Analysis funding opportunity is now open for applications

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research have launched the SPOR Network in Primary and Integrated Health Care Innovation (PIHCI) Comparative Program and Policy Analysis funding opportunity. Details are available on our funding opportunities page.