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AHRQ Projects

Every year ICES conducts AHRQ projects that will help inform health care planning, policy and program development. Select a fiscal year below to view ICES AHRQ projects accepted that year.

For each project, title, project ID, type of response, the name of the knowledge user, ICES scientist and status are provided. For more information on any project or to obtain a copy of the final deliverable, contact ahrq@ices.on.ca

The information is updated on a quarterly basis. Click on the project title to view more information.

Last updated: February 2020

Project ID: 2019-001/2020 0908 039 000
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: McMaster Family Health Team
ICES Scientists: Michelle Howard, Refik Saskin
Summary: As part of the public health collaborations across the city of Hamilton with family physicians and public health officials, planning discussions are ongoing to understand how to best serve the primary care needs of the community. The knowledge user is seeking information on low-acuity emergency department use as one indicator of primary care need. This will help to plan for family medicine services for the city.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2019-002/2020 0950 055 000
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit
ICES Scientist: Refik Saskin
Summary: The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has developed a profile of local neighbourhoods to better understand patterns of health and health care for a variety of demographic and health status characteristics. The request details health status and related behaviours by neighbourhood, focusing on rates of diabetes, asthma, COPD, cancer screening, hypertension and congestive heart failure, opioid prescribing rates and percentage of residents with a family doctor. The information will be used for program planning and service delivery.
Status: In progress


Project ID: 2019-003/2020 0900 645 001
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN)
ICES Scientists: Rick Glazier, Michael Paterson
Summary: The detection and treatment of retinopathy, a complication of diabetes, can prevent blindness in up to 90% of those affected. OTN’s teleophthalmology program improves rates of access to retinal assessment and follow-up for patients with diabetes. This study will describe the unscreened diabetic population, its resource use and comorbidities. The analyses will inform the Teleophthalmology Advisory Group, host program partners and system planners to implement outreach and adoption activities designed to attract more patients requiring this care.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2019-004/2020 0950 053 000
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Alliance for Healthier Communities
ICES Scientist: Rick Glazier
Summary: The purpose of this request is to understand the characteristics of people without attachment to primary care to ensure that everyone can access primary care if they want to. In addition to the numbers of unattached patients, an understanding of their health and social characteristics is needed to inform planning and determine what other supports are required.  To inform primary care and community mental health service planning, it is important to understand the characteristics of the unattached related to sociodemographic information and mental health and addictions issues
Status: In progress


Project ID: 2019-005/2020 0906 354 001
Type of Response: Research project
Knowledge User: South West Regional Cancer Program (SWRCP)
ICES Scientist: Salimah Shariff
Summary: The SWRCP seeks to understand the regional system baseline measures in terms of provider capacity and burden of disease in order to identify gaps and opportunities for quality improvement. The request details patters of diagnoses, referral and treatment from 2010 to present. Results will provide a baseline assessment and assist in identifying opportunities to increase system capacity and better determine appropriateness of care by the different providers.
Status: In progress


Project ID: 2019-006/2020 0950 048 000
Type of Response: Rapid response
Knowledge User: City of Hamilton
ICES Scientist: Refik Saskin
Summary: Hamilton Public Health Services is undertaking a situational assessment to estimate the number of individuals who will benefit from a publicly funded dental program for low-income seniors. The request will determine how many seniors are eligible for Ontario Drug Benefit co-payment reduction. Results will help to estimate client volumes, which will inform resourcing and planning of dental services.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2019-007/2020 0950 059 000
Type of Response: Research project
Knowledge User: Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences
ICES Scientist: Michael Paterson
Summary: Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences seeks a comprehensive understanding of its outpatient population. The request details sociodemographic characteristics, types of services or providers accessed, patterns of prescription fills, emergency department use and physician referral patterns, compared to other patients in Ontario. This information will support Ontario Shores’ efforts to improve access to and quality of care for this population.
Status: In progress


Project ID: 2019-008/2020 0950 048 000
Type of Response: Rapid response
Knowledge User: Thunder Bay District Health Unit
ICES Scientist: Refik Saskin
Summary: Thunder Bay District Health Unit is undertaking a situational assessment to determine an estimate of the number of seniors who will benefit from a publicly funded dental program for low-income seniors. The eligibility criteria for the program aligns with the co-payment reduction under the Ontario Drug Benefit. The request will determine how many seniors are eligible for Ontario Drug Benefit co-payment reduction. Results will help to estimate client volumes, which will inform resourcing and planning of dental services.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2019-010/2020 0950 048 000
Type of Response: Rapid response
Knowledge User: Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
ICES Scientist: Refik Saskin
Summary: The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit will be implementing a publicly funded dental program for low-income seniors as mandated by the province. The eligibility criteria for the program aligns with the co-payment reduction under the Ontario Drug Benefit. The request will determine how many seniors are eligible for the co-payment reduction. The findings will help to estimate client volumes, which will inform resourcing and planning of dental services.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2019-011/2020 0950 048 000
Type of Response: Rapid response
Knowledge User: Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
ICES Scientist: Refik Saskin
Summary: The Hastings Prince Edward Public Health Unit will be implementing a publicly funded dental program for low-income seniors as mandated by the province. The eligibility criteria for the program aligns with the co-payment reduction under the Ontario Drug Benefit. The request will determine how many seniors are eligible for the co-payment reduction. Results will help to estimate client volumes, which will inform resourcing and planning of dental services.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2019-012/2020 0950 048 000
Type of Response: Rapid response
Knowledge User: Regional Municipality of Halton
ICES Scientist: Refik Saskin
Summary: The Regional Municipality of Halton will be implementing a publicly funded dental program for low-income seniors as mandated by the province. The eligibility criteria for the program aligns with the co-payment reduction under the Ontario Drug Benefit. The request will determine how many seniors are eligible for the co-payment reduction. Results will help to estimate client volumes, which will inform resourcing and planning of dental services.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2019-013/2020 0950 048 000
Type of Response: Rapid response
Knowledge User: Southwestern Public Health Unit
ICES Scientist: Refik Saskin
Summary: The Southwestern Public Health Unit will be implementing a publicly funded dental program for low-income seniors as mandated by the province. The eligibility criteria for the program aligns with the co-payment reduction under the Ontario Drug Benefit. The request will determine how many seniors are eligible for the co-payment reduction. Results will help to estimate client volumes, which will inform resourcing and planning of dental services.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2019-014/2020 0950 050 000
Type of Response: Rapid response
Knowledge User: CorHealth Ontario
ICES Scientist: Michael Paterson
Summary: Information on OHIP billing service volumes and payments for echocardiography services from 2005/06 to 2018/19 is requested. These data will be used to determine whether there were changes in trends of echocardiography use and costs following the introduction of the Echocardiography Quality Improvement Program and CorHealth Ontario standards.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2019-015/TRIM TBD
A request from an Indigenous community or organization has been accepted.
Status: In progress


Project ID: 2019-016/2020 0950 063 000
A request from an Indigenous community or organization has been accepted.
Status: In progress


Project ID: 2019-018/2020 0950 056 000
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Rehabilitative Care Alliance
ICES Scientist: Ruth Hall
Summary: The Rehabilitative Care Alliance has implemented a measurement and reporting strategy for rehabilitative care system performance. Key system-level indicators include emergency department visits for falls, repeat emergency department visits and hospital admissions for falls, and post-emergency department visits for falls among community-dwelling seniors. The information will be used to inform quality improvement work focused on secondary fall prevention and supporting seniors living in the community.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2019-019/2020 0950 058 000
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Planned Parenthood Ottawa
ICES Scientist: Michael Paterson
Summary: Medical abortion with the drug Mifegymiso (DIN 02444038) can be prescribed by any primary care provider and requires few health resources, compared to a surgical abortion. This request is seeking information on the geographic accessibility of medical abortion and use of the A920 fee code in each Local Health Integration Network. 
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2019-021/2020 0950 064 000
Type of Response: Research project
Knowledge User: Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
ICES Scientist: Refik Saskin, Rob Balogh, Yona Lunsky, David Rudoler
Summary: Adult Ontarians with developmental disabilities have difficulty finding and maintaining appropriate community residential or living arrangements that address their significant mental health needs. Agencies that provide community housing are making some progress toward creating living environments that meet this population’s complex needs, instead of remaining in hospital as “alternate level of care.” The information on potential cost savings for this high-support community may show how cost efficiencies can be obtained through better use of scarce health care resources.
Status: In progress


Project ID: 2019-023/2020 0909 009 000
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Northern Ontario School of Medicine
ICES Scientist: Michael Conlon
Summary: The Continuing Education and Professional Development Office is conducting a needs assessment for the school’s continuing medical education programming. Information on how health care use in Northern Ontario is characterized and changes over time is required to ensure that the programming is addressing the region’s health care needs.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2019-024/2020 0950 057 000
Type of Response: Rapid response
Knowledge User: Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario
ICES Scientist: Natasha Saunders
Summary: The knowledge user is seeking data on children and youth in the Champlain LHIN with mental health and addiction and complex care needs. The report will be used to guide health services planning for the region.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2019-026/2020 0950 066 000
Type of Response: Research project
Knowledge User: Mackenzie Health
ICES Scientist: Refik Saskin
Summary: Heart function clinics are established to reduce mortality, hospital admissions and emergency room visits and to improve the quality of life for patients with heart failure. The purpose of this request is to determine whether a single-centre, community hospital–based clinic led by a nurse practitioner resulted in reduced health care use and influenced outcomes.
Status: In progress


Project ID: 2019-027/TRIM TBD
A request from an Indigenous community or organization has been accepted.
Status: In progress


Project ID: 2019-028/2020 0950 061 000
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Toronto Central LHIN
ICES Scientist: Refik Saskin
Summary: The Toronto Central LHIN is building a quantitative health workforce planning model where baseline information on service requirements (i.e., the number of primary care visits) are being requested. This information will determine if the needs of the population are being met at the neighbourhood level in the City of Toronto. 
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2019-029/2020 0950 070 000
Type of Response: Research project
Knowledge User: Hemophilia Ontario
ICES Scientist: Michael Paterson
Summary: Hemophilia Ontario is developing strategies, plans and programming to continue to support people with bleeding disorders. Comprehensive information on this population is not readily available, making it difficult to plan and develop appropriate programming and supports. Understanding the population and its health care utilization can help inform effective programs and treatments and assist in better managing or mitigating health care utilization.
Status: In progress


Project ID: 2019-030/2020 0950 060 000
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Ontario College of Pharmacists 
ICES Scientist: Michael Paterson
Summary: As part of an overall approach to increase capacity in the health care system and alleviate strain on the provision of urgent care, the Ontario College of Pharmacists is drafting regulations that would authorize pharmacists to prescribe for certain minor ailments. The request is for the number of non-urgent emergency department visits for a discrete list of minor ailments.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2019-031/2020 0950 065 000
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Centre for Family Medicine Family Health Team
ICES Scientist: Susan Bronskill
Summary: Family physicians and pediatricians in the Kitchener-Waterloo area are interested in probing the need for improved pediatric support programs for patients with chronic mobility impairment as a result of brain disorders. The information will help to determine how transitional support and expertise from a mobility clinic will assist this population.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2019-032/2020 0950 062 000
A request from an Indigenous community or organization has been accepted.
Status: In progress


Project ID: 2019-033/2020 0904 000 320
Type of Response: Research project
Knowledge User: Toronto Public Health
ICES Scientist: Laura Rosella
Summary: The City of Toronto’s Newcomer Strategy and community partner agencies are interested in obtaining information related to the incidence and prevalence of chronic health conditions and how they differ for newcomers, long-term immigrants and Canadian-born residents living in Toronto. In line with the Smart Cities Challenge, this information will help to inform programs and services that improve the quality of life for residents by making resources and data available to municipal entities.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2019-037/2020 0950 067 000
Type of Response: Rapid response (Part 1); Research report (Part 2)
Knowledge User: Kemptville District Hospital
ICES Scientist: Michael Paterson
Summary: Information on the seven family health organizations (FHOs) identified and patients served by the physicians within the FHOs are being requested. The purpose of this request is to inform an application to become an Ontario Health Team.
Status: In progress


Project ID: 2019-038/2020 0950 068 000
Type of Response: Research project
Knowledge User: Public Health Ontario
ICES Scientist: Refik Saskin, Jeff Kwong
Summary: Decision-makers at the local and provincial levels are requesting information on the incidence and prevalence of heavy metal poisonings in the Ontario population. The information will inform preventive actions and help estimate the number of individuals who may or may not be receiving adequate follow-up from a health care utilization perspective.
Status: In progress


Project ID: 2019-041/2020 0950 071 000
Type of Response: Rapid response
Knowledge User: Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division, Addictions and Mental Health Ontario, Children’s Mental Health Ontario
ICES Scientist: Maria Chiu
Summary: The knowledge user is requesting indicators depicting mental health and substance related emergency department and hospitalization visits with the goal of providing Ontario Health Teams with a comprehensive picture of hospital use in Ontario. These data will provide evidence to inform decision makers’ plans for integrated care delivery amid the changing framework of Ontario’s healthcare system.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2019-042/2020 0950 072 000
Type of Response: Rapid response
Knowledge User: Toronto Public Health (TPH)
ICES Scientist: Refik Saskin
Summary: In accordance with the Ontario Public Health Standards, Toronto Public Health is interested in determining the number of OHIP claims for laboratory tests for chlamydia billed by commercial labs for Toronto residents between 2014 and 2018. Specifically, the knowledge user would like to use this data to determine the differences between patients receiving services from its own sexual health clinics versus those receiving services in the community. This information will provide evidence to enhance health system performance and sustainability, as well as improve access to clinical services to priority populations and help support healthy sexual practices.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2019-043/2021 0909 013 000
Type of Response: Research report or technical brief
Knowledge User: Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM)
ICES Scientist: Michael Conlon, Refik Saskin
Summary: In accordance with the Ontario Public Health Standards, Toronto Public Health is interested in determining the number of OHIP claims for laboratory tests for chlamydia billed by commercial labs for Toronto residents between 2014 and 2018. Specifically, the knowledge user would like to use this data to determine the differences between patients receiving services from its own sexual health clinics versus those receiving services in the community. This information will provide evidence to enhance health system performance and sustainability, as well as improve access to clinical services to priority populations and help support healthy sexual practices.Information on the characteristics and practice patterns of physicians in Northern Ontario is being requested by the knowledge user for the purposes of informing workforce planning and design, forecasting of physician needs in the North, and the identification of future need to mitigate communities from being underserved. This data will be used by decision makers at NOSM to guide curriculum planning and learner placement activities.
Status: In progress


Project ID: 2019-044/2020 0950 078 000
Type of Response: Research report or technical brief
Knowledge User: Markham Stouffville Hospital, Eastern York Region North Durham Ontario Health Team
ICES Scientist: Lesley Plumptre
Summary: The knowledge user is requesting the data collected in the Health Care Experience Survey (HCES) to assist them with mapping system assets for supporting individuals living with mental health, addictions, and dementia and their caregivers in the catchment area. This data will be used by the OHT to develop an accessible physical and virtual point of contact to those seeking support. The evidence collected will be evaluated to assess the baseline understanding of patient experiences as they relate to access.
Status: In progress


Project ID: 2019-045/2020 0950 074 000
Type of Response: Rapid response
Knowledge User: St. Michael’s Hospital/Unity Health Toronto
ICES Scientists: Michael Schull, Michael Paterson
Summary: Numbers of admissions into 3 hospitals (St. Michael’s, St. Joseph’s, and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre) were requested to aid in the preparation of pandemic planning for the COVID-19 outbreak. These data will be used to anticipated admissions/hospitalizations within these acute care facilities and guide surge planning using post-SARS research and emergency planning measures.
Status: In progress




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