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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, the title, project ID, type of response, names of knowledge user and ICES scientist, and project 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: June 2021

Project ID: 2017-002/2018 0900 633 003
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Central LHIN Regional Cancer Screening Program
ICES Scientist: Refik Saskin
Summary: The Central LHIN Regional Cancer Screening Program is requesting up-to-date screening data to inform screening and prevention initiatives. Annual cancer screening rates for breast, colorectal and cervical cancer for the Central LHIN will be evaluated and used to determine any targeted activities for underscreened areas in the region and inform public and primary care provider engagement activities.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2017-003/2018 0950 005 000
Type of Response: Research project
Knowledge User: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
ICES Scientist: Michael Schull, Walter Wodchis
Summary: Health care spending is concentrated in a small percentage of the population. For example, in Ontario, the top 5% of high-cost users account for two-thirds of health care costs; similar rates are found in the United States, United Kingdom and Netherlands. Comparisons of other jurisdictions is likely to offer insights which are not readily apparent when examining Ontario alone. The research will provide important context for current efforts to provide more integrated, higher quality and higher value care to high-cost patients.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2017-004/2018 0950 019 000
Type of Response: Research project
Knowledge User: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care/ Ministry of Community and Social Services
ICES Scientist: Rick Glazier
Summary: There is interest to understand whether temporal variation in social benefit payments may affect health care utilization among different subgroups enrolled in social benefit payments (Ontario Disability Support Program and Ontario Works). The information will help inform reforms that aid in future program implementation, or any other policy initiatives that seek to improve food security, income stability and reduce avoidable hospital readmissions.
Status: In progress


Project ID: 2017-005/2018 0800 218 000
Type of Response: Research project
Knowledge User: Canada Health Infoway
ICES Scientist: Mike Green
Summary: The Community Paramedicine Remote Patient Monitoring is intended to inform both patients and providers by providing the appropriate level of care at the right time and in the right place, thereby keeping Ontarians safe in their homes longer. The study will draw together 911 emergency services and program delivery data with ICES data to assess whether this program leads to reductions in hospital and community health care costs.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2017-007/2018 0900 863 002
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Region of Peel - Health Services, Public Health
ICES Scientist: Refik Saskin
Summary: The Population Health Assessment Team at Peel Public Health publishes health status data online and requests updated incidence and prevalence data related to chronic diseases. The information will be used to make evidence-informed decisions around planning, implementation, delivery and evaluation of public health programs.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2017-008/2018 0950 025 000
Type of Response: Research projectt
Knowledge User: META:PHI, Women’s College Hospital
ICES Scientist: Erin Graves
Summary: META:PHI Toronto is a collaboration between several Toronto Central LHIN hospitals to implement an integrated care pathway for patients with addiction. The purpose of this request is to facilitate the implementation of evidence-based addiction treatment protocols in different health care settings in order to improve system integration and increase access to quality addiction care throughout the city.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2017-009/2018 0950 016 000
Type of Response: Research project
Knowledge User: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care 
ICES Scientist: Erin Graves
Summary: The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Task Force on Environmental Health requests data on demographic information and health care utilization of patients with environmental sensitivities/multiple chemical sensitivities, myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia. The information will be used to inform guidelines and policies to support patients with these conditions, increase public and health care provider knowledge of these conditions, and identify gaps in evidence and care for those affected by these conditions.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2017-010/2018 0950 006 000
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Toronto Central LHIN 
ICES Scientist: Rick Glazier
Summary: Health care expenditure per capita is an indicator of system cost and a common measure of health system sustainability. The information will be included in the Toronto Central LHIN’s performance dashboard and will be vital in supporting the increasing proportion of older adults in the population.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2017-011/2018 0900 685 001
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: March of Dimes
ICES Scientist: Refik Saskin
Summary: The Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) System Navigator conducts the systemic and strategic collection and dissemination of relevant data to identify local trends, client and caregiver needs, and service pressures. The request details the frequency and trends of concussions, care outcomes and service provision for all Local Health Integration Networks. The information will be reviewed by senior management and service delivery partners and used to create a system of care for survivors of acquired brain injury.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2017-013/2018 0950 009 000
Type of Response: Research project
Knowledge User: Choosing Wisely Canada
ICES Scientist: Sacha Bhatia
Summary: Physician ordering of tests and procedures has increased significantly in recent years, and an examination of this is critical to ensuring the sustainability of the health care system. The purpose of the request is to determine the utilization of selected Choosing Wisely Canada recommendations, focusing on low-value prescriptions. The information will be used to establish baseline utilization rates related to prescribing and ultimately to develop indicators related to overprescribing.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2017-014/2018 0950 013 000
Type of Response: Research project
Knowledge User: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
ICES Scientist: Rick Glazier
Summary: In preparation for the transition of the planning and evaluation of primary care services to the Local Health Integration Networks, the MOH is compiling local area information to support the LHINs. The request calls for an evaluation of three approaches for identifying comprehensive primary care physicians, cancer screening rates and primary care utilization by community health centres.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2017-016/2018 0906 279 000
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Canada Health Infoway
ICES Scientist: Blayne Welk
Summary: To explore telepathology, Canada Health Infoway is looking for data to help provide a detailed understanding of the total number of diagnostic pathology procedures by type and by referral source. The information will be used to inform strategies that will guide investments or activities in digital pathology and telepathology in Ontario.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2017-017/2018 0950 012 000
Type of Response: Research project
Knowledge User: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
ICES Scientist: Harindra Wijeysundera
Summary: Baseline data on the health status of and cost of care for Ontarians suffering from complications related to CIED surgery is required to better understand the funding implications and requirements of introducing innovative therapies such as this one. The information will provide policy makers and health service delivery partners with evidence on potential models of population health management and funding in cardiac care.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2017-018/2018 0900 877 001
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
ICES Scientist: Paul Kurdyak
Summary: The Department of Psychiatry Quality Improvement Steering Committee at Sunnybrook is interesting in implementing a facility-wide suicide prevention initiative to reduce the number of deaths by suicide in hospital and the community. The information will be used to guide development of suicide prevention initiatives to address the needs of the community and patients in the hospital.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2017-019/2018 0950 008 000
Type of Response: Rapid response
Knowledge User: Kingston General Hospital
ICES Scientist: Erin Graves
Summary: Kingston General Hospital is in the process of redesigning the only tertiary care emergency department in the South East LHIN. The hospital is interested in understanding the pattern of emergency department visits over time. The broad objective is to understand the factors that contribute to increasing numbers of ED visits beyond population growth and inform the projections on utilization and capacity.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2017-020/2018 0900 717 001
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation
ICES Scientists: Mark Bayley, Refik Saskin
Summary: To improve the consistency of care and treatment, a clinical practice guideline was developed for the rehabilitation of adults with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury. The Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation has recently completed a survey to determine the degree of implementation of the guideline recommendations and would like to use the survey findings to describe the characteristics of patients discharged to rehabilitation. The information will be used to guide future implementation efforts of the guidelines.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2017-021/2018 0908 012 000
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant LHIN
ICES Scientists: Hsien Seow, Refik Saskin
Summary: In partnership with the Hamilton Health Sciences Centre Corporation, the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant LHIN is in the process of reviewing and redesigning ambulatory services to better serve the patient population. The request details resource utilization trends including acute care, physician services, and home and community care. The information will be used to inform discussions and planning around the organization of health services.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2017-023/2018 0900 843 001
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Sickle Cell Disease Association of Canada
ICES Scientist: Erin Graves
Summary: Sickle cell disease is the most common genetic disease and a cause of significant morbidity and early mortality. The knowledge user requests data on the prevalence and incidence of sickle cell disease in Ontario. The information will assist in the planning and resourcing of expanded comprehensive care.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2017-024/2018 0950 010 000
Type of Response: Rapid response
Knowledge User: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
ICES Scientist: Rick Glazier
Summary: The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is requesting an assessment of the methodological approach used in developing the primary care services capacity assessment framework.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2017-025/2018 0760 247 001
Type of Response: Rapid response
Knowledge User: Middlesex-London Public Health Unit
ICES Scientist: Tara Gomes
Summary: There is growing concern around the prevalence of abuse, misuse and addiction related to opioids. Previous research by the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network (ODPRN) demonstrates considerable geographical variation in opioid use and mortality in the province. The research will help to determine if there are specific areas in Middlesex County and London that have higher rates of opioid use, maintenance therapy and related mortality. The information will be used to identify areas where targeted programs may need to be implemented.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2017-028/2018 0950 014 000
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Peterborough Public Health Unit
ICES Scientist: Jeff Kwong
Summary: A recently published analysis of chlamydia testing in Ontario identified a decrease in chlamydia screening following changes in Pap testing. The medical directors of public health clinics request clarity on whether the rates have indeed decreased by looking at lab data separately from OHIP data. The data will help evaluate the effectiveness of public health clinics to screen high-risk populations in accordance with clinical guidelines.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2017-029/2018 0950 015 000
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
ICES Scientist: Rick Glazier
Summary: Ophthalmology, diagnostic radiology and cardiology are the three highest volume and cost specialties. For each of the three specialties, billing, practice and claims submission patterns are being requested. The information will be used to better understand the factors that explain variation in practice patterns and inform how best to design policies to support optimal patient care.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2017-031/2018 0901 161 000
Type of Response: Research project
Knowledge User: Public Health Ontario
ICES Scientist: Doug Manuel
Summary:Expanding on the Project Big Life application program interface (API) developed from the ICES/Public Health Ontario Seven More Years Report, a new “batch mode” feature of the API will allow an all-cause mortality risk algorithm (MPoRT) to be performed on databases containing thousands of individual respondents, instead of the existing “individual mode.” This work represents a data science approach to allow health planners to use predictive analytics that were developed using ICES data.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2017-033/2018 0904 000 070
A request from an Indigenous community or organization has been accepted.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2017-036/2016 0900 771 001
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: West Park Healthcare Centre
ICES Scientist: Louise Rose
Summary: The Transitional Home Ventilation Program was established at the West Park Healthcare Centre in 2010 to monitor ICUs and facilitate transition through the program to an appropriate community or long-term care setting, rather than remaining in the ICU. The purpose of this request is to understand the associated costs of health care use after discharge from the program to elucidate potential cost savings to stakeholders.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2017-037/2018 0950 021 000 
Type of Response: Research project
Knowledge User: KFL&A Public Health Unit
ICES Scientist: Ana Johnson, Erin Graves
Summary: Opioids are widely prescribed following surgery, and evidence suggests that (1) these drugs are prescribed in higher doses and duration than may be necessary; (2) there is suboptimal use of non-opioid analgesic drugs and techniques; and (3) the elderly are particularly susceptible to adverse effects of opioid medications (including cognitive deficits and falls). Data are requested on the rate of opioid use in the elderly following major joint replacement surgery, the ongoing use of opioids and rates of opioid-related hospitalizations, and opioid-related health care use and costs. The information will be used to further inform policy and mandatory educational strategies for physicians and surgeons.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2017-038/2018 0950 020 000 
Type of Response: Research project
Knowledge User: Michael Garron Hospital
ICES Scientists: Louise Rose, Erin Graves
Summary: The PWC provides specialized care for patients admitted from ICUs experiencing prolonged ventilator dependence but with anticipated ability to eventually discontinue ventilator support. Data on referral pathways, subsequent care transitions, subsequent use of acute health care and care received in the community are being requested. The data will be used to support the PWC program on an ongoing basis, identify potential areas for improvement following PWC discharge and understand post-discharge health care use and survival trajectory.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2017-039/2018 0950 022 000
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Region of Peel, Health Services, Public Health
ICES Scientist: Laura Rosella
Summary: Peel Public Health is requesting data for a select list of indicators (mental health, chronic disease, disabilities in childhood and number of physicians) that will inform a comprehensive health status report. This report will examine current issues that influence the health of Peel’s residents, provide direction for the 2019 strategic plan and inform discussions with Local Health Integration Networks to facilitate the delivery of programs.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2017-040/2018 0950 023 000
Type of Response: Research project
Knowledge User: Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health
ICES Scientists: Liz Darling, Erin Graves
Summary: A gap analysis of obstetric, midwifery and birthing services, collectively referred to as intrapartum care, can vary greatly across the province. Data on how these services are distributed and how different areas compare to one another in clinical outcomes are of interest. The research evidence will be used to identify the current range of capacities and outcomes, and will support the planning, design and implementation of strategies and quality improvement efforts in Ontario.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2017-041/2018 0950 026 000
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Thunder Bay District Health Unit
ICES Scientist: Laura Rosella
Summary: The health status of residents of the Thunder Bay District Health Unit’s service region varies greatly across its municipalities. A better understanding of the region’s unique health needs will allow the Thunder Bay District Health Unit and its community partners to make evidence-informed decisions about program planning and priorities for each municipality. Indicators of disease prevalence and enrolment with a family doctor are requested.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2017-042/2019 0950 034 000
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario
ICES Scientist: Rick Glazier
Summary: Of the different primary care models which exist in Ontario (patients enrolled in Family Health Teams, patients enrolled in other primary care models, and the general population), it is unclear whether costs are decreasing. The knowledge user requests details on health care utilization drivers of changes in cost and whether these costs differ for patients with mental illness or multimorbidity. The information will inform discussions regarding expansion of access to team-based primary care in Ontario.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2017-043/2018 0950 018 000
Type of Response: Rapid response
Knowledge User: Ministry of Community and Social Services
ICES Scientists: Walter Wodchis, Refik Saskin
Summary: There is a need to understand the health needs and health care utilization of social assistance recipients and whether there are coordinated approaches to delivering services that may better serve recipients while also being cost-effective. The request seeks demographic profiles of social assistance recipients in the top 10% of health care users compared to non-social assistance population in the top 10%. The information will determine whether social assistance recipients’ health profiles may differ from other high-cost users and inform discussions around potential interventions to improve health status and reduce health care costs.
Status: Completed

Project ID: 2017-045/2018 0950 024 000
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
ICES Scientist: Erin Graves
Summary: The purpose of the quality-based procedure (QBP) for low-risk birth is to reduce the variation in c-section rates among low-risk women through the adoption of evidence-based guidelines. It is unclear how the patient cohort differs using the BORN Ontario definition compared to the definition used by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). The information will inform efforts to resolve identified differences in the inclusion and exclusion criteria and, ultimately, which definition and data sources to use for the QBP.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2017-046/2019 0901 168 000
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Ottawa Victim Services
ICES Scientist: Doug Manuel
Summary: Ottawa Victim Services provides crisis intervention, emotional support, practice assistance, information and referrals to individuals affected by crime and tragic circumstances. The knowledge user seeks an estimate of the frequency of sexual assault re-victimization cases compared to single assault cases, and intends to identify risk factors that may influence re-victimization. The information will help Ottawa Victim Services to cater programs and policies to align with evidence and gain a deeper understanding of patterns and predictors.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2017-047/2019 0950 031 000
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health
ICES Scientist: Refik Saskin
Summary: Two recent admissions to non-tertiary care hospitals of children who lived with ventilatory assist devices were reviewed by a tertiary hospital where the children were ultimately transferred to ICU and extended hospitalization. They were transferred due to staff inexperience and lack of equipment at the former hospital. The knowledge user requests the volume of acute care hospitalization of children/youth who live with ventilatory support to tertiary hospitals and non-tertiary hospitals and the discharge disposition following admission at either hospital. The information will be used to determine the type and scope of response required by the Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health, which may include broader education about communication between tertiary providers and community hospitals.
Status: Completed




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