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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: 2018-001/2019 0901 172 000
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
ICES Scientist: Eric Benchimal
Summary: As part of the Newborn Screening Ontario Advisory Council’s nomination of biliary atresia as a target for newborn screening, this project sought to understand the current status of the disease in the province and identify likely benefits and potential risks. The findings will inform health system performance and sustainability and community-based care and help to develop a definition for a preferred model of care. 
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2018-003/2019 0950 030 000
Type of Response: Research project
Knowledge User: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
ICES Scientist: Fiona Kouyoumdjian
Summary: There is growing interest in transforming Ontario’s correctional system by using data on the health status of those detained or incarcerated in provincial facilities to better understand their health care needs. The request details health care status, presence of substance use disorders, communicable diseases, mental illness and health care utilization. The findings will be used to inform policy and planning and the development and evaluation of better models of care in these contexts.
Status: In progress


Project ID: 2018-004/2019 0866 010 003
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
ICES Scientist: Michael Schull
Summary: The Physical Compensation Review Project was conducted to gather and analyze information on Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care–funded physician incomes and associated policies over time. The project will obtain an additional year of data to support the Ministry‘s strategic planning, budgeting, forecasting/modelling and communications efforts.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2018-005/2019 0950 033 000
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
ICES Scientist: Michael Schull, Erin Graves, Elisa Candido
Summary: The 2017/18 surge bed strategy increased capacity in Ontario hospitals during peak times of use. The evaluation aims to determine whether the strategy was successful in reducing hallway medicine. Daily average number of emergency department visits and length of stay will be compared in hospitals that received the additional funding. The findings will help to evaluate the implications of providing hospitals with additional beds and future funding.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2018-006/2019 0900 784 001 
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Durham Region Health Department
ICES Scientist: Gillian Booth, Erin Graves, Michael Paterson
Summary: Durham Region requests measures of the health status of its residents by neighbourhood and over time by examining the prevalence and incidence of diabetes, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and hypertension. The information will be used to assess the health status of vulnerable and special needs populations, specifically those living with mental illness and addiction, for the purposes of population health assessment and future program planning and evaluation.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2018-007/2019 0900 633 004
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 data to inform screening and prevention initiatives. Annual screening rates for breast, colorectal and cervical cancer for the Central LHIN will be evaluated and used to determine targeting activities for underscreened areas and inform public and primary care provider engagement activities.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2018-010/2018 0906 346 000
Type of Response: Research project
Knowledge User: London Health Sciences Centre
ICES Scientist: Salimah Shariff, Blayne Welk
Summary: The London Health Sciences Centre explored the health care utilization pathways of individuals who accessed and were discharged from the Clinical Teaching Unit, an internal medicine ward at LHSC, over the course of one year. Research evidence will be used to aid in the development of strategies to improve the quality of care and support those who are high users of the health system and at high risk for readmission.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2018-011/2019 0950 032 000
Type of Response: Rapid response
Knowledge User: Ontario Medical Association
ICES Scientist: Rick Glazier
Summary: As the member association for physicians in Ontario, the OMA is interested in the history of physician incomes in the province. The information collected may be used to inform the ongoing arbitration process with the Government of Ontario, influence health system performance and sustainability, and inform other government branches such as policy/research and economics.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2018-013/2019 0950 040 000 
Type of Response: Research project
Knowledge User: OntarioMD
ICES Scientist: Michael Paterson
Summary: eNotifications delivered by OntarioMD provide primary care providers with information about their patients’ admission to or discharge from hospital. OntarioMD is interested in learning if there is a connection between the implementation of eNotifications and a decline in readmission rates to hospital emergency departments. Using indicators such as OHIP number, primary care provider and hospital identifier, research evidence gathered from this request will potentially impact future provincial planning regarding eNotifications and may increase the program’s uptake in hospitals should it demonstrate effectiveness. 
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2018-014/2019 0950 035 000
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS)
ICES Scientist: Paul Kurdyak
Summary: The Ministry of Children and Youth Services has provided “children and youth mental health core services” resource allocation data to the Ontario Child Health Study team. The information requested here will be compared and correlated to the allocation data to understand which resources for child and youth mental health services in Ontario are being allocated according to need. The study findings may influence evidence-informed practices with regard to government funding, resource allocation and planning for future child and youth mental health services.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2018-015/2020 0900 863 003
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Region of Peel, Health Services, Public Health
ICES Scientist: Laura Rosella
Summary: In accordance with the Ontario Public Health Standards, the Region of Peel requests prevalence and incidence data for several chronic diseases, including diabetes, COPD, ischemic heart disease and asthma, to update its website presentation of population health data for staff and stakeholders. The research evidence will be used to make decisions regarding the planning, implementation and delivery of public health programs. 
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2018-016/2019 0900 556 006
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Epilepsy Ontario
ICES Scientist: Susan Bronskill
Summary: This research project seeks to analyze the emergency department usage costs of those with epilepsy to identify visits that could potentially be avoided with community-based epilepsy education and support programs. This research was brought about through the experiences of community epilepsy agencies that point to the need for patient education on when seizures should be considered medical emergencies. The evidence gathered from this project will be used to demonstrate the costs of emergency department use and how they could be offset through proposed funding to epilepsy support and education programs.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2018-017/2018 0950 038 000
Type of Response: Research project
Knowledge User: Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences
ICES Scientist: Laura Rosella
Summary: Ontario Shores requests data to identify the characteristics of the hospital’s patient population and help it develop population health and/or early intervention strategies to alleviate health morbidity costs. Characteristics requested by the knowledge user include immigrant status of patients, types of providers/services they have accessed, patterns of prescription fill rates, emergency department usage rates and rates of mental health diagnosis. On a larger scale, the prevalence of mental illness and addiction is expected to grow, and this research was proposed to provide evidence for the development a five-year road map that will advance the mental health of the Central East LHIN population while reducing costs. 
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2018-018/2019 0950 036 000
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Indicators for HKPRD Health Unit neighbourhoods
ICES Scientist: Erin Graves, Michael Paterson
Summary: As a collaborative effort between the Central East LHIN and the Durham Region Health Department, this request seeks to identify health status differences at the municipal and sub-municipal level in order to assess rates of distribution for several indicators including rates for cancer screening, life expectancy, Ontario Marginalization Index and mental health services. The evidence collected will be used to identify, target and deliver programs and services to populations that may currently be underserved due to their geographic location.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2018-019/2019 0950 039 000
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Respiratory Therapy Society of Ontario
ICES Scientist: Refik Saskin
Summary: Current evidence suggests there are significant positive outcomes associated with integrating registered respiratory therapists into non-traditional primary and home care settings. As part of a workforce planning initiative, the knowledge user seeks to correlate therapist location and employer type data to help identify the distribution of care and gaps in access to care. As a result, the knowledge user will also identify the needs of respiratory patients and contribute to the evidence-based system planning decisions on responsiveness to respiratory patient needs and available resources.
Status: In progress


Project ID: 2018-020/2019 0950 037 000
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: London Health Sciences Centre and CorHealth Ontario
ICES Scientist: Erin Graves
Summary: The knowledge users requests information on comparing two definitions used to diagnose and treat heart failure. This is part of the Heart Failure Care Initiative championed by CorHealth and implemented first by the London Health Sciences Centre. The findings will help to organize and integrate the care of those living with heart failure, as well as inform future system planning for this cohort.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2018-021/2019 0906 354 000
Type of Response: Research project
Knowledge User: South West Regional Cancer Program
ICES Scientist: Salimah Shariff
Summary: To better understand patterns of referral and treatment for melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers in the South West region from 2008 to the present, the knowledge user requests data on types of service provider, geographic region and changes in incidence rate over time. With this information, the knowledge user will be able to better understand provider capacity and burden of disease and identify gaps and opportunities for quality improvement.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2018-022/2020 0900 843 002
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Sickle Cell Awareness Group of Ontario
ICES Scientist: Erin Graves, Michael Campitelli
Summary: There are an estimated 3,345 cases of sickle cell disease in Ontario. However, many of those affected by the disease are not treated in comprehensive care centres and as a result are not recorded on any patient registry. By gathering data from several administrative databases, the knowledge user intends to understand the burden of this disease and determine the resource requirements of comprehensive care.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2018-024/2019 0950 041 000
Type of Response: Research project
Knowledge User: South East Local Health Integration Network
ICES Scientist: Ana Johnson, Michael Campitelli
Summary: Currently, patients requiring vision rehabilitation experience fractured and disparate care. The South East Ontario Vision Rehabilitation Service (SOVRS), a patient-centred service, was established to target these gaps. By monitoring the health care resource use of individuals with low vision in the South East LHIN, the knowledge user will be able to determine health care utilization rates and costs of the SOVRS. As well, data collected from this project may help develop and influence the policy strategy to guide and improve vision rehabilitation care.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2018-027/2019 0900 784 002
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Regional Municipality of Halton – Health Department 
ICES Scientist: Erin Graves, Michael Paterson
Summary: The knowledge user requests chronic disease indicators to help complete their neighbourhood profiles. Specifically, there is interest in the incidence and prevalence of diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, COPD, and visits for mental health and addiction treatments. The information will better identify health issues and health disparities within the population, as well as facilitate planning and evaluating public health programs, services and policies.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2018-028/2020 0904 000 260 
Type of Response: Research project
Knowledge User: North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit
ICES Scientist: Laura Rosella
Summary: The knowledge user is interested in regional population health indicators and the impact of public health and health care programs that service 120,000 residents. The research evidence collected will inform a variety of public health programs in the region, help develop services or programming that would mitigate the effects of population-based disparities and point to areas where more research is required to better understand the populations.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2018-029/2019 0950 042 000 
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: City of Toronto – Social Development Finance Administration
ICES Scientist: Rick Glazier
Summary: As part of the Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy 2020, the knowledge user requests information on the latest available data for self-reported mental health in Toronto. The data collected will help create a measure of neighbourhood equity that will inform senior managers and city council on changes within Toronto’s neighbourhoods since the project was initiated. 
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2018-030/2019 0866 010 004
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Ministry of Health
ICES Scientist: Michael Schull
Summary: The purpose of this request is to gather complete longitudinal data on Ministry of Health–funded physician incomes by specialty, to determine how the average physician income has changed over time, and to identify ways in which different policies have affect physician incomes over time. In effect, the research evidence will assist the Ministry with strategic planning, budgeting, forecasting/modelling and other initiatives.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2018-033/2020 0950 044 000
Type of Response: Research project
Knowledge User: Central East Local Health Integration Network
ICES Scientist: Salimah Shariff
Summary: In an effort to redesign the CRSP system of care, the Regional Cardiac Care Program in the Central East LHIN developed a new delivery model that provided standardized care and high-quality services and has received increased funding and capacity with every year. Research evidence gathered from this request will be used to evaluate this model of care delivery and determine program effectiveness and support policy development and planning that aims to further reduce health care costs.
Status: In progress


Project ID: 2018-034/2020 0950 051 000
A request from an Indigenous community or organization has been accepted.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2018-035/2019 0906 222 001
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Ontario Renal Network (ORN)
ICES Scientist: Amit Garg
Summary: This request seeks to determine the distribution of kidney function laboratory values among persons in Ontario who have been screened for or diagnosed with chronic kidney disease in the primary care setting. Current research shows that some patients with chronic kidney disease experience increased kidney function after having laboratory tests repeated by a nephrologist. The evidence gathered will be used by the knowledge user to inform criteria for optimal timing of referral to a nephrologist and to potentially revise current criteria for a nephrology referral. 
Status: In progress


Project ID: 2018-036/ 2020 0909 010 000
Type of Response: Research project
Knowledge User: Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare
ICES Scientist: Michael Conlon, Michael Paterson
Summary: Muskoka is a largely rural region of Ontario with a high influx of seasonal residents who create additional demand on local health care services. As a result, two hospitalists (physicians who specialize in the practice of hospital medicine) were made available to provide weekly care to all inpatients in efforts to reduce the workload and ensure support. Data will be gathered on a comparative basis using a pre- and post-study design of a two-hospitalists-per-week option. The research evidence gathered will be used to identify the best course of physician allocation to achieve optimal levels of patient care, cost and physician quality of life. 
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2018-037/2019 0950 043 000
Type of Response: Research project
Knowledge User: Emergency Medicine Researchers of Niagara, Niagara Health
ICES Scientist: Erin Graves, Michael Paterson
Summary: Homeless patients require a higher level of care that is not available in an emergency department. The knowledge user seeks to determine when an intervention such as peer support workers should be available in the emergency department to homeless patients in the Niagara peninsula. The evidence gathered is intended to (1) shed light on how peer support workers influence homeless patient behaviours with regards to discharge, follow up and readmission to the emergency department, and (2) shape the way homeless patients are serviced in the emergency department as a marginalized group.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2018-038/2019 0909 007 000
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Health Sciences North
ICES Scientist: Michael Conlon
Summary: The knowledge user requests information on the types and locations of health care services accessed by children and youth in the North East LHIN with a view to developing enhanced services and access to care for this population. This research question stems from evidence of stress that children and families undergo when they travel out of their home region to receive specialized health care services. Not only will enhanced services relieve some of this burden on the patients, but also free up capacity at other medical facilities. The data collected will be used as part of a larger initiative to improve access to care in the North East LHIN.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2018-039/2020 0900 633 005
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: 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 in the Central LHIN will be evaluated and used to determine targeting activities for underscreened areas in the region and inform public and primary care provider engagement activities.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2018-040/2020 0950 045 000
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Toronto Central LHIN 
ICES Scientist: Rick Glazier
Summary: To better understand health system costs within the Toronto Central LHIN, the knowledge user wishes to examine costs at a sub-region level rather than on a per capita basis. The information will be used by senior management and health service delivery partners to inform the current model of care and how integrated care may change health system costs.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2018-041/2020 0950 047 000
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services 
ICES Scientist: Maria Chiu
Summary: A recent health status report by the knowledge user showed that rates of ED visits for self-harm in the Waterloo Region are higher than the provincial average and increasing over time. To address this, the knowledge user, in collaboration with the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council, sought to better understand the profiles of those dying by suicide and what services, if any, are being used by those at risk of suicide. By combining indicators such as level of education, income, employment status and gender identity/sexual orientation with qualitative research findings, the knowledge user will determine how to implement more effective suicide prevention activities in the region.
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2018-042/2020 0950 052 000
Type of Response: Research project
Knowledge User: Quinte Health Care
ICES Scientist: Joan Tranmer
Summary: This research project seeks to describe characteristics and patterns of primary and specialist networks of care for adult patients with COPD in the South East LHIN by using indicators such as scope of services, access to care, hospital admissions/readmissions and emergency visits in a five-year period. The purpose of this request is to create supports for a patient-centric network of care in which providers and services collaborate to provide care to patients with COPD. This research is intended to lead to the integration of care for patients with COPD in the Quinte sub-region and to ascertain whether certain areas have a higher prevalence of individuals with COPD. 
Status: Completed


Project ID: 2018-043/2020 0950 049 000 
Type of Response: Research report
Knowledge User: Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS)
ICES Scientist: Elisa Candido
Summary: Due to the stigma associated with HIV and hepatitis as a result of the misplaced fear of cross-contamination between specimens, it is unknown whether blood-borne viral infection testing is cost effective. The research evidence gathered from this brief will be used to inform CFAS guidelines and set standards of screening and care for Canadian health care providers and patients involved in fertility treatment.
Status: Completed


Project ID:2018-044/2020 0950 069 000
Type of Response: Research project
Knowledge User: Bruyere Continuing Care
ICES Scientists: Michael Campitelli, Susan Bronskill, Claire Kendall and Peter Tanuseputro
Summary: Due to the increasingly complex levels of care and decreasing lengths of stay of the patient population at Bruyere Continuing Care, the knowledge user is looking to improve care delivery and promote better use of system resources. Using the research evidence gathered, the knowledge user will determine the factors that result in increased use of acute care and implement appropriate quality improvement initiatives or collaborations with other organizations to mitigate this. Specifically, the knowledge user hopes to conduct a trial of enhancing occupational therapy home visits prior to discharge and target additional resources that could alleviate the burden on acute care services.
Status: Completed




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