The Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) is one of only a few organizations in Ontario permitted to access, link and analyze health administrative data for the purpose of generating evidence to inform decisions in policy and practice. Although ICES is a leading research institute, its access to the data has historically been restricted to scientists with an ICES affiliation. This requirement, designed to meet ICES' data privacy and security obligations, created barriers with respect to the widespread use of Ontario's data assets. In 2014, as part of the government's commitment to the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research, ICES launched the Data & Analytic Services platform, which is aimed at increasing access to data and analytic services to investigators external to ICES. In making the data widely available to the broader research community, this initiative engages investigators involved in front-line care, stimulates new avenues of research and fosters collaboration that was previously challenging or unfeasible.
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