- About ICES
ICES receives core funding from the Ontario Ministry of Health, and has 7 sites located across Ontario, including the Central site in Toronto. ICES is pronounced as letters: “eye – see – ee – ess.”
Population-Based Health Research That Makes a Difference
ICES leads cutting-edge studies that evaluate healthcare delivery and outcomes. ICES researchers access a vast and secure array of Ontario’s health-related data, including population-based health surveys, anonymous patient records and clinical and administrative databases. ICES is recognized as a leader in maintaining the privacy and security of health information.
Quality Health Data
ICES data is an inventory of coded and linkable health data sets. It encompasses much of the publicly funded administrative health services records for the Ontario population eligible for universal health coverage since 1986. This includes health service records for almost 21 million people. The breadth and scope of ICES data is the foundational resource for creating unbiased evidence to drive health system policy, planning and evaluation. It also supports hundreds of research projects each year undertaken by researchers across the province.
ICES is one of a handful of organizations in Ontario that have been specifically designated as a prescribed entity to collect, use, and disclose personal information under the province’s Personal Health Information Protection Act and under the Coroners Act. As a prescribed entity, ICES’ practices and procedures must be reviewed and approved every three years by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario to ensure ICES protects the privacy of individuals whose information it receives and ICES maintains the confidentiality of that information.
ICES is a community of research, data and clinical experts. Many ICES scientists are internationally recognized for their work, and a number of them are practicing clinicians who understand the everyday challenges of healthcare delivery. ICES scientists lead research teams that include expert statisticians and epidemiologists, as well as specialists in knowledge translation, project management, information security and privacy and information technology. This variety of skill sets ensures a multidisciplinary approach to issues and a real-world mosaic of perspectives that is vital to shaping Ontario’s healthcare system.
ICES research results in an evidence base that is published as atlases, investigative reports and peer-reviewed papers, and is used to guide decision-making and inform changes in healthcare policy and delivery. Many ICES reports are undertaken to answer specific questions (known as Applied Health Research Questions) posed by health system stakeholders and policy makers. ICES evidence influences the design, implementation and evaluation of health policy and the delivery of healthcare. Our work is highly regarded in Canada and abroad.
As an independent, not-for-profit corporation and charity, ICES takes pride in its international reputation as a trusted, impartial and credible source of high-quality health and health services research and evidence. ICES receives core funding from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. ICES scientists have highly successful track records competing for peer-reviewed grants from federal agencies, such as the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and from provincial and international funding bodies. Research opportunities at ICES span a wide range of topics and disciplines including drug safety and effectiveness, health system performance, mental health and addictions services, and chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.
A Network Across Ontario
ICES Central is located on the campus of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, with six other physical sites at Queen’s University in Kingston (ICES Queen’s), the University of Ottawa (ICES uOttawa), the University of Toronto (ICES UofT), Western University in London (ICES Western), McMaster University in Hamilton (ICES McMaster), and Health Sciences North Research Institute in Sudbury, in partnership with Laurentian University and NOSM University (ICES North).