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OHRI awarded $12M for national network to translate clinical research results into better health

April 30, 2009

The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI), an affiliated institute of the University of Ottawa, has been awarded $12.2M to lead a groundbreaking new national research network called Knowledge Translation Canada (KT Canada). The network will address one of the greatest challenges in health care today: the fact that although we are conducting a great deal of health research, there is a gap in applying the results at the patient’s bedside and in every day health decisions.

The funding for KT Canada includes $9.8M for research projects from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and $2.4M for infrastructure from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), awarded through the highly competitive peer-reviewed Research Hospital Fund / Clinical Research Initiative. The funding will support projects involving more than 50 researchers in six centres in Ontario, Québec and Alberta.

“This funding positions Canada to lead the world in translating health research results into practice and this will lead to better health for Canadians,” said Dr. Jeremy Grimshaw, the lead scientist in KT Canada. Dr. Grimshaw is also a Senior Scientist and Director of the Clinical Epidemiology Program at OHRI and a Professor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. He also holds a Canada Research Chair in Health Knowledge Transfer and Uptake.

“Here at The Ottawa Hospital, Knowledge Translation has already played a crucial role in ensuring that our patients receive the best care,” said Dr. Duncan Stewart, CEO and Scientific Director, OHRI, Vice-President, Research, The Ottawa Hospital and Professor of Medicine, University of Ottawa. “One example would be the ‘decision rules’ for head and ankle injuries developed here in our emergency department and now used around the world. These rules translate the results from many research studies into simple steps that staff can follow to ensure that patients are receiving the best care.”

In explaining the vision and value of Knowledge Translation, Dr. Alain Beaudet, President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research said, “Billions of dollars are invested globally each year in the world’s smartest people and best research technologies to advance the frontiers of health knowledge. It is critical that this new knowledge be harnessed more effectively in ways that deliver meaningful health and commercial benefits to individuals across this country and around the world.”

“The more we grapple with the intricacies of Knowledge Translation, the more we see how challenging it is to present complex and sometimes contradictory research findings in a reliable and trustworthy format for the people who use and apply health knowledge,” said Dr. Ian Graham, Vice-President, Knowledge Translation at CIHR. “By studying ways to improve the application of health research, KT Canada will not only be advancing the science of knowledge translation, but also contributing to improving the process of health care and health outcomes. For physicians and other health care workers, better Knowledge Translation means treating patients as efficiently as possible, and for the public, Knowledge Translation means useful and understandable information that allows people to make better decisions affecting wellbeing and health.”

KT Canada researchers will work on projects in specific areas (such as diabetes, infectious disease and pediatric problems), but they will generate results that can be applied in any field.

The overarching goals of the Network are:

  • To improve how research results are communicated (for example, by developing guidelines to promote full publication of clinical trial data).
  • To develop a consensus on KT terminology and methods for measuring success.
  • To evaluate various KT approaches (such as clinical decision rules, audit and feedback, web-based quizzes and workshops).
  • To find ways to ensure that KT efforts have a lasting impact across the continuum of care by engaging health professionals, community members and various health decision-making groups.

KT Canada will include a major training initiative for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows as well as a webcast seminar series open to researchers, clinicians, health policy-makers, trainees and other stakeholders (available here: ktclearinghouse.ca/ktcanada).

KT Canada’s principal investigators include:
  • Dr. Jeremy Grimshaw (Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and University of Ottawa)
  • Dr. Sharon Straus (Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital and University of Toronto)
  • Dr. Brian Haynes (McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences Centre)
  • Dr. France Légaré (Université Laval and Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec)
  • Dr. Annette O’Connor (Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and University of Ottawa)
  • Dr. Anne Sales (University of Alberta)
  • Dr. Andreas Laupacis (Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital and University of Toronto)
  • Dr. John Lavis (McMaster University)
  • Dr. Gaston Godin (Université Laval)
  • Dr. Sumit Majumdar (University of Alberta)
  • Dr. David Johnston (University of Calgary)

About the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) is the research arm of The Ottawa Hospital and is an affiliated institute of the University of Ottawa, closely associated with the University’s Faculties of Medicine and Health Sciences. The OHRI includes more than 1,300 scientists, clinical investigators, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and staff conducting research to improve the understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human disease. www.ohri.ca

About the Canadian Institutes of Health Research
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada’s agency for health research. CIHR’s mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian health-care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to nearly 12,000 health researchers and trainees across Canada. www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca

Media contacts
Jennifer Paterson
Director, Communications and Public Relations
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Tel: 613-798-5555 ext. 19691
Cell: 613-614-5253
jpaterson@ohri.ca

David Coulombe,
CIHR Media Relations,
Tel: 613-941-4563
Cell: 613-808-7526
mediarelations@cihr-irsc.gc.ca