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See what the research team has been working on


The Maritime Family Practice Regional Network’s largest activity is as a node for CPCSSN, the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network. It continues to thrive with now over 80,000 Nova Scotia primary care patients included.  Each year the network grows, both in terms of the number who have ‘plugged in’ to the network and the quality of the data being collected. 

In Nova Scotia, we have recruited 55 sentinel physicians and nurse practitioners from 20 sites, both urban and rural environments, and are poised to expand further over the next several months.  The sites incorporate the Nightingale electronic medical record (EMR) system. In addition to general health information, data are being collected on eight chronic diseases:  hypertension, diabetes, osteoarthritis, COPD, depression, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia.  The data are robust and the algorithms used by CPCSSN to identify cases of diabetes, hypertension, etc. have a sensitivity and specificity of 90 per cent and higher, in most cases.  Researchers are already beginning to use the collected data for research projects and it is expected that the data resulting from CPCSSN efforts will become a key information source for national chronic disease management.

Read more about the Canadian Primary Care SEntinel Surveillance Network.

Read more about Hypertension in patients with Type 2 Diabetes


Collaborative Research for Primary Healthcare originates from a Strategic Research Initiative Grant from Dalhousie University. This inter-faculty research team is designed to build collaborative primary healthcare projects that cross faculties and disciplines.  Working together are researchers from family medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, occupational and physical therapy, social work, psychology, sociology, epidemiology, health informatics, health policy and more.  Exciting developments are in the works for the coming year!  For more information, please visit us at http://dal.ca/cor-phc


Sixty Nova Scotia practices participated in this study of the “Quality and Costs of Primary Care”.  Key questions were to determine how primary care is organized in Canada and how patient experience compares province-to-province and to other countries.  Results will be forthcoming in soon.


The Models of Access and Practices in Nova Scotia study aims to build a descriptive atlas of how all primary practices in Nova Scotia are organized and specifically what access is like from the patient’s perspective.  Preliminary findings are already being presented and are of interest to our local decision-makers and providers.


The Transdisciplinary Understanding and Training on Research – Primary Health Care programme has been a tremendous success with well over 100 trainees having participated since its inception.  The objective, to build a critical mass of skilled, independent researchers and to increase the interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary focus in primary health care, has clearly been met. The trainees, many now independent researchers,  are influencing the way in which primary care research is being conducted.  The applicants for the tenth and final year of training have been selected and discussion is underway in how to sustain this program.


Care-By-Design (CBD), a new model of primary medical care in Long Term Care in the Capital District Health Authority, aims to provide comprehensive, skilled, timely resident-centered care making appropriate use of specialized health care resources in serving residents.  The coordinated nature of the CBD model has created relationships, lines of communication and structures for sharing ongoing concerns and collaborations for finding solutions.  Preliminary are demonstrating the effectiveness of this approach to care.


The TRANSFORMATION Study is a multi-provincial research project aiming to improve both the science of performance measurement and the ways those results are reported to practitioners, decision makers, and the public to encourage improvement within the health care system. To view information on our four linked studies, please visit www.transformationphc.ca or contact our Project Manager, Stephanie Blackman, at transform@dal.ca and follow us on Twitter. (@transformphc).


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