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Research and Evaluation Department available to assist physicians

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The Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information (NLCHI) places a strong emphasis on the value of health research and offers many services of interest to physicians.

By NLHCI Staffr

The Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information (NLCHI) places a strong emphasis on the value of health research. Its research and evaluation department staff are trained in applied health and epidemiological research methods, including both quantitative and qualitative research techniques. In carrying out research, the department uses a variety of databases, including national survey data, the Medical Care Plan (MCP) database, hospital discharge, births and deaths.

The department offers many services of interest to physicians. Each year, it responds to about 200 requests for information. Information sessions for interested organizations are also conducted. The goal of these sessions is to inform individuals how NLCHI and, in particular, the research and evaluation department can assist stakeholders in accessing and using health information in support of planning, decision-making and evaluation.

Since being established in 1996, the department has released over 75 health reports. It also publishes summary reports, known as Fast Facts, throughout the year. A sample Fast Facts brochure is included in this edition of Nexus. Any physician who would like copies of future Fast Facts publications sent to them electronically or hard copy can complete the fax form located in Nexus or contact Kayla Collins at 709-752-6000.

The department also carries out data-linkage projects which link unique patient records from administrative and clinical databases to create a comprehensive de-identified research database. Assembling comprehensive health information about unidentifiable individuals over time allows health care managers and researchers to describe the progression of disease, the history of care, and the sequence of episodes that potentially result in improved health outcomes. Given the growing number of administrative and clinical databases, and the ongoing changes in the delivery of care, data linkages expand research opportunities.

The department also continues to develop its expertise in evaluating the benefits from the implementation of specific domains of the electronic health record. Don MacDonald, department director, was recently named the benefits subject matter expert for Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS) by Canada Health Infoway.

If you are interested in learning more about the services provided by NLCHI’s research and evaluation department, please email Kayla Collins or call her at 709-752-6000.



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Nexus is published quarterly for Newfoundland and Labrador's physicians. It is a forum for the exchange of views, ideas and information for members.