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(L-R) Dr. Peter Nickerson, vice-dean, research, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences; Dr. Christine Ateah, vice-dean, education, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences; Dr. Marshall Pitz, associate professor, Max Rady College of Medicine; Hon. Cameron Friesen, minister of health, seniors and active living, province of Manitoba; Cathy Woods, patient partner; Dr. Paul Komenda, associate professor, Max Rady College of Medicine; Dr. Ryan Zarychanski, associate professor, Max Rady College of Medicine; Dr. Brock Wright, CEO, Shared Health, at the funding announcement on the Bannatyne campus.

$4.8-million research project to support health system decision-making data needs

Project to Ensure Health System Has Access to Quality Data to Support Patients, Ensure Quality Care: Friesen

February 13, 2020 — 

A newly announced $4.8-million project funded by the Province of Manitoba and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), led by three physicians at the University of Manitoba, will help to create a new learning health system in Manitoba.

MindSet, short for Manitoba Integrated Data Set, is a new project that will help to integrate Manitoba’s extensive clinical health data into a cohesive and readily accessible province-wide data platform.

The Province of Manitoba and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research will each invest $600,000 a year over four years, for a total of $4.8-million, to support work on the project, which will enhance real-time access to the data health-care providers need to make informed decisions when caring for patients. This project received funding support through Canada’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR).

“Health-care providers need timely access to information so we can maximize the benefits and deliver better health care sooner for Manitobans,” said Cameron Friesen, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister at the Province of Manitoba. “Investing in this research will help us find ways to ensure clinical providers have access to the data they need to make more informed decisions about patient care, which supports the implementation of Manitoba’s provincial clinical and preventive services plan.”

“This project demonstrates the power of research in improving the health of Canadians and enhancing the health care experience for patients while making health care systems more effective and efficient. This is an excellent example of a collaborative effort supported through our SPOR program,” said Dr. Tammy Clifford, Vice President, Research Programs, CIHR.

Three physicians at the University of Manitoba – Dr. Ryan Zarychanski, Dr. Paul Komenda and Dr. Marshall Pitz – are leading the MindSet project, each focusing on a different area of health care. Each physician will focus on one of three different initiatives looking at how timely access to data can be used to:

  • create efficiencies to reduce the need for blood transfusions and ensure appropriate care is provided during surgeries;
  • enhance the use of home dialysis to ensure care is delivered closer to home for rural patients; and
  • enhance navigation to health care for cancer patients to ensure timely access to care, particularly in rural and northern Manitoba.

“Mindset, the Manitoba integrated data platform, will transform how patients and providers access, and are informed by, health data,” said team lead Dr. Ryan Zarychanski, associate professor of medicine, Max Rady College of Medicine and senior scientist, Research Institute of Oncology and Hematology. 

“By integrating these clinical databases we use everyday, we’re not creating another super database, we’re transforming the way we use health care in our province, in fact we’re creating the successful mindset for our health care system to function for generations to come,” said Zarychanski.

“For the first time, major health care organizations and partners are able to work together to jointly plan clinical and preventative services, jointly establish provincial clinical policies, guidelines and protocols and support each other in ways we haven’t before in the day-to-day delivery of health services,” said Dr. Brock Wright, CEO of Shared Health.

The minister noted these projects will inform how data is collected and used in more real time as the province’s health-system transformation moves forward.

“As we develop one system for data collection, information management and analysis, it’s important to find out what kind of data is needed and how it can be provided in more timely ways so that we can maximize the benefits,” said Friesen. “This project will guide our investments in this area in the months and years ahead and allow us to maximize the benefits and deliver better health care sooner for Manitobans.”

The SPOR Rewarding Success initiative was established in 2017 to address complex health problems. The initiative provides funding in a way similar to social impact bonds, where a portion of any economic benefits from research projects are reinvested to conduct further research studies.   

For more information on SPOR, please visit CIHR’s website.  


Research at the University of Manitoba is partially supported by funding from the Government of Canada Research Support Fund.

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