Talk with Peter and the EVPs about Research

Peter Pisters

President and CEO

Michael Nader

Clinical Operations

Charlie Chan

Clinical Programs,
Quality and Safety

David Jaffray

Technology and
Innovation

Brian Hodges

Education

Larry B

Larry Baldachin

EVP & Chief Business Officer

Emma Pavlov

HR and
Organizational
Development

Bradly Wouters

Science and
Research

With a new leadership team and organizational structure in place, UHN has embarked on a journey of renewal that will build on past successes, while establishing the foundational support for a new strategic plan.

In alignment with this process, a series of meetings and town halls have been held to initiate and promote dialogue within the UHN community regarding future directions for the priority area of research and innovation at UHN. This online forum provides a platform to continue the sharing of ideas and aspirations for research with the EVPs and the entire UHN community.
 

Here you can post questions (anonymously or not) or share any ideas that you feel are relevant to research at UHN, including the future role of commercialization, the challenges facing young investigators and how changes in UHN's organizational structure will impact research. While responses to your questions will be provided by UHN's EVP team, any individual in the UHN community will be able to contribute to and expand the discussion.
 

We encourage you to take this opportunity to share your ideas about the future of research and innovation at UHN through the research strategy planning forum.

Most Recent Conversations

Topic: Funding

Jul 19, 2016 10:33am

Funding and support for "young" researchers

1. How can "young" (less experienced) researchers be better supported/educated to access grants or other funding sources (outside of UHN) to lead research activities at UHN?
2. Research activities that are lead by allied health professionals are currently not well supported throughout UHN (i.e. lack of dedicated time, funding, role integration, education resources, etc.). Is there a plan to improve this in UHN's strategic plan?
3. Are there mentorship programs for research?

3 replies

Comments

At UHN Collaborative Academic Practice (CAP) has developed a database to capture health professions academic activity across all our sites and programs. Under the leadership of Dr. Kathryn Nichol, CAP has been working very closely with Dr. Chris Paige and other UHN Research Institute leaders to build better connections and pathways to link and expose health professions academic work. For example, Dr. Weaver recently opened up access of the Krembil Research Institute to clinicians beyond those who meet the requirements for PI status --- there is building momentum to address how to ensure our clinicians are part of the research endeavor at UHN. CAP has created a strong infrastructure that could be leveraged to create a Health Professions Institute in the future that would bring discipline specific and collaborative academic practice, research and education together. 

The CAP Academic Affairs, Research and Innovation operating plan for 2015-2016 addresses  some of the major issues that health professionals identified as barriers to advancing academic practice – for example:
• Protected time
• Education support
• Funding
• Mentoring
• Consultation 

The Research  Quality Committee  is the place where CAP formally interacts with Research ( they meet 4 times per year) as well as at the VP/Sr VP level.  

EDUCATION
CAP completed a Health Professions Research Needs Assessment every few years: Results from this year’s assessment will provide an update from 4 years ago about education for research and how it should be offered. 

Mentorship has always been identified as a need and greatly valued – so we have incorporated this into CAP Research Job Descriptions for our Research Leaders, new Clinician Scientists and Senior Research Positions. We attempt every year to establish a budget from a variety of variable funds, which will jointly support our early career HPs researchers and clinician research knowledge  as well as ongoing career development.

CAP has approval in principle from Michener to redevelop some of our educational products that we use for novice researchers, which will be accessible to students and UHN staff. This will hopefully complement and improve what Research can offer, due to the way that their IT structure/access is set up.  

CAP Fellowships and Seed Funding Grants are a wonderful way of building research and leadership capacity and we now have over 100 graduates from these Fellowships. Through support from our UHN Foundation and Clinical Programs, we have secured ongoing funding to support this wonderful program.

TAHSN: Zeroing in on Academic Performance (ZAP)
Joy Richards is co-leading a task force with TAHSNp and TAHSNe to make visible health professions academic performance. This work includes standardizing language across hospitals and U of T, standardizing appointments and creating standardized metrics that hospitals can begin to capture and make visible the academic outputs for our health professions researchers, educators and clinicians.

Joy Richards, ​Vice President Patient Experience & Chief Health Professions
1) At Princess Margaret we have a mentorship program to assist early career scientists. These mentors provide advice on various research grant opportunities and can assist in evaluating drafts of research proposals. Given the particular challenges in funding at CIHR and other traditional funding sources, we are also establishing a new committee to address opportunities for making our scientists more competitive for funding. This will include new opportunities to get feedback and improve applications going forward. It is always a great idea to seek out other successful scientists and have them carefully read your grant well before submission.

2) Allied health researchers play a very important role in the research effort. At UHN, this falls under the Collaborative Academic Practice (CAP) portfolio. They assist research through providing the infrastructure, processes, and programs that enable innovative connections between knowledge and care. There have a number of initiatives including an internal grants and fellowship program. See - http://www.uhn.ca/healthcareprofessionals/Meet_Professions/Pages/researc....  

3) We have a formal mentorship program for early career scientists. This program is going to be strengthened in the near future to provide more structural support for our young scientists in this challenging funding period. We would love to year your ideas on ways to better support our scientists.
1.    How can "young" (less experienced) researchers be better supported/educated to access grants or other funding sources (outside of UHN) to lead research activities at UHN?

The Krembil Research Institute does not have a peer review process for grant applications at this time; however, new (less experienced) researchers are often paired with a more senior investigator during their initial few years of appointment at Krembil. Mentorship may be through the Director, a Research Division Head or through a Senior Scientist who is knowledgeable in the researcher’s area of interest. 

Early career investigators are encouraged to apply for external funding targeted to their experience level such as the Early Researcher Award (ERA) through the Ministry of Research and Innovation. Appointed Krembil researchers are also eligible to apply for internal opportunities such as the Postdoctoral Fellowship (with an incoming or current trainee) and the Small Equipment Competition. Both programs are intended to support and boost internal laboratories at the Institute. These resources can aid in an early researcher’s start-up.

Krembil also has a distribution list that is used to disseminate funding opportunity announcements to appointed researchers.

2.    Research activities that are lead by allied health professionals are currently not well supported throughout UHN (i.e. lack of dedicated time, funding, role integration, education resources, etc.). Is there a plan to improve this in UHN's strategic plan?

As noted above, we recently opened the “Clinician Investigator” category of appointment at the Krembil Research Institute (Krembil). It was created in the fall of 2015 to facilitate and further clinical research that is currently being done at the Toronto Western Hospital.  This category is opened to Physician, Nursing and Allied Health Professionals who meet the UHN criteria as an Investigator.

Clinician Investigators are researchers who hold a primary appointment outside of the Krembil and whose time commitment is mostly dedicated towards clinical service. Accordingly, Clinician Investigators will not receive salary, space or research start‐up monies from the Krembil; however they are eligible to apply for Krembil internal funding opportunities that are dedicated to clinical research and to marrying basic science with clinical research. Clinician Investigators’ grant applications will receive the Director of the Krembil’s endorsement and other resources, as they become available.

Current “perks” include:
•    Applying to internal funding opportunities such as the Small Equipment Competition and Postdoctoral/Clinical Fellows Award Competition;
•    Speaking at and inviting speakers to the Krembil Seminar Series;
•    Participation at the annual Krembil Research Day and Krembil Summer Student Research Day;
•    Potential to be featured in the bimonthly Krembil Newsletter;
•    Potential for assistance in grant applications.

For more information or to seek an application, please contact krembil@uhnresearch.ca 

3.    Are there mentorship programs for research?

UHN is committed to providing an excellent environment for the academic and professional development of its trainees. At a site level, the Krembil Research Institute equally believes in the strong support for up-and-coming new investigators. Currently, we offer the following mediums:

Seminar Programs - includes internal and external leaders. Postdoctoral fellows have the opportunity to meet the external visitors as part of individual laboratory visits, participate in a group lunch/discussion as well as attend the seminar.  This provides an opportunity to collaborate with researchers and knowledge users from diverse backgrounds and disciplinary areas.  Postdoctoral fellows have the opportunity to present their own seminar to the research community on current research and receive feedback from our members.

Research Day - As part of an ongoing trainee commitment, Krembil hosts an annual Research Day for the research community. This event represents a time for our members to come together to hear about the research occurring within the Institute, as well as to network and learn about the spectrum of interests and disciplines at our site. This day provides an opportunity to expand research horizons, sparking new collaborations in basic and clinical research and as a whole, to support the excellence of our trainees. We will be holding our 17th Annual Research Day on in May 2017 where attendance is in excess of 250 trainees, faculty and guests.  Through participation in the Krembil Trainee Affairs Committee, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows play an active role in the planning and execution of this event. Trainees also have an opportunity to deliver oral or poster presentations at Research Day. 

Summer Student Research Day - As a member of the Krembil Trainee Affairs Committee, all senior trainees, including postdoctoral fellows are invited to sit in on our smaller research day event for our summer students and medical residents. Senior trainees participate in the Q&A portion of the event to encourage our junior students with thought-provoking comments and questions. Critiques and suggestions are also collected from the senior trainees and returned back to the participants from a mentorship aspect. Many of the summer students are mentored directly by senior postdoctoral fellows as well as the laboratory Principal Investigator.

Collaborative Mentorship - Postdoctoral fellows reside within a primary laboratory at Krembil, however, as many of our research themes are overlapping, fellows are often supported by multiple collaborating Scientists both scientifically and resourcefully.
Participation in multi-group lab meetings is also of regular occurrence.

Intellectual Property (IP) and Knowledge Translation - Krembil and UHN's Technology Development and Commercialization (TDC) office are partnering to produce a series of educational events to provide information to the research community within the commercialization domain, and to help foster a culture of entrepreneurship throughout Krembil.  Events are to be rolled out in the Fall/Winter of 2016. Members of Krembil also have ready access to a TDC Commercialization Specialist who is housed on-site. This specialist provides molecular modelling for various laboratories within the institute, drug discovery project management support, feasibility assessment for extending intellectual property (IP) reach of UHN discoveries and provides advice to senior personnel on patentability of IP prior to reaching the TDC office.  The specialist also prepares inventor disclosures and drafts patent applications for drug discovery and medical device development projects.

Office of Research Trainees (ORT) - In addition to Institute support and initiatives, UHN holds a central office for all research trainees. This office supports trainees with internal travel awards to attend conferences and provides resources for research and career development. These include, but are not limited to resource documents for writing a scientific manuscript, workshops on resumes and online media, and panel discussions on careers in industry, academia and government organizations.











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Topic: Don't see the right topic? Ask your question here!

Aug 15, 2016 9:11am

Bringing UHN up to speed re: gender

When will research let go of its understanding of gender as a binary? Given significant changes to legislation, policy and human rights frameworks on gender identity and expression, there is an opportunity for UHN to recognize multiple genders. This applies to hiring staff and students, the ways in which gender is discussed within research itself, as well as intentional focus on doing research specific to trans communities.

1 replies

Comments

We agree that there is a growing awareness in gender diversity and that binary definitions are no longer adequate. UHN is a respectful, caring and inclusive workplace that is committed to championing accessibility, diversity and equal opportunity—and our Research Institutes take this policy very seriously in their hiring practices. Research specific to gender diversity is certainly a worthy topic of investigation; however like all other research questions at UHN, we leave this in the hands of investigators.

Christopher Paige, EVP Science and Research
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Topic: Research operations and services

Jul 19, 2016 12:43pm

Consent to Research

In line with UHN's goal of focusing on big data and maximizing research output, the best way is to be able to tap into anonymized patient records. That's not the only step we need to take though. Abiding by TCPS2 policies, we need to obtain patients' consent to access their medical records. The simplest way to do that? A checkbox.

On every patient clinic intake form, requisition, survey, include the following checkbox items:

1) I agree to allow researchers at the UHN and their collaborators to use anonymized versions (all identifiable information removed) of my medical records for the purposes of conducting research to improve medical care.

2) I agree to be contacted by researchers at the UHN for any upcoming research studies.

This information should be entered into EPR, allowing a way to screen all patients to see whose medical records can be used for research and who can be a potential researcher participant. This mechanism will accelerate the research being done at UHN. (Currently, poster advertisement for studies is a very slow recruitment mechanism).

As a step of accountability, a UHN-wide database of research studies will be useful - a means of seeing what studies a participant is enrolled in - because one of the ethical principles is to ensure researchers are not taking advantage of a participant's low economic status (ie. they participate not completely of their own will - but because of the potential financial gain).

1 replies

Comments

Thank you for your question.

It is certainly an aspirational goal at UHN to work towards keeping research and clinical record keeping side by side—it is definitely one of the major goals of the integrated IT digital hospital system that is in planning. We don’t yet know how we will accomplish this, and there are many privacy concerns that we need to consider very carefully.

Christopher Paige, EVP Science and Research

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Topic: Funding

Jul 19, 2016 11:48am

Research Testing vs. EPR Clinical Testing

When investigators want to publish their research, often times research tests are ordered alongside clinical tests in EPR. In order to distribute funding within UHN from external organizations such as industry sponsors and grant funding agencies how can we implement a policy, procedure, mandate through EPR, REB, CAPCR...that definitely defines when a test is used for publishing and not for clinical purposes, it is therefore a research test and funding should come from the appropriate resource and not through OHIP?

2 replies

Comments

Its not a straight forward answer. So far, its an honor system that Investigators disclose thru REB application and approval process. Its quite likely that in many instances we under capture what's research vs. standard of care especially since the standards in many clinical situations are not well defined. As part of the clinical optimization process, we can assess ways to manage labs and diagnostic utilization at the unit level so that limited funding for those activities are deployed for appropriate clinical care.

Posted on behalf of Charlie Chan, EVP ​Clinical Programs, Quality and Safety
Thank you for your question.
 
It should be fairly clear to the lead investigator what is covered through health care funding and what is covered through research funding. Anything beyond standard care should be paid for a research funding source.  Remember that all research at UHN involving human subjects must be reviewed and approved by the UHN Research Ethics Board prior to commencement.

Christopher Paige, EVP Science and Research
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Topic: Commercialization

Jul 20, 2016 1:37pm

Conservative business office practices

I have brought a number of ideas to the business office over the years of my working at UHN. In every case, I have encountered what I consider to be very conservative practices of the commercialization and development office personnel - their responses have been some version of "go speak to Dr. so-and-so, who is the expert in this topic, before proceeding with your idea", or "you would need to partner up with an existing large institution to fully enable this idea", or that they don't see the market, or opportunity, that the idea potentially represents. I realize not all ideas are gold winners, but in general I have a pessimistic view of how well the commercialization office can truly carry out it's mandate when I see it as stifling ideas before they even have the opportunity to be tested. What is the plan for modernizing the office, and perhaps shaking off some of the conservativeness and embracing new ideas?

1 replies

Comments


Excellent point. When I was in pharma, I had my share of general complaints about tech transfer offices, and now that I have been on the other side of the table for a couple of years at UHN, I am aware of (and concerned with) criticisms from frustrated investigators. There are valid concerns on both sides. So I think it’s worth acknowledging that technology development and commercialization at UHN can and should continue to improve to better meet our customers’ (namely you, the research community) needs--at least that’s the mission of this office. It’s also worth reminding everyone that the process of transforming early stage research innovations into development candidates is very difficult, expensive and risky--it’s called the “valley of death” for good reason.  

You identify all of the key evaluation criteria required for the determination that a technology can be successfully commercialized: the potential for a commercial investment or partnership to develop it, a sufficient market to support its commercialization, and a level of expertise around the idea and its surrounding thought spaces. In particular, a certain amount of robustness of information around a given idea is required in order to de-risk it from an investment perspective; this lies within the context of what our experience dictates companies will invest in. Investment, particularly in early-stage technologies, is becoming increasingly conservative (i.e. risk-averse), and therefore for a technology to be attractive to an industry partner, it needs to have been substantially de-risked beforehand.

TDC has undergone significant changes in the last couple of years to become more transparent, efficient, market-oriented, and client-focused, with better access to market intelligence and funds for commercial proof of concept development. Developing a robust IP portfolio for commercialization, and the strengthening of relationships with researchers across the network of research institutes are two of our highest priorities. 
 
Our mission is to help inventors such as yourself with Intellectual Property protection and the translation to the market of inventions that meet the relevant criteria for successful commercialization. Many great ideas do not, despite their innovation, have real commercial potential, though they may be significant scientific discoveries. Our team examines each invention brought to us on a case-by-case basis against all the relevant criteria that make a great idea realizable in the marketplace. If you think we have overlooked a good commercial opportunity, we would be glad to take a second look. And we will work with each inventor to identify how the robustness required for successful commercialization can be built in cases where that gap may exist. 

John Reid
Director, Technology Development and Commercialization Office
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Topic: Research operations and services

Jul 19, 2016 9:00pm

Multidisciplinary projects

Future medicine is moving towards multidisciplinarity and other integrated approaches. I have been already working on streamlining the flow of patients under evaluation for deep brain stimulation. Future UHN services might be dedicated to:
1. a neuromodulation team, based on the idea of having the figure of the functional neurologist along with the well-recognized figure of the functional neurosurgeon
2. a combined program for the borderzone between movement disorders and epilepsy (e.g. Fasano et al. Neurology 2014;82:2250-1), a pilot project is already in place
3. a program for normal pressure hydrocephalus, a very common disease in the general population, still not sufficiently studied from different perspectives, a pilot project is ongoing at TWH
I'm happy to provide further details if needed.
Alfonso Fasano, MD, PhD

1 replies

Comments

Thank you for your question. We are working on crafting a response.
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Topic: Human resources

Jul 22, 2016 12:58pm

Health Equity and HSR Research

Given the current social climate, does UHN have any plans to explore the integration of health equity principles, and social determinants of health awareness in care provision. Given the diversity of Toronto's population, I think it is essential for the organization to ensure that HSR has a thorough grasp of these issues.

1 replies

Comments

Thank you for your question. We currently working on crafting a response.

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Topic: Human resources

Jun 02, 2016 3:31pm

Young investigators

How can UHN support young investigators?
 

4 replies

Comments

Currently, mentoring is ad hoc. Need to create an environment where there are strong relationships with peers. Also need to put into place funding support for young investigators.
 
 

Agree with the need for funding young investigators. We should lobby the government and funding agencies for more awards such as the ERAs, which give new investigators funding to get their programs going.

UHN needs mentors who really care about research rather than their self achievements and self goals in a non competitive environment .This will help and invite hard working and interested investigators. Mentorship usually needs training, safety in job and a willing to teach.

Mentoring of new investigators including novice clinician researchers needs to be recognized in the mentors workload as a legitimate and valued activity as opposed to an add on outside of regular work.

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Topic: Don't see the right topic? Ask your question here!

Jun 02, 2016 3:18pm

UHN research priorities

Who should be defining the research priorities?
 

2 replies

Comments

Scientists should be defining the research priorities and we should be developing strategies in a way that enables research to move forward.
 
It is clear that management does not have the ability to evaluate the quality of the research but we do have the ability to evaluate the potential impact that science has. We have the ability to make critical decisions that will ensure that the good ideas we have are all channeled towards the bigger picture problems that we are trying to solve. That is what people are counting on us for. That is our obligation to society.

Clarity in UHN research priorities would help us to integrate student and clinician led research.

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Jun 02, 2016 3:41pm

IT integration

What is the main focus of the IT transformation?

1 replies

Comments

The IT transformation plan is aimed at aligning all IT teams and services at UHN, improving governance with a focus on customer service, and coordinating all investments associated with technology.  

This will be accomplished through several activities over the course of the year, led by the IT Transformation Team (IT3). Learn more about the IT transformation centre by clicking here

 

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Jun 02, 2016 3:32pm

Clinical and translational research quality

How do we ensure that clinical and translational research at UHN is of the highest ethical quality? 

4 replies

Comments

Here are a few suggestions:
  • Create a centralized clinical trials support unit that is UHN-wide, which would serve to ensure that all studies meet audit requirements and other quality measurements.
  • Increase transparency in the information provided to the Research Ethics Board.  In some cases there is disconnect between the study submission and intended work and standardized protocol may not represent practical work. 
  • Assign an experienced mentor to investigators who are new to clinical research.  The mentor will help to ensure that the clinical research performed by less experienced investigators meets all ethics and quality requirements. 
  • Streamline administrative research  processes to make it easier and less time-consuming for researchers to implement and meet institutional requirements.
  • Institute membership should be expanded to include all principal investigators who are conducting research at UHN.
We should develop a better research culture to emphasize that reviews and internal audits help us enhance our reputation. A good example is the culture at the Animal Resources Centre. Continuous self-audits have proven successful among researchers and could be used as a tool to reduce misconduct.
We need better training programs. E-training modules are insufficient and ineffective.

For instance we could develop an in-person course for all principal investigators on proper note taking, data storage and archiving, and research misconduct. 

Mandatory hands on training and standardization around methodology, image processing and analysis, and record keeping (both paper and electronic) could be instated for trainees.

Agreed. E-training modules are insufficient.

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Topic: Funding

Jun 02, 2016 3:22pm

Generating research funding

It is increasingly difficult to fund research – all aspects, including the core budget which pays for space, utilities, salaries etc.  How do we generate additional revenue?  What is the role of commercialization, consulting services, foundations, etc.?

1 replies

Comments

  • The Technology Development and Commercialization (TDC) office needs to be more pro-active in educating clinicians about the commercialization process, in addition to enhancing their outreach to researchers. Techna may be a good model of best practices to integrate commercialization as a part of the research process.
  • Invest in marketing UHN’s services (eg, MedRIST) through product shows and promotions. 
  • Need to increase the amount of indirects. 
  • There needs to be better alignment of overhead charges. However, it is not clear whether overhead should be proportional to size of space (based on utility charges) or proportional to size of grants held (which may require more support from RSS).
 
Other potential sources of income include:
 
a) Foundations
  • Educate donors and UHN foundations about UHN’s research needs.
  • Allocate a portion of each donation (perhaps ~10-15%) to UHN-wide indirect costs. 
  • Institute a mechanism to foster cross-institutional fundraising, ie, better cooperation across foundations. 
  • Start looking at digital fund-raising strategies such as gofundme.
 
b) Industry
  • Put into place mechanisms/policies that enable industry to invest in research so that IP is jointly-owned. Industry ownership will lead to more “buy in” for the projects.
 
c) Granting agencies
  • Discuss the lack of overhead with smaller granting agencies (eg, Heart and Stroke Foundation) and see whether a small percentage can be incorporated into the grant budget. 
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Topic: Research operations and services

Jun 02, 2016 1:50pm

Transforming UHN into a high-reliability organization

UHN is looking to transform into a high reliability organization (HRO)/learning health organization (LHO). How do you plan to apply this transformation to research and ensure that research at UHN remains of the highest quality?
 

1 replies

Comments

We need to identify research hospitals and/or institutes that are considered HROs and examine the strategies and policies they have implemented to achieve their status.
 
We should also support a more open culture to manage research quality and integrity. More emphasis should be put on sharing best and worst practices, identifying trends, learning from critical findings; less emphasis should be put on blame. 
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Topic: Commercialization

Jun 02, 2016 1:18pm

Enabling commercialization

Being involved in enterprise around the globe we no doubt need to have a commercialization foundation that is successful and that will sustain research. What changes do you envision will need to occur to enable this?

1 replies

Comments

One arm will need to be the development of an optimized technology and commercialization office that is part of UHN.
 
Other part is we need to develop advanced relationships with industry partners. Our assets are our technologies, our researchers and our clinically annotated data. They desperately need those assets because they don’t have them. We can come to the table and negotiate a shared-risk shared reward partnerships with industry partners where they bring capital or researchers and we create a relationship that creates greater value for both of us.
 
We also need to recognize that there are other opportunities that we should pursue. We have individual discoveries that create great value for our organization. Sometimes those one in a generation discoveries create great opportunities to fund infrastructure in organizations. We want to be hoping that we will hit the jack pot every now and then and that we can create those opportunities.
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Topic: Space and equipment

Jun 02, 2016 1:47pm

Upgrading the electronic patient record system

The EMR represents a major resource for research. How is UHN planning to enable efficient EMR data collection?

1 replies

Comments

First, we will optimize the system that we have today. This includes creating an inbox for users, enabling CPOE for patient management and supporting issues in safety and privacy. Second, we will examine parallel processes of other options, including low-cost, open-source and cloud-based models. There are other better options for sustainable EMR models out there beyond the two frontrunners, and we will be looking into these options in order to move beyond the monolithic systems of the past.
 
Moreover, documentation time for clinicians is a primary concern. We will look into options that can streamline this process in a sustainable way.
 
There have been major advances in healthcare data sharing. Options that incorporate web-based clinical tools, lab notebooks and educational platforms are of particular interest as these reflect the major enterprises at UHN. Regardless of the model, we will need to remove the IT infrastructure that isn’t of value and refine that which is of value in order to find ways to collect high-quality data in an efficient manner. 
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Topic: Commercialization

Jun 02, 2016 1:31pm

UHN overhead

Current overhead for SRAs is 40%. Will this be constant? We need a constant number that we can use when we interact with companies?
University of Waterloo IP policy. Should UHN have something similar in place?
 

1 replies

Comments


UHN is neutral and flexible on this.
 
Plan to engage in a conversation with the community and come out with some clarity.
 
Not opposed to revisiting our IP strategy, but we need to understand the risks of having a similar policy. There are also other organizations that have other policies that could by better. We need a modern way of thinking that will allow us to foster innovation
 
Issue of indirect costs is important. It is not fixed and the number fluctuates; can be fixed for a foreseeable future. But we need to come up with something that is reasonable.
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Topic: Space and equipment

Jun 02, 2016 3:38pm

IT infrastructure upgrades

What changes are required to ensure our information technology (IT) infrastructure supports research quality and integrity?

1 replies

Comments

UHN has fallen behind in technologies that might help to address issues related to research integrity. New tools to support highest research integrity are required. Eg,: 
  • Research roadmap or toolkit for investigators
  • Plagiarism detection software 
  • IT infrastructure to support data sharing 
  • Tools that support electronic storage of confidential information and reduce reliance on paper
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Topic: Don't see the right topic? Ask your question here!

Jun 02, 2016 3:21pm

Transforming UHN into a high-performing organization

 
How are we going to put into place a purpose that will help us become a high-performing organization? 

1 replies

Comments

We need to identify research hospitals and/or institutes that are considered HROs and examine the strategies and policies they have implemented to achieve their status.
 
We should also support a more open culture to manage research quality and integrity. More emphasis should be put on sharing best and worst practices, identifying trends, learning from critical findings; less emphasis should be put on blame. 
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Topic: Research operations and services

Jun 02, 2016 1:44pm

Integrating basic and clinical research

It can sometimes take decades before basic science research gets to the stage at which clinical collaborations can be established. How will researchers who specialize in this type of foundational research be integrated with clinical teams?

1 replies

Comments

 
There will be a sustained and continued investment in basic science research. The real goal will be to facilitate team research by eliminating perceived and actual barriers; for example, co-location, conferences and regular meetings can foster cross-pollination and integrated approaches to discovery.
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Topic: Research operations and services

Jun 02, 2016 1:37pm

Clinical research operations

 
In terms of clinical research, our sponsors are attracted to UHN because of our quality. Clinical trials are becoming more complex, with increasingly rigid timelines. With upcoming cuts eg, decreased slots in medical imaging, there are concerns about how we will maintain our quality of our research studies. 

1 replies

Comments

The senior management team has to have awareness of clinical research. When we make operational changes, we have to look at them through the lens of what is the impact on clinical research. From a management point of view we are going to need to look at how do we protect our ability to do clinical research.
 
In many cases we have contractual obligations that we want to fulfil. We also have patients who are on trials, many times because they are seeking better care.
 
That process has to be one where research issues are brought to the table before operational changes are made. A shared team will be looking at this to determine the impact on clinical research and ensure that we maintain our commitment to patients on trials and to investigators who lead those trials. 
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