The Canadian Cardiovascular Outcomes Research Team has based its research objectives on the following global hypothesis:
The collection, analysis, and dissemination of comprehensive cardiac “report cards” will lead to improvements in the quality of cardiac care received by Canadians and a reduction in the death rate from heart disease in Canada.
The resulting research objectives for the Canadian Cardiovascular Outcomes Research Team are:
- To conduct a series of studies to measure and improve the quality of acute myocardial infarction care, congestive heart failure care and the outcomes of invasive cardiac procedures (coronary angiography, angioplasty and bypass surgery) in Canada;
- To develop comprehensive cardiac reports using unique, integrated, cardiac clinical databases in three provinces that link together detailed clinical health services and health systems, and population health data obtained from multiple sources;
- To study a number of issues related to cardiac reports including the optimal data sources, risk-adjustment methods, viewpoints of stakeholders, presentation methods, cost-effectiveness and potential population health benefits of these reports;
- To position Canada as an international leader in cardiovascular outcomes research and train the next generation of cardiovascular outcomes researchers;
- To stimulate multidisciplinary and interprovincial collaborative cardiovascular outcomes research.
The objectives set out by CCORT are based on the premise of the CIHR’s IHRT granting program, which emphasizes the generation of new knowledge using a multi-faceted approach that would otherwise be unattainable using traditional, single investigator research methods, and dissemination of this knowledge to several audiences in addition to the traditional peer-reviewed journal article publication. The overall outcome of the IHRT granting program is the improvement in health amongst Canadians.
Proposed Benefits of CCORT
The CCORT project will yield many benefits for the health of Canadians and the Canadian health care system.
Comprehensive reporting methods for improving health care delivery for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), congestive heart failure (CHF) and those undergoing invasive cardiac procedures (i.e. coronary angiography, percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty, and coronary artery bypass graft surgery) will be developed. The reports generated for cardiac care will help bridge the gap between evidence-based, suggested optimal practice patterns and the actual practice patterns that occur in the community setting.
The opinions of several stakeholder groups, including physicians, health care providers, policy makers, patients, and Canadian citizens will be used to determine the barriers to the use of evidence-based medical therapy, and to determine the extent of knowledge that should be made available to the public regarding cardiac health care delivery.
Policy simulation studies will also be conducted to determine the impact of the ageing Canadian population on future demands to the Canadian health care system.
Dissemination of Research Findings
Findings from CCORT projects will be shared with physicians, hospitals, patients and policymakers to improve the overall quality of cardiac care delivered in Canada. One of the most important methods that will be used to disseminate the findings is through the publication of the CCORT Canadian Cardiovascular Atlas. This publication will have three phases. The first phase involves the publication of individual chapters as a series of articles in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, thus targeting a specialty audience. The second phase will involve the publication of the chapters together in a book format with a broader audience of general practitioners, hospital administrators, policymakers and the general public. The third phase will be the publication of the information, including figures and maps on the CCORT website.
One of CCORT's core values is to ensure the longevity of cardiovascular outcomes research in Canada. CCORT fulfills this mandate through supporting the training of younger generations of researchers by the current leaders in the the field of cardiovascular outcomes research. Thus CCORT investigators have set aside a yearly component of the CIHR grants to fund several student-training initiatives.
In the inaugural year (2001-2002), CCORT partially supported the research projects of 4 students: 2 post-doctoral fellows (Calgary, Toronto), and 2 doctoral students (Toronto, Montreal). In addition, CCORT funded student travel to CCORT-approved meetings within Canada, including the Annual National CCORT Meeting where students were required to present their research findings. A summer studentship was introduced, and a student research paper competition was conducted.
During 2009-2010, five students were awarded funding, including three 1-year fellowships and two summer studentships.