“It should be bottled”

It’s been rave reviews for OSSU’s Research Day held earlier this fall. The virtual session was a winning formula, thanks to animated speakers and great moderators who stuck to the clock while making it lively.

The sessions ranged from rapid fire EMPOWER project presentations to new OSSU publications, SPOR Network initiatives, overcoming kidney disease, equity diversity and inclusion and a learning health system panel with a stellar line up of speakers that was a big hit.

“It should be bottled and promoted among our centres and networks,” said Dr. Dean Fergusson, OSSU’s Scientific Director. “I thought it was a great overview of a learning health system with its challenges and opportunities. It was exceptional.”

Patient partner Maureen Smith’s metaphor of a metaphor of a three legged “wobbly stool” that needs to strengthen patient engagement to ensure stability struck a chord with panelists and attendees. 

“It was refreshing to hear so many diverse perspectives on a learning health system,” said session moderator Dr. Seema Marwaha, an internist and head of Healthy Debate. “It takes a lot of disruption to pull it off – people brought different lenses, discussed barriers, logistics, where we are. For a topic that can be dense and difficult to understand, the different perspectives helped to break it down.”

The morning and afternoon rapid fire EMPOWER Project sessions demonstrated a range of patient-partnered projects, including identifying patient priorities, peer to peer training by patient partners, and defining patient-centred outcomes. Other highlights included updates from CanSolve CKD and Diabetes Action Canada SPOR Networks on their networks’ impacts and OSSU’s support through partnership and collaborations in research design, patient partnership, big data, and knowledge mobilization efforts. Dr Amit Garg from CanSolve CKD presented on the design and scope of the innovative and OSSU-funded MyTEMP trial, recently published in The Lancet, conducted across over 80 Ontario renal dialysis units using a novel trial design and routinely collected data.

How do we move forward?

“We can build upon our success in the first phase with the scale and spread of patient-oriented research beyond OSSU’s 14 centres to other academic centres, community hospitals and non-hospital care settings,” says Dean. “It’s important to work on the sustainability of patient-oriented research by embedding our approaches and culture within the health research and training ecosystem, that is, making patient-oriented research essential in clinical and applied research.”

“At the end of the day, having patients at the centre of our research is what matters and that they have an impact on the health system,” said Dean. Interested? Watch the research day sessions online.