Government of Canada invests $26 million to prevent patients from falling through the cracks

News release

July 19, 2019 – Edmonton, AB – Canadian Institutes of Health Research

As patients navigate the health care system, they routinely experience handovers from one provider or institution to another.  For example, from surgery to rehabilitation, or from adolescent to adult care. These handovers are also referred to as transitions in care. These care transitions are when patients can be most vulnerable to mistakes that can pose a risk to their health and wellness.

Over the past two years, approximately 30% of patients in Canada experienced a gap in coordination during a transition in care, such as information not being shared, or receiving conflicting information from providers.

To address this challenge, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, today announced investments of $26 million from the Government of Canada, as well as an additional $6.3 million from partner organizations. This funding comes from the Transitions in Care initiative, which is funding teams from across the country to study ways to improve patient outcomes, support the implementation of health innovations, share data, and conduct scientifically driven evaluation.

The Minister made the announcement while touring research facilities at the University of Alberta. While there, she met with two teams of researchers who are collectively receiving more than $1.6 million to improve the life-long quality of care for Albertans living with spinal cord injuries and congenital heart disease.

With additional support coming from partners, including Alberta Innovates, the Government of Canada is taking a collaborative approach to finding innovative solutions to provide a high-quality and evidence-informed continuum of care for patients, as well as their families and caregivers, in our health care system.

Quotes

 “At some point in their life, almost every Canadian will experience a transition in care, as a patient, a caregiver, or as a family member. This important investment will help reduce gaps and make for more seamless handovers of patients from one care provider to another, leading to a safer and more efficient health care system.”

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health

“Our government is making major investments to ensure that our health care system meets the needs of Edmontonians today, and that it remains a point of pride for all Canadians long into the future. An easier transition between different parts of the system will keep folks healthier and better help them recover, and I’m particularly proud that two of the research teams come from our very own University of Alberta. Today’s announcement means better care for families here in Alberta and across Canada.”

­The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources

“The Canadian health care system is organized in a way that often requires patients to receive health services from a number of care providers, in a number of locations, leading to multiple transitions in care. This initiative aims to improve the health and wellness of Canadians by supporting research that optimizes the health outcomes of individuals experiencing these transitions. This investment would not be possible without the support and participation of CIHR’s valued partners.”

Dr. Brian H. Rowe, Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health

Quick facts

  • As patients move from one setting of care to another, such as from hospitals to specialty practices, long-term care facilities, home care, or rehabilitation facilities, there is a risk to patient’s health because of the potential for miscommunication and a handover in responsibility. 

  • Transitions in care can be related to age, such as moving into home care; changing health status, such as entering rehabilitation; or transitions in order to access health services, such as traveling from remote or rural areas to access health services in a city. 

  • The funding for this research initiative comes from several sources:

    • The Canadian Institutes of Health Research: $24 million
    • The Canadian Space Agency: $2 million
    • The Canadian Frailty Network $200,000
    • The European Commission: approximately $5.9 million 

Associated links

Contacts

Thierry Bélair
Office of Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health
613-957-0200

Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
613-941-4563
mediarelations@cihr-irsc.gc.ca

At the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) we know that research has the power to change lives. As Canada's health research investment agency, we collaborate with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve our health and strengthen our health care system.


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