Research Report

Research Director: Shelley McLeod

This past year has been a successful and productive year for the SREMI research program.

SREMI continues to make valuable contributions to the scientific emergency medicine community. Dr. Borgundvaag and I have taken leadership roles with the research committee tasked to evaluate the implementation of “eCTAS”; an electronic intelligent decision support tool for triage nurses, an Ontario provincial project which will have national implications. Many of our faculty were invited speakers and program track chairs at the 2017 annual meeting of the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) and are vital members of international, national and provincial committees, working groups and panels. We continue to participate in important randomized controlled trials with our colleagues across the country and remain committed to fostering the research of our own medical students, residents, nurses and junior faculty.

In February, Dr. Bjug Borgundvaag, Dr. Catherine Varner and I went to the 2nd annual NCER (Network of Canadian Emergency Researchers) meeting in Mont Tremblant, Quebec. The goal of this network is to enable emergency care researchers to conduct multicenter research and education studies, provide mentorship, and ultimately improve emergency patient care for all Canadians. Dr. Varner presented the protocol for our randomized controlled trial comparing prescribed light exercise to standard management for emergency department patients with acute mild traumatic brain injury, and the trial was unanimously endorsed by NCER.

Resulting from discussions initiating at NCER, we have formed a new collaboration with Dr. Kerstin de Wit, an emergency physician at McMaster University. Dr. Varner is the site lead for 2 of Dr. de Wit’s multicenter studies, and Dr. de Wit will be the site lead at McMaster for Dr. Varner’s head injury trial.

We have also partnered with scientists from across the country to form the Canadian Collaborative of Chest Pain Investigators, with the goal of producing multicenter research studies that will inform best practices for the emergency department evaluation of patients with suspected acute coronary syndromes. We have submitted our first team grant to CIHR and should hear results of the competition in the spring.SREMI continues to have a strong collaboration with our colleagues at the Mayo Clinic. In October 2017, I was invited to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota where I participated in a 2-day Minimally Disruptive Medicine workshop and subsequently met with Dr. Victor Montori, Dr. Fernanda Bellolio, Dr. Molly Jeffery and Dr. Erik Hess to discuss our international collaboration in shared decision making and patient centered care. As part of my PhD work with Dr. Gordon Guyatt at McMaster University, I will be leading an international randomized controlled trial on the use of electronic clinical decision aids to facilitate shared decision making in the emergency department, with patients being recruited from Canada, Switzerland and the US.

SREMI continues to grow our academic profile locally, nationally and internationally. This year, our research team presented 9 abstracts at CAEP in Whistler, British Columbia and published 25 peer-reviewed journal articles. SREMI faculty have won numerous national awards, recognizing the important contributions we are making towards the advancement of emergency medicine research.  Conference Picture Collage
  • In 2017, Dr. Varner was awarded 3 research grants totaling over $200,000. Dr. Varner won the Inaugural CAEP Grizzly Den Competition to fund a randomized controlled trial of opioid analgesics for the management of acute fracture pain in older adults discharged from the emergency department, and also received funding from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and was awarded another CAEP grant to continue her research in mild traumatic brain injury. 
  • Dr. Audrey-Anne Brousseau, our recent graduate of the Geriatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship, won the top research abstract at the Global Acute Care Excellence Forum 2017 in Brisbane, Australia and was also a top 3 plenary presenter at CAEP 2017.
  • Dr. Bjug Borgundvaag received the 2017 Award for Research Mentorship from the Department of Family & Community Medicine at the University of Toronto.
  • Dr. Howard Ovens is proud of the recognition for our innovative work with the eCTAS project reflected by the Information Technology Association of Canada’s 2017 Ingenious Award.

We are very excited to announce that SREMI will be partnering with CAEP to fund 2 new grants in 2018/19 to help foster Canadian emergency medicine research:

  • 1 x $5,000 grant for research pertaining to the evaluation of an innovative educational program of relevance to emergency medicine
  • 1 x $5,000 grant for research aligned with the SREMI Pillars of Inquiry

    The competition for this funding will be peer reviewed and administered through the CAEP annual grant competition.

    The success of this past year is a direct reflection of the hard work, dedication and enthusiasm of our SREMI team. We will continue to develop and collaborate on innovative projects that will have meaningful impact on advancing the discipline of emergency medicine. Our focus for the upcoming year is to strategically and systematically scale up our research efforts.

    I would like to thank our Director, Dr. Borgundvaag for his leadership, the SREMI research faculty, our research coordinator Cameron Thompson, Linda Frum and Howard Sokolowski, Miles and Kelly Nadal and Judy Wells for their funding contributions, and our generous benefactors, Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman, for their ongoing patronage and support.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Shelley McLeod PhD(c) MSc MSc BScHons
    Research Director
    Schwartz/Reisman Emergency Medicine Institute


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