Our Research

focuses on finding efficient and fair ways to deliver health care to Canadians living with chronic diseases

The ICDC team uses collaborative approaches, support structures and new technology in their research to find efficient and fair ways to deliver health care to Canadians living with chronic diseases. You can find more information about research projects below. 

ICDC Research Projects

Dr. Braden Manns with a patient particpating in the ACCESS study

ACCESS Study

For over 30% of Alberta’s seniors, taking their medication all of the time is not an option.  Money and education are the top obstacles.

Researchers are looking to see if covering chronic disease prescription costs for low income seniors and teaching them the importance of taking their medication will help seniors live a healthier life. Not only is there potential for reducing their risk of heart attack and hospitalization, but it may lower the financial strain on the health care system.

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Dr. Matthew James talking to a senior female patient

CKD Clinical Pathway

The Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Clinical Pathway is a resource for primary care providers to aid in the diagnosis, medical management, and referral of adults with CKD.

Chronic Kidney Disease affects 9% of adults in Canada. Our team worked with primary care physicians to develop a credible, effective and interactive online tool that is easy to navigate. Our goal is to optimize care for people with CKD by; Diagnosis of CKD (who to test and how to test), Medical management of CKD (lifestyle and drug therapy), and, by Referral of patients with CKD to a nephrologist

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Contrast RISK Project

Heart procedures, like angiograms and angioplasties, are important for finding and treating heart disease. However, some patients who have risk factors can develop acute kidney injury, a serious and expensive complication. Researchers are studying a tool that uses a computer program to help health care providers find high-risk patients and make the procedure safer by choosing the right amount of dye and intravenous fluid for each person right at the bedside. The study will determine if we can stop acute kidney injury making it safer for patients and lowering health care costs. 

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The e-Referral Study

With advancing technology, it only makes sense that health care uses it to their advantage. eReferral was developed by clinicians for clinicians. It uses existing Alberta Netcare information and uploads it into a referral form. Streamlining the referral process and ensuring forms are up to date and complete before submission will decrease the number of unnecessary referrals. From eReferral, researchers will be studying the Nephrology advice component which is the latest way family doctors can communicate with kidney specialists to get the advice they need. They are testing eReferral in many northern Alberta communities. Together eReferral and Nephrology advice should increase appropriate CKD care through timely referrals and specialist kidney care advice and reduce health care costs,

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iCT Program

Chronic diseases are associated with shorter lifespans, frequent contact with the health care system, and reduced quality of life. New ways of delivering health services are needed to promote health and ensure consistent, high-quality care for Canadians living with chronic conditions. It is important, however, that new interventions and strategies are carefully studied to ensure they benefit patients and provide value.

Over the next four years, our team will test health innovations and interventions that improve care, safety and outcomes for people with three common and closely related chronic diseases: heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease. 

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Bottle of pills being spilled

The RxEACH Study

Patients tend to see their pharmacists more than their family doctors which provides a unique opportunity for patient care and disease management through pharmacy care. The RxEACH study will compare a standard pharmacist’s role to an enhanced role to see if community pharmacists can play a key role in identifying people at high-risk for heart disease and help in their disease management. An enhanced role includes the ability to assess, educate, adapt prescriptions and provide smoking cessation information.

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SUPPORT AKI Project

Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common, serious complication that can happen to people undergoing surgery. Some people who develop AKI can end up with kidney failure, need dialysis and have to stay in the hospital longer.  

Researchers are studying computer programs that can help health care professionals recognize and manage AKI earlier, to see if early detection and treatment can improve recovery, reduce the length of hospital stay and save health care costs.    

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