This project is an assessment of the feasibility of developing a pan-Canadian network of primary care research networks for the purposes of studying chronic disease. In essence, the study will determine a) whether a meta-network of this variety is plausible; and b) whether, once established, such a network can effectively develop a researchable database using electronic medical record (EMR) data collected from sentinel physician practices. The CPCSSN is tasked with the collection of information about patients with any one of five chronic diseases: hypertension, diabetes, osteoarthritis, COPD, and depression. This data will be collected from primary care practices (that are using electronic medical records) across the country. The CPCSSN will then amalgamate this data from the different types of EMRs into a single, researchable database.
Primary care research networks representing nine of Canada&'s provinces have been recruited to the CPCSSN initiative. All networks have received appropriate ethics and institutional approvals and have recruited sentinel physicians. Data collection at each site is ongoing. At the NL site (represented by the Atlantic Practice Based Research Network or APBRN), we have recruited sentinel physicians from five sites located in Newfoundland representing two EMR systems - Wolf and Nightingale. Three Wolf clinics are located in St. John's, as is one Nightingale clinic. A second Nightingale clinic is located in Grand Falls. All sites are operational and progressing smoothly. The project is currently in phase three with funding until 2015.