Creation and development
InfoRehab’s creation was from the combination of health informatics with rehabilitation services. Three grants and a five year program of research focused on improving the use and sharing of health information for older persons with chronic disease, particularly at points of transition between care settings. The development stage focused on identifying information needs of hip fracture patients, including those who would benefit from rehab most, and analysis of the information available in relevant systems, to generate innovations to support better use and exchange of rehabilitation information.
Home care was identified as a priority setting and we sought to define the role of rehabilitation in home care, as well as to engage home care administrators/clinicians to raise awareness of the impact that high quality health data has on care. Lastly, the team focused on health care transitions and understanding the need for, use of, and exchange of health information across the continuum for hip fracture patients, and to answer important questions relevant to rehabilitation of older persons with Musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders across the continuum of care.
Expansion of focus
Out of this initial work, there was a movement towards a more system level, broader approach. The Informed and Linked Care for Seniors (InfoLinCS) project gained a comprehensive understanding of the problems faced by clients, families, and formal care providers within community-based primary health care, to generate an informed plan of research.
Our current projects also focus on health systems and community initiatives investigating system integration, inter-professional practice, assessment tools/mechanisms and patient and family centered care.
We have always valued and engaged in knowledge exchange with stakeholder representatives, but found our earlier project to have limited focus on direct engagement. Meaningful engagement of participants is a priority of our research and we are always seeking best practices and innovative mechanisms to achieve this. With the development of our Seniors Helping As Research Partners (SHARP) network, we hope to further integrate the voice and opinions of seniors into our research priorities and process.
Overarching these many projects and areas of interest, we have developed the title “Geriatric Health Systems (GHS) Research Group” to better represent our focus and provide a cohesive face to our work.