Health services research explores how drugs and other treatments perform in large patient populations; essentially, how well the system serves the patients who depend upon it. Here, real-world evidence reveals how medications and other interventions work for people of all ages, with additional conditions beyond cancer, rather than in clinical trial study populations alone.
Alberta is one of the few provinces with a team established to closely examine the effectiveness of its cancer system. As the provincial director for Health Services Research within Cancer Research & Analytics, Dr. Winson Cheung and his colleagues study evidence gathered from electronic medical records and other huge health databases – cancer registries, pharmacy records, and patient reports on symptoms and quality of life – to learn how existing processes can be improved to better inform cancer care.
They are real-world outcomes: why a disease occurs, what unfolds beyond a diagnosis, and what may lead to its return.
The ultimate goal is to ensure that all those needing cancer care get it, in the most timely, compassionate, and appropriate manner possible.
Major projects include: