The Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit

At its core, the Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit proposes to address patient-oriented health issues through research by increasing the use of routinely collected administrative health data, patient and treatment registries and, eventually, to incorporate electronic medical chart information into research and evaluation. We will enhance and expand Data Repositories that will link existing administrative health databases with patient and treatment registries. This will transform them into accessible and more user-friendly sources for research evaluations across the continuum of health care. 

We will create standardized analytic data sets and protocols for utilizing data to facilitate collaboration. In the future, data linkages will be expanded to include novel biomarker and genotyping datasets and clinical data from medical charts.

The goal of the Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit is to efficiently use scarce resources so that stakeholders can better address critical health issues in patient-oriented and health services research. The Unit will provide a suite of services including strategic and technical expertise in observational and experimental research, consultancy services, a training facility and a common data platform that will facilitate evaluative and interventional studies designed to improve the health of people in the Maritime Provinces. The Unit requires the collaboration of governmental policy-makers, health authority decision-makers, healthcare researchers in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, and will consolidate and build upon existing infrastructure and regional resources. Patient engagement will be an important feature to assist with the selection of research priorities for study. The Unit presents a tremendous opportunity to bring more evidence to health care decision- and policy-making in the region.

In addition to the Data Repositories, the Unit will support patient-oriented research in five other key areas:

  1. Methods Support & Development
  2. Consultation & Research Services
  3. Real World Clinical Trials
  4. Career Development in Methods and Health Services Research
  5. Health Systems, Knowledge Translation & Implementation

The governance structure of the Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit will support provincial research agendas while pursuing themes common to the Maritimes, sharing of best practices, and developing economies of scale. A centralized governance model will be implemented to provide strategic leadership and guidance. However, individual provinces will retain significant budgetary control. The Maritime Premiers and Ministers of Health are participating in the initiative and welcome the increased capacity for evidence-based health care evaluation that will benefit the people of Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.