Taking on the Antibiotic and Opioid Crises with the Prescription Pad

August 02, 2018

​By: Jennifer Lee

Giving doctors a clear sense of what their prescribing habits are can have an effect on the quality of care patients receive.  A new grant led by Dr. Noah Ivers out of the Women's College Hospital (WCH) Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care (WIHV) will support the evaluation of feedback given to thousands of Ontario doctors on their current antibiotic and opioid prescribing practices.

By partnering with scientists at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and a range of other experts, as well as with provincial stakeholders like Public Health Ontario and Health Quality Ontario, the team at WCH will test out different approaches to find the best ways of boosting patient care and outcomes.

Although the number of opioids dispensed in Canada has dropped by 4.9%, evidence shows that prescriptions for these drugs have increased by 6.8%. Evidence also shows that right now on average, Canadian health care providers prescribe 33% more antibiotics compared to European counterparts.

"We are thrilled to win this highly competitive award from the CIHR's Strategy for Patient Oriented Research and to work with our partners to implement strategies that try to make health care more patient-centred and more evidence-based," says Dr. Noah Ivers, innovation fellow at WIHV. "The misuse of opioids and antibiotics has led to current and emerging public health crises and as a family doctor myself, I know we need more resources to help front-line providers achieve population health goals."

The project is set to roll out over the next four years with support from the Canadian Institute of Health Research's SPOR Innovative Clinical Trials (iCT). When the project is done, the team hopes to move the dial on doctors playing a vital role in driving large scale improvements inside health care.

Recommended Reading