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M.Sc. Health Systems candidates Vicki Sabourin and Javier Fiallos today presented highlights from their internships at the Canadian Primary Health Care Research & Innovation Network (CPHCRIN) and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). The three-month internship component of this program promotes linkages between research and practice and prepares students to be meaningful contributors to health systems delivery after graduation.

Fiallos contributed to a decision support project in the emergency department of CHEO, analyzing patient visits data and developing quantitative models. His aim was to identify improvements to the department’s triage system and explore modifications to surgery block scheduling and nurse staffing for day surgery. “I learned that health systems generate an immense amount of data which does not necessarily contribute to process improvements unless appropriate research questions are proposed at the outset,” Fiallos explained; “I deepened my understanding of how data can be put to effective use by employing the right research tools and knowledge.”

For her internship, Sabourin joined CPHCRIN, where she contributed towards building a strategic plan under the supervision of Dr. William Hogg, the executive director, and Hannah Irving and Michelle Prentice, the network’s coordinators. “I gained tremendous knowledge of the research development process through opportunities to review the literature and to synthesize findings that emerged from meetings with members of the Network,” says Sabourin, who holds a BSc. in Nursing from the University of Ottawa. “I also learned about the importance of coordinating CBPHC research efforts through a pan-Canadian network.”

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