Research Chair: Michelle Greiver, MD, CCFP, FCFP
Dr. Michelle Greiver holds the position of Gordon F. Cheesbrough Research Chair in Family and Community Medicine at North York General Hospital (NYGH) and is the Director of the University of Toronto Practice-Based Research Network (UTOPIAN). Dr. Greiver is a practising Family Physician in North York, an Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM) at the University of Toronto and an Adjunct Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences.
Dr. Greiver's goal is to enhance care through research that can be used in daily family practice to help patients and physicians. She has over 30 years of experience as a community-based family physician in Toronto, and has a strong track record of research achievements relevant to family and community medicine. Dr. Greiver also leads multi-site research collaborations and international studies using electronic medical records (EMR) data.
Current major research projects
Health Databank Collaborative
At North York General Hospital, Dr. Greiver initiated and led the development of the Health Databank Collaborative. This project joins primary care EMR and hospital data; this enables research on transitions of care, as patients with complex health problems receive care from both hospital and from their family physician in the community. Read more about the work done at NYGH on merging hospital and community data to advance research.
Dr. Greiver leads the UTOPIAN team, whose activities have grown since the research network was established in 2013. UTOPIAN is a network of over 1,400 family physicians in practices within the 14 DFCM academic sites throughout the GTA and beyond. The network brings together DFCM researchers, primary care clinicians and practices from all its academic sites to answer important health care questions and translate findings into practice.
UTOPIAN has two major aspects: 1. support for clinical research projects in primary care, and 2. The UTOPIAN Data Safe Haven, a secure researchable database comprised of de-identified patient records extracted from EMRs in contributing primary care practices associated with the University of Toronto. Read more about UTOPIAN on the University of Toronto website.
Support for clinical research projects in primary care: family practice is the first point of contact for patients and where much of the care in Canada is coordinated. Yet relatively little primary care research has been done at this level: in fact, there are far more unanswered than answered questions. Many family physicians and practice staff members would like to contribute but find it difficult to take part in research projects. UTOPIAN's team has developed a range of supports for those interested in getting involved in clinical research, tailored to the needs of practice and specific projects. UTOPIAN contributes to clinical research ranging from local studies to large international projects. Learn more about UTOPIAN projects, presentations and publications.
UTOPIAN is currently participating in a four-year international study focused on advance care planning for patients with serious illnesses, alongside six other practice-based research networks in the United States and Canada.
The UTOPIAN Data Safe Haven: currently securely holds de-identified primary care EMR data for more than 550,000 patients. This EMR data is used for secondary data analyses and clinical research. It is also shared with appropriate permissions and safeguards with trusted third parties such as Diabetes Action Canada (National Diabetes Repository), Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network (www.cpcssn.ca ), and Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences for linkage with administrative data holdings.
On a national level, Dr. Greiver leads a team of more than 50 investigators in a research project to support primary care practices in optimizing care for older patients with polypharmacy. The SPIDER (Structured Process Informed by Data, Evidence and Research) study will be conducted in seven Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRNs) across five provinces in one of the largest PBRN-Quality Improvement (QI) collaborations in Canada. The project involves patients, family physicians and other health professionals, health planners and QI coaches who will form a Learning Collaborative. As part of the Learning Collaborative, members will work together to test methods to improve care in ways that are practical, useful and sustainable in daily family practice. Read more about SPIDER.
Phone: North York General Hospital: 416-756-6483
University of Toronto (Department of Family and Community Medicine): 416-978-5113
- UTOPIAN, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto
- Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences
- Diabetes Action Canada