Portal for Elder Research, Care and Innovation (PERCI) poised to transform aging in Canada

Estabrooks' $329K John R. Evans Leaders Fund Grant mitigates Canada's looming long-term care population explosion through accessible data sharing

13 August 2019

Canada's long-term care (LTC) system, already overextended, faces unprecedented growth in the coming decades. With estimates of 63% more long-term care residents by 2036 - and ballooning costs to taxpayers and families - this unprecedented increase threatens to burden Canada's already stretched health systems and staff to breaking point.

But where the rest of the country sees a problem, Dr. Carole Estabrooks and her team see a research challenge they're uniquely positioned to help solve.

Through a new John R. Evans Leaders Fund Grant, Dr. Estabrooks is addressing this seismic shift in population head on. Leveraging Dr. Estabrooks' Translating Research in Elder Care's (TREC) LTC database - a unique longitudinal LTC database that links administrative and primary data at both the unit and facility levels - her team is creating the Portal for Elder Research, Care and Innovation (PERCI). This groundbreaking portal will allow researchers to tap the vast wealth of data her team has collected over the past decade to design studies specifically tailored to address quality gaps, spread and scale up potential solutions, and evaluate the capacity of health systems to adopt them.

PERCI is poised to transform how LTC data can be used and mobilized and facilitate research into the interrelationships between the quality of resident care, staff work life and the LTC environment. In short, it will put Canada's long-term care system under a microscope to see what is and isn't working, and support strategies to improve the system using uniquely rich data and research.

Perhaps the most concrete outcome of the PERCI initiative is that it will empower not only researchers, but also front-line staff and decision makers by giving them access to their own data. Facilities can see long-term information about their work, and they can also compare this data to national averages to monitor successes. This insight will give facilities the information to change and reallocate operational capacity and resources, and the tools to evaluate these changes over the long term.

As Canada's population ages, its systems must adapt - and PERCI will provide a map to guide these crucial changes. This unique initiative will be a key tool in timely access to data; new evidence-based practices and tools; training focused on better elder care; and LTC staff retention and safety for Canada's LTC systems.

To learn more about TREC, please visit https://trecresearch.ca/ and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.