Advance our Research

Emergency Medicine is a unique crossroad between hospital and community, providing a critical safety net for individuals with health concerns ranging from heart failure to mental illness. In BC alone, there are approximately 1,000 physicians working to respond to more than 2,000,000 emergency patient visits per year.

The UBC Department of Emergency Medicine is committed to providing leadership, research, and training that is important to individuals, communities, and British Columbia’s health care system.

As emergency physicians encounter all aspects of health, they often identify opportunities for improved responses to patient illness and public health policies as a whole. Their experience, in partnership with the research capacity of academic centres, and the policy-making capacity of government, can greatly advance emergency care and shape the way we address the health needs of families and communities across BC. This is reflected within the Department’s five year Strategic Plan, which identifies “priority initiatives” built on excellence, new relevant knowledge generation, effective knowledge exchange, and system reform.

Priority Research Initiatives

Initiatives

Strategizing to successfully identify and treat infectious diseases

August 20, 2014

A 35 year old patient with a fever and weakness visits a small town emergency department. The patient is previously healthy and has a mildly low blood pressure but otherwise does not look critically ill. The physician treats him with fluids and acetaminophen and discharges him. He returns 6 hours later, critically ill, and dies […]

Launch
Initiatives

Caring for Medical Emergencies at Mass Gatherings

August 20, 2014

Dr. Adam Lund is internationally known as a leader in organizing and managing the medical events that arise at large gatherings such as music festivals, sporting events and other community events. Understanding medical needs at these planned events as well as unexpected disasters will result in better outcomes for patients.

Launch
Initiatives

Patient Safety in Emergency Environments

August 20, 2014

Unintended harm is not uncommon in health care. Dr. Garth Hunte is working to understand how we can better prepare for and prevent patient safety events from occurring in our Emergency Departments. His work is pivotal to setting policy and procedures that will increase patient safety.

Launch
Initiatives

Evaluating to what extend new impaired driving laws reduce preventable deaths

August 20, 2014

Several patients with minor injuries from a car crash come into a large Emergency Department. The injured driver is identified as causing the crash and his alcohol level is not elevated. He is discharged and 2 weeks later is the cause of a fatal pedestrian crash after smoking marijuana. The strategic initiative to mitigate driver […]

Launch
Initiatives

Improving emergency care for stroke patients

August 20, 2014

Dr. Devin Harris is a world leader in translating information about state of the art stroke care in the first few hours. He leads the provincial stroke initiative to improve neurologic outcomes on patients with new stroke or warning signs of strokes.

Launch
Initiatives

Helping Emergency Patients Quit Smoking

August 20, 2014

A large proportion of patients in emergency departments are smokers and many emergency patients have illnesses caused by smoking. Dr. Ka Wai Cheung is researching the effect of intervening in smokers during their visit to the emergency when they may be more receptive to quitting if the most effective supports are provided.

Launch
Initiatives

Optimizing survival in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest

August 20, 2014

Over the past five years, the survival rates of out of hospital cardiac arrest patients has risen from 6.6% to 13% thanks to focused training and monitoring of paramedic resuscitation practices across the province. Dr. Jim Christenson is leading the BC Site of the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (funded by CIHR, NIH and Heart and Stroke […]

Launch
Initiatives

Sharing Knowledge Effectively with all Practicing Physicians

August 20, 2014

A 50 year old patient with a fractured wrist comes into a small town Emergency Department. The risk requires reduction back to a normal position. The patient is transported to a larger center 4 hours away by ambulance. At the larger center, the patient received intravenous sedation in the emergency department and the fracture is […]

Launch
Initiatives

Teaching Physicians to Care for Critically ill Patients Through Simulation

August 20, 2014

Dr. Afshin Khazei is an expert in teaching through simulation. His leadership in the distribution and integration his innovative courses will result in the better maintenance of advanced skills for physicians working in emergency settings. The result will be improved care for patients in all 100 emergency departments across the province.

Launch
Initiatives

Preventing adverse effects of prescription medications

August 20, 2014

A 70 year old woman comes into the emergency department feeling weak, tired and dizzy–unable to cope at home alone. She is an adult onset diabetic, has high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and on 6 medications. Her blood tests reveal that her kidney function is a little worse than before and her liver functions are […]

Launch
Initiatives

Safe and efficient early discharge of low-risk patients with chest pain

August 20, 2014

Early research has shown that 5% of patients with heart attack or unstable angina were being discharged from teaching hospitals with an inaccurate diagnosis, and no follow-up. In response, Drs. Scheuermeyer, Grafstein and Christenson – with the UBC Department of Emergency Medicine – have developed a new system to better identify whether a patient with […]

Launch
Initiatives

Improving care of new atrial fibrillation

August 20, 2014

Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disturbance seen ib the Emergency Department. At times patients need to have an electric shock to convert the heart rhythm back to normal. Dr. Frank Scheuermeyer is searching for the safest and most efficient ways to urgently and safely treat these patients.

Launch