The cardiac electrophysiology research group has been consistently presenting and reviewing studies for national and international meetings including American Heart Association, Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, and the Heart Rhythm Society.
Its research has allowed Southlake to become a leader in Ontario, Canada, and beyond, in performing breakthrough procedures to treat cardiac patients
Southlake's interventional cardiology team has participated in 22 multi-centre trials, including evaluations of new drugs and devices, and comparisons of different revascularization and reperfusion strategies (ways to restore blood flow to the heart following a heart attack or stroke).
It was one of the top enrollers in a trial that changed the international guidelines for the treatment of ST-elevation MI (a type of heart attack). A Southlake physician was the lead author in an article on the study that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2009.
Southlake was one of only two sites in North America to participate in a trial comparing pre-hospital fibrinolysis (i.e. paramedics administering therapy to prevent blood clots from forming) with primary PCI (i.e. coronary angioplasty done at the hospital).
The interventional cardiology team has published several articles, some from studies done only at Southlake, others done in collaboration with other centres.
One recent study, co-authored by Natalie Rozanec, Dr. Daria Comsa and Dr. Doug Moseley, explored the use of computer software to develop soft tissue matching strategies for radiation treatment of prostate cancer. They will present it at the 17th annual International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technicians Conference and 70th Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists annual general conference in June 2012.
The Arthritis Program (TAP)
Dr. Carter Thorne, principal investigator at The Arthritis Program Research Group Inc., has done clinical research since 1986. He has participated in randomized clinical trials and observational studies as well as new medication registries.
He has published numerous papers and made presentations on his research, and is currently working to develop national, provincial, and federal guidelines for rheumatoid arthritis care.
TAP manager Lorna Bain has successfully led initiatives to develop training programs for inter-professional care and received two peer-reviewed grants in this area.
Southlake orthopedic surgeon Dr. Christopher Lindsay and his research co-ordinator Debbie Nemtean have conducted successful Phase II-IV clinical trials at the hospital since 2004.
Patients have participated in eight deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis studies (treatments to prevent blood clots in the leg following orthopedic surgery) and one pain trial.
“Our site's claim to fame is consistently being the first to start recruitment of patients before any other orthopedic site in Canada,” says Dr. Lindsay. “This is due to the efficiency and dedication of the Research Ethics office. Turn around time for review and approval of protocols and trials are beyond reproach. They far exceed most other research centres.”
Eating Disorders Program
Doctors and therapists at Southlake's Eating Disorders Program have initiated several studies on the assessment and treatment of eating disorders.
Research results have been submitted for and/or accepted for publication in various journals and presented at events hosted by organizations including Canadian Psychological Association, Canadian Psychiatric Association, Eating Disorders Association of Canada, and European Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
The Psychogeriatric Assertive Community Treatment Team (PACTT), which provides services for people over the age of 55 with severe mental illness, was highlighted as a benchmark mental health geriatric team by the Canadian Coalition of Seniors and Mental Health.
Psychotherapist and social worker Sheri Van Dijk presented research on treating people with bipolar disorder using dialectical behaviour therapy (which stresses mindfulness or being in the present, aware of one's feelings and reactions to situations) to the American Psychiatric Conference in 2011.
A “lean” care delivery model, which embraces the philosophy of preserving value with less work, has improved processes and decreased overlap of services. The Southlake model has been copied by more than 10 Ontario hospitals, as well as hospitals in British Columbia, Alberta, Nova Scotia and the United Kingdom.
An innovative transitional care unit provides appropriate care to patients awaiting transfer to long-term care or services to allow them to return home. The unit frees up acute care beds for patients in need and has saved $700,000.
An inter-professional task force has developed a program to address delirium (a confused state of mind that develops quite suddenly and is common among elderly hospital patients). It includes patient visits by specially trained volunteers and posters identifying the early signs of delirium to make friends, family and healthcare professionals aware of the issue.