Health Canada

Health Canada

February 19, 2014 11:20 ET

Government of Canada Funds Research on Teams to Strengthen Healthcare

Helping the healthcare system work better for Canadians

HAMILTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb. 19, 2014) - Health Canada

Today, Parliamentary Secretary Eve Adams on behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, announced $6.5 million in funding to McMaster University for a project to study the use of team-based care as a way to achieve better health outcomes for patients and make the system more cost effective.

The project: "Teams Advancing Patient Experience: Strengthening Quality," (TAPESTRY), will examine how changing the way a primary healthcare team operates and interacts with its patients can improve the quality and efficiency of primary healthcare services. By integrating resources such as community volunteers, eHealth technologies and system navigation, the project will support patient-centred care and stronger connections to community services.

The TAPESTRY project is expected to provide valuable information regarding ways to increase access to primary healthcare services. The initiative aims to generate evidence and develop tools to assist provincial and territorial governments in addressing ongoing primary healthcare challenges.

Quick Facts

  • The Government of Canada is one of the largest investors in healthcare research with more than $1 billion invested annually.

  • The Government of Canada has increased health transfers to the provinces and territories to unprecedented levels. This funding will continue to grow, reaching $40 billion by the end of the decade.

  • The need for innovation, both in terms of medical technologies and healthcare delivery systems, is a significant public policy challenge that the Government of Canada is committed to addressing.


"Innovation is critical to improving the efficiency of the healthcare system but also to helping Canadians maintain good health. This project is looking at innovative ways that health professionals can work together to provide care to Canadians."

Eve Adams, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

"We're finding ways to combine the personal touch of community volunteerism and the latest technologies to improve primary health care. The TAPESTRY project will connect citizens with their health care team to encourage early identification of potential health problems. This is important for Canadians and for the efficiency of our health care system."

Dr. David Price, Professor and Chair, Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University

"The TAPESTRY project promises us great insight on new and effective ways to provide proactive health care for Canadians in their own homes. This is an important advance towards improving health, starting with older adults."

John Kelton, Dean and Vice President, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University

"The TAPESTRY project is an ideal platform for advancing patient health through collaboration. Combined with access to evidence-based information, such as through the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal, Canadian citizens, clinicians, public health professionals and policymakers will be able to make informed decisions and support older adults to remain healthy and engaged as long as possible."

Dr. Susan Denburg, Director of the Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative and Associate Vice-President, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University

"As a community volunteer for TAPESTRY, I enjoy making connections with older adults in our community that enable them to become more engaged in their own health and encourage discussion with their health care team about services they may require from the community. I think the inclusion of university students in the volunteer program is a very positive and enjoyable experience for the older adults."

Linda Gill, Community volunteer for the TAPESTRY project.

Related Products

Fact Sheet - Teams Advancing Patient Experience: Strengthening Quality (TAPESTRY)

Associated Links

McMaster University - TAPESTRY

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Fact Sheet

Teams Advancing Patient Experience: Strengthening Quality (TAPESTRY)

The Government of Canada is providing McMaster University with $6.5 million over three years for a research project that will evaluate the impact of healthcare teams on patient outcomes and the effectiveness the healthcare system.

The research project is called Teams Advancing Patient Experience: Strengthening Quality (TAPESTRY). McMaster University researchers will evaluate various team-based models in different primary healthcare settings, beginning with the McMaster Family Health Team in Hamilton, Ontario, and then branching out to sites in other provinces.

The project involves four key areas of research:

  • Examining ways to improve collaboration within the primary healthcare team and with community resources to better meet patients' healthcare needs;

  • Using trained community volunteers to assist the patient in linking better with his or her healthcare team;

  • Using an electronic personal health record to facilitate communication and information exchange; and

  • Assisting the patient in progressing seamlessly through the healthcare system using system navigation activities.

The project is intended to assist older adults and other at-risk populations in meeting their health goals and staying healthy longer to avoid the need for intensive and costly interventions such as hospitalization. By reaching out to these individuals and creating a community around them, the project expects to positively impact their health so they can continue to live at home. Avoiding more intense services translates to cost savings for the healthcare system.

Provincial and territorial governments are applying team-based care as a promising option to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery. The resources and knowledge generated through this research project will be useful for healthcare providers, organizations and governments in developing new models of care to meet the needs of their population.

In addition to federal funding, McMaster University has obtained funding through a donation from the Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative, as well as support from the Government of Ontario and the McMaster Family Health Organization.

Contact Information

  • Michael Bolkenius
    Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
    Federal Minister of Health
    (613) 957-0200

    Susan Emigh
    McMaster University Faculty of Health Sciences,
    Public Relations
    905-525-9140 ext. 22555

    Health Canada
    Media Relations
    (613) 957-2983

    Public Inquiries:
    (613) 957-2991
    1-866 225-0709