Community Learning Space

The infraNET Project and 
Waterloo Institute for Health Informatics Research
University of Waterloo

present ...

"Why Not Improve Health Care Through
Effective Knowledge Translation?"


Dr. Brian Haynes, MSc, PhD, FRCPC, MACP, FACMI
Chair, Dept. of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics;
Professor, Dept. of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics & Dept. of Medicine,
McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario

Wednesday, March 28, 2007
3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Davis Centre, Room 1302
University of Waterloo

Seminar Series Sponsors:
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
McKesson Information Solutions - Smart Systems for Health Agency
Healthcare Information Management and Communications Canada

Presentation Archive 2007

At present, it takes about a generation for reasonably uniform uptake of new knowledge by health practitioners about as long as it takes for practitioners beyond formal training to retire or die. Given this and the about $100B invested globally in generating new health knowledge, this is tragedy for many people with preventable or treatable health problems, hugely wasteful, and a serious challenge to the concept of professionalism and self-regulation of health practitioners.

Knowledge translation (KT) has to do with the testing, timely retrieval, critical appraisal, distillation, synthesis, policy formulation, and application of knowledge. From an informatics perspective, applying what we now know about KT for usable evidence from health research would help, especially if we collaborated in doing so, rather than continuing in the current state of competitive and largely feckless efforts to foster KT. In this presentation, I will describe efforts to engender a collaborative approach. I will also present an agenda for KT research for discussion and suggest that a much higher proportion of investments in health research be shifted to study KT until we eliminate this bottleneck in improving health care.

About the Speaker
Brian Haynes received his MD in 1971 from the University of Alberta, and a PhD in clinical epidemiology from McMaster University in 1975. He completed residency training in internal medicine at the Toronto Hospital in Toronto, Ontario and St. Thomas s Hospital in London, England. He joined the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University in 1977, where he is currently Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Medicine, Chair of the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Chief of the Health Information Research Unit, and on the active medical staff of Hamilton Health Sciences. Brian is the founding editor ACP Journal Club, published by the American College of Physicians, and its electronic database,, BMJUpdates+ (, an electronic best evidence dissemination service, and several other evidence-based information services. He is a fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics. His main research interests are in improving health care through enhancing the validation, distillation, dissemination and application of health care knowledge.

For more information
Shirley Fenton
Managing Director, WIHIR
University of Waterloo
(519) 888-4074

Seminar Hosts
This seminar is hosted by the Waterloo Institute for Health Informatics Research (WIHIR) and The infraNET Project, University of Waterloo.

The infraNET Project, initiated by the University of Waterloo in 1996, is a partnership to advance Web and Internet technologies. Its founding partners were: LivePage (now part of Siebel), MKS, Open Text, RIM, Sybase (Waterloo) and Waterloo Maple.

We also gratefully acknowledge the assistance of the Institute for Computer Research, University of Waterloo.