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Steering Committee, Adverse Drug Event Research Program

Posted • Last updated


Open to Provincial Region, Volunteers in the Vancouver area (specifically Vancouver General Hospital patients) or willing to travel/teleconference

Last updated

Are you interested in improving medical care by developing, evaluating and implementing health systems interventions for patients who are at risk of and/or suffering from adverse drug events as part of an ongoing research program?

Open to: Volunteers in the Vancouver area (specifically Vancouver General Hospital patients) or willing to travel/teleconference

Lead Organization or Department

Adverse Drug Event (ADE) Research Program – A multi-organization initiative


75% of Canadians over 65 are taking one or more prescription medication daily to treat chronic conditions like hypertension, heart disease, or mental illness. Unfortunately, this trend has come with a price: adverse drug events (ADEs), the unintended and harmful events associated with medications, have become a leading cause of preventable adverse events in medicine. They are also a leading cause of emergency department visits and unplanned hospital admissions. Tragically, the occurrence of an ADE could make a medication—intended to prevent or treat disease—harmful and sometimes even deadly. The ADE Research Program focuses on improving medical care by developing, evaluating and implementing health systems interventions for patients who are at risk of and/or suffering from ADEs. This includes interventions to help identify ADEs in clinical care and to improve health data on ADEs so researchers and drug regulators can develop system-level preventative strategies. Our work includes identifying opportunities for prevention (e.g., examining the rate and categories of preventable ADEs). We also seek to develop health systems interventions to improve clinical care and patient outcomes (e.g., developing clinical decision-making tools, developing an ADE reporting platform). Action ADE is currently one of our main research projects. Research has found that 30-50% of patients who have suffered from an ADE will be unintentionally re-exposed to the culprit drug—the drug that previously caused a harmful event. This happens because information about ADEs is not reliably shared between hospitals, doctors’ offices and pharmacies. Action ADE is an electronic ADE reporting interface that we are developing and would like to evaluate. We anticipate that healthcare providers will use it to capture and share information about ADEs between providers (e.g., doctors, pharmacists and nurses) and across healthcare sectors (e.g., between hospitals, doctors’ offices and pharmacies).

Level of Engagement

This opportunity is at the level of collaborate (at a system-wide strategic leadership level) on the spectrum of engagement (  The promise to you is that the health care partner will look to you for advice in developing, implementing and evaluating national, provincial and regional policy and/or research to ensure the health care system is responsive to the patients’ experience as much as possible.


  • We aim to engage four individuals as collaborators: two individuals to participate as research team members and two as steering committee members. Ideally, these individuals have expertise in one or more of the following areas:
-Focus groups or workshops, leading (preferred) or participating -Scientific or technical writing, reviewing, editing, or publishing -Experience working within the health system -Administrative experience -Communications -Research process -Quality improvement processes
  • The research team members will assist us in writing, synthesizing, and reviewing the results from focus groups and workshops. These individuals may receive training and may participate in data collection, depending on individual expertise. Research team member will attend team meetings and review the recommendations emerging from our activities.
  • Steering committee members will attend and contribute to in-person steering committee meetings, and will assist us in developing, prioritizing and refining research ideas. They will help us to develop communication strategies, including educational materials, for a wide range of stakeholders, including patient groups and government. These individuals will review the recommendations that emerge from our research.
  • Patients should have previously attended a PVN orientation session.  If you have not attended an orientation but are interested please contact the Engagement Leader directly to see if accommodations may be possible.


  • Vacancies: 4 (two research team members and two steering committee members)
  • One-year term with an opportunity to extend up to two years.
  • In-person and teleconference
  • We predict a time commitment of approximately 10 hours per month to attend meetings held at Vancouver General Hospital and assist with other activities outlined above.


Out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed and details of compensation will be discussed with individuals.


This opportunity has come about because we are seeking to expand and refine a research program on an evolving public health crisis - the increasing number of patients suffering harm from medications. We believe that engaging patients in our research program will help us identify, develop, evaluate and prioritize new areas for medication safety interventions, and help us refine, build upon, and prioritize already identified areas for interventions. We also seek patient input specifically into an adverse drug event reporting platform we are developing, and that we hope to implement in British Columbia. We seek to explore, with patients and caregivers, to what extent and how patients would like to participate in ADE reporting, how, and through what type of portal. We are a multi-disciplinary research team that includes the following members: •Dr. Hohl is the principal investigator of the ADE Research Program. She is a clinician scientist who practices emergency medicine, and a health services researcher focusing on ADEs. Dr. Hohl leads research projects that provide epidemiological data to guide further development of health systems interventions to prevent ADEs, and evaluate the implementation of medication management interventions. She is co-principal investigator of the Action ADE project. • Dr. Balka is a communications professor specializing in health information technology and participatory action research. She has been working with the ADE Research Program since 2012, and works with multi-disciplinary teams to improve the design and use of information technology in health care settings. She is nominated principal investigator of the Action ADE project. • Hospital-based and community pharmacists • Graduate students in Epidemiology, Communications, and Knowledge Translation. • Research Assistants and Coordinators We engage with a diverse group of stakeholders: • Patients; • Physicians; • Community pharmacists; • Government officials (BC and ON Ministries of Health, federal MP); • Healthcare managers and administrators; and, • Professional bodies (BC College of Pharmacists, College of Physicians of BC). There are minimal potential risks. All patient volunteers will be asked to consent to protecting the confidentiality of others. The information we intend to share with patients will include all of our publications and presentations delivered that they have been involved with. The patient partners who become research team or steering committee members will assist with developing communications materials.

Health Care Partner Contact Information

Selena Davis
Engagement Leader, Patient and Public Engagement | Kootenays & Boundary


From Our Community

Laura Parmar

Physician Quality Improvement Coach — Northern Health

Laura Palmer

It has been so rewarding to go from an idea to working with such a great group of dedicated people from so many different organizations towards a very fun and rewarding project. Several extremely engaged PVN members expressed interest in being part of piloting a patient virtual care peer support system. I am confident that this is the beginning of many more exciting collaborations!