Skip Navigation LinksHome


Senior representatives from organizations across Canada are working together to develop a Pan-Canadian Real-world Health Data Network (PRHDN) 

Canadian researchers have achieved scientific success, and strong influence on policy, by virtue of our world-class provincial health-related administrative data holdings; but research data infrastructure that supports multi-province and pan-Canadian studies will be essential for future success and relevance:​

  • Other jurisdictions are collaborating to create health data holdings that, in some ways, rival or surpass the data assets Canadian researchers have benefited from based on our large single-payer health systems

  • ​Multi-province studies are required if we are to learn from the natural policy experiments that have been occurring; for example, as provinces have taken different approaches to primary health care reform 

  • There is a limit to the interest the international community will have in sub-national studies, and an opportunity for Canadian researchers to have enhanced impact if we move to multi-province and pan-Canadian studies​

  • I​t is neither practical nor efficient to expect individual researchers or small teams to establish and maintain health research data infrastructure for multi-province studies​

The core PRHDN research data infrastructure will be a distributed data network that enables multi-province studies without requiring that data leave provincial boundaries. There are three main infrastructure elements:

  • Algorithms: reusable processes, ideally in the form of documented code, which implement a common approach or definition, e.g., to define a case or to create a derived variable

  • ​Harmonized common data: datasets held within provincial boundaries that contain comparable individual-level data, including common data that are currently available, and new data that have been harmonized by applying PRHDN algorithms

  • ​Common analytic protocols: methods and technical/process documents detailing the steps for multi-province health research studies which yield results that can be pooled or combined even though the underlying provincial data are not harmonized

​Please download the PRHDN glossary for additional terms and definitions related to PRHDN research data infrastructure.​

PRHDN will also have complementary infrastructure (e.g., scientific coordination, joined up governance and training, a forum to connect with the policy community, mechanisms to share learning and expertise), to ensure that PRHDN health research data infrastructure has its maximum impact.

Our goal is to design PRHDN research data infrastructure that is useful and transformative for Canadian researchers and policy/decision makers. We welcome your input. Please mail ​ to find out more, or click here ​to provide suggestions or become a member of the PRHDN Consortium.



If you are a researcher or policy/decision maker interested in being invol​​​ved in PRHDN development and using PRHDN research data infrastructure in the futu​​re, please cl​ick hereto become a member of the PRHDN Consortium.​
​​​PRHDN News:
The PRHDN Leads Team has expanded its membership further, see "Contact Us​" for details.  The results of the first survey of PRHDN Consortium members on priorities have been compiled and are available under "Downloadable Documents."  Many thanks to those who responded.​
​ ​
PRHDN CAHSPR Abstract 2016.pdf
5/9/2016 6:36 AM
PRHDN Overview 5Nov15.pdf
11/5/2015 8:20 AM
Results of Survey of Priorities for PRHDN Implementation Plan.pdf
11/3/2015 1:29 PM
CMAJ Rx for data-rich, access-poor researchers.pdf
8/20/2015 10:37 AM
PRHDN-Primary Care NOI 21May15.pdf
8/20/2015 10:37 AM
PRHDN Glossary 7May15.pdf
5/7/2015 6:09 PM