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Transforming our health care system’s culture

What is a Learning Health System (LHS)?

It’s integrating partnership and data science into health care and social services practices, with and for the public.

It’s measuring, analyzing, taking action…and measuring again!

  • From practices to data
  • From data to knowledge
  • From knowledge to clinical and organizational practices

For a health system to continuously improve, it must repeat the learning cycle.

What is POR?

Patient-oriented research (POR) is a partnership between patients, the public and any person or organization working in health in the areas of research, care and social services.

POR allows a transformation of the role of patients, moving them from passive recipients of services to proactive partners. This means they participate in research, health care and social services care as co-researchers, partners in their care and experts in living with disease.

Since its inception, the Unit has placed patient-oriented, partnered research at the heart of its initiatives.

Fulfilling Our Ambitions

POR gives us the means to achieve our ambitions by making it possible to establish a LHS.


Brigitte Guérin, Ph. D

Your leadership and various discussions led me to reflect on another dimension of the disease—the emotional impact—that cannot be found in the scientific literature. I wonder whether suffering and hardship in the face of disease can lead to great generosity and kindness…but clearly you do an extraordinary job of bringing a human dimension to the disease, which isn’t always the case. I am convinced that this collaboration with patient partners will make us better researchers with a greater understanding of the diseases that we want to diagnose and treat. We hope that we will be able to give them something in return and listen… especially when their time is so precious. A very sincere thank you.

What is SPOR?

The Unité de soutien SSA Québec is a provincial unit of the national SPOR network funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

The Canadian Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) was launched by the CIHR in 2014.

“Patient-oriented research is not only about improving the way research is done, but is fundamentally about improving health care policies and practices across the system, and ultimately, health outcomes. As a result, patient-oriented research requires the engagement of a wide range of stakeholders.”- Source: CIHR

In order to implement patient-oriented research in Canada, the CIHR has signed funding partnerships with:

  • The provinces and territories
  • Philanthropic organizations
  • Teaching institutions
  • Health charities

“This engagement helps to ensure that studies focus on patient-identified priorities, which ultimately leads to better patient outcomes.” – Source: CIHR