Research Approach

In 2012, our team was funded to develop new adverse drug event reporting methods to address the shortcomings of existing systems.

As part of the initial research process, we:

  • Conducted a systematic review of adverse drug event reporting systems globally, identifying 108 ADE reporting systems containing 1782 unique data fields. In light of this variability, we suggested that developing a common standardized data set is likely to optimize ADE data and drug safety surveillance.
  • Held participatory design workshops engaging end-users – including physicians, pharmacists, and nurses from various healthcare settings – to share their needs and help co-design the Action ADE interface. We connected with over 180 frontline care providers in workshops to inform our design.
  • Completed over 350 hours of workplace observation understand work practices associated with ADE documentation and communication in various health care settings.
  • Conducted pilot-testing of a paper-based version of the ActionADE platform in emergency department settings.

Now, we are fully funded to refine, implement, and evaluate the ActionADE platform software in British Columbia. This phase will include electronic pilot testing, a quantitative evaluation, and a randomized control trial.

Alongside the ActionADE project, we are also conducting other research projects on the factors causing preventable ADEs, the rates and nature of preventable ADEs, and clinical decision tools to screen for patients at high risk of ADEs.

More heads are better than one

Integrated Knowledge Translation

The ActionADE uses an integrated knowledge translation approach to research, meaning we involve knowledge-users throughout the research process to co-produce evidence that is relevant to their needs.

In integrated knowledge translation, researchers and research users work together to shape the research process by collaborating to determine the research questions, decide on the methodology, conduct data collection and tools development, interpret the findings, and help disseminate the research results.1 The central assumption of integrated knowledge translation is that involving knowledge users as partners alongside researchers will lead to research that is more relevant and useful to the knowledge users.2-5 It is meant to cross disciplinary boundaries through collaboration, and transform practice and policy.6

We believe the most effective way to prevent ADE is using integrated knowledge translation to tap into the rich knowledge of stakeholders, and involve them in the research, design, implementation, and evaluation of the Action ADE Platform.


Including Patient Insights

Patient Oriented Research

Within this approach, it is vital to also engage patients as partners and focus on patient-identified priorities with the goals of improving patient experiences, health outcomes and the health system.

By conducting patient-oriented research, we hope to:

  • Develop and address relevant patient-oriented research questions about ADEs.
  • Improve health literacy about ADEs.
  • Promote patient participation in medication management decisions, and in identifying and preventing ADEs.
  • Empower patients to participate in prioritizing the dissemination of research results to decision-makers.


1. CIHR (2015). Knowledge Translation at CIHR. Retrieved from
2. Bowen, S., and P.J. Martens. 2006. A model for collaborative evaluation of university-community partnerships. J Epidemiol Community Health. 60(10):902–7.
3. Lomas, J. 2000. Using ‘linkage and exchange’ to move research into policy at a Canadian foundation. Health Aff (Millwood). 19(3):236–40.
4. Kitson, A., and M. Bisby. 2008. Speeding up the spread: putting KT research into practice and developing an integrated KT collaborative research agenda. Edmonton (AB): Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research.
5. Bartunek, J., J. Trullen, E. Bonet, and A. Sauquet. 2003. Sharing and expanding academic and practitioner knowledge in health care. J Health Serv Res Policy. 8 Suppl 2:62–8.
6. Lapaige, V. “Integrated knowledge translation” for globally oriented public health practitioners and scientists: framing together a sustainable transfrontier knowledge translation vision. J Multidiscip Healthc 2010, 3:33–47.