Ottawa Heart Institute Facts

The University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) is Canada’s largest and foremost heart health centre dedicated to understanding, treating and preventing heart disease.

We deliver high-tech care with a personal touch, shape the way cardiovascular medicine is practiced, and revolutionize cardiac treatment and understanding. We build knowledge through research and translate discoveries into advanced care. We serve the local, national and international community and are pioneering a new era in heart health.

Quick Facts

  • The Heart Institute opened its doors in 1976. We are celebrating  our 45th anniversary in 2021. See a timeline of notable moments from our rich history.
  • We employ over 1,400 physicians, nurses, researchers, technicians, allied health professionals and others.
  • We handle more than 185,000 patient visits a year. Many patients come from across Canada.
  • We are renowned for outstanding patient care with patient satisfaction among the highest in Ontario.
  • We operate Canada’s largest comprehensive cardiac prevention and rehabilitation program.
  • Our more than 60 principal investigators and 130 research staff are dedicated to better understanding heart disease and finding new ways to treat and prevent it. 
  • 66 research faculty including 29 scientists and clinician scientists.
  • We believe that world-class, patient-centred care is rooted in research and education. Learn more about research at the Heart Institute.

Noteworthy

  • As an early adopter of telehealth technologies, the Heart Institute has been reshaping the delivery of health care for more than two decades. Learn more about our complete suite of virtual care programs: the Virtual Care Program, the Telehome Monitoring Program, and the Cardiac Virtual Care Program.
  • A Canadian leader in telemedicine/telehealth, we have cut hospital readmission by 54% for heart failure patients saving up to $20,000 for each patient safely diverted from an ER visit, re-admission, and hospital stay.
  • We developed and implemented an internationally recognized region-wide protocol that has cut STEMI heart attack deaths by half.
  • Our smoking cessation program is in use in more than 450 sites across Canada and has been adopted in at least six international countries, including the U.S.A., Uruguay, England, Germany, Greece, and India.
  • Established in 2014, our Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre is the first of its kind in Canada.
  • In 2018, we celebrated the grand inauguration of the Heart Institute’s critical care facility. This state-of-the-art addition is among the most sophisticated and technologically advanced cardiac care facilities in Canada.
  • The Heart Institute’s expansion project was completed in 2020 with the relocation and expansion of the Cardiac Imaging Centre and the Prevention and Wellness Centre; and with the redesign and renovation of the Heart Institute’s Grand Atrium (main lobby).

Delivering Care

  • We are the principal referring centre for 14 hospitals within the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN).
  • Along with five hospitals in the region, we switched to a fully integrated, patient-centred, electronic medical records management system called Epic. Patients can now conveniently access their personal medical files through the MyChart patient portal and review test results, medical reports, upcoming appointments and much more.
  • We have established eight interdisciplinary heart teams to provide world-class, patient centred care to patients of the Heart Institute. Heart teams are comprised of clinical experts from various cardiac subspecialities, including members from medicine, nursing, allied health, and research, whom are all driven by the Heart Institute’s desire for collaboration and innovation.
  • We are a world leader in minimally invasive surgical techniques.
  • Our Cardiology Division has one of largest patient volumes per MD when compared against other academic centres in North America.
  • We are officially designated under the Ontario French Language Services Act. The majority of our services are offered in both official languages.
  • The National Cardiac PET Centre is a designated provincial resource and a core facility for national imaging networks.
  • We regularly have more than 100 clinical trials underway, giving our patients access to new methods of care that may not be otherwise available.

Selected Research Highlights

The Heart Institute’s internationally recognized research program has:

  • Identified the strongest genetic risk factor for coronary artery disease and heart attack to date (the 9p21 gene)—the first major risk factor discovered since cholesterol—at our Ruddy Canadian Cardiovascular Genetics Centre. Presence of this gene increases the risk of heart disease by 40%.  
  • Developed RAPID GENE, the world’s first bedside genetic test.
  • Discovered the genetic basis for atrial fibrillation, the most common form of cardiac arrhythmia, affecting 250,000 Canadians.
  • Established cardiac re-synchronization therapy as a standard of care for mild and moderate heart failure.
  • Discovered a new mechanism for the mobilization and export of cholesterol from cells.

Education Highlights

  • We train more than 280 medical, graduate, and post-graduate students each year. The University of Ottawa Heart Institute provides continuing education and best practice training for physicians, nurses, technologists and other health care professionals and institutions.
  •  Heart Institute patient education tools and programs are used as models by health care organizations across Canada.

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