Enhancing care, improving outcomes, and optimizing essential resources

August 30, 2021

Data scientists at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) have developed and tested a clinical model to accurately predict the risk of death and unplanned cardiac hospitalization for patients awaiting heart surgery. Researchers believe their model facilitates patient-centered decision-making, improves patient outcomes, and maximizes the allocation of essential health care resources.

The project is spearheaded by Dr. Louise Sun, a cardiac anesthesiologist and data scientist at the UOHI, and an adjunct scientist with the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES).

“Given the medical complexity of cardiac patients and the risk of them getting sicker while awaiting surgery, a data-driven approach promotes individualized wait times and affirms decisions for safe and timely triaging,” said Dr. Sun. “Our model is an extra tool in the box to support referring physicians and the surgeon–anesthesiology team, as well as health care administrators, through time-dependent, individualized risk prediction.”

To derive and validate the tool, Sun and her team conducted a population-based, retrospective cohort study using data from the clinical registry of CorHealth Ontario and population-level administrative health care databases from ICES. More than 62,000 patients across the province were included in their analysis. The results are published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ).

Dr. Sun and her team have also identified features of patients who are at the highest risk of death or unplanned cardiac hospitalization while on the waitlist, which could be used to identify those who are most likely to benefit from expedited surgery.

For more information:

Dr. Sun and her team have developed point-of-care apps and integrated software platforms for waitlist management, capacity planning and scheduling to share with hospitals and healthcare jurisdictions during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.

Media contact:

To schedule an interview with Dr. Louise Sun of the UOHI, please contact the liaison below.

Leigh B. Morris
Communications Officer
University of Ottawa Heart Institute
613-316-6409 (cell)