Research is an essential component of healthcare. Research leads to improvements in the quality, safety and effectiveness of health services, including EMS.

Research agendas provide a roadmap to guide the decisions that need to be made on research. These roadmaps can lead to increased teamwork and better communication among various groups of people, which can help the groups plan for the future together.

The purpose of this study, titled the Canadian National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Research Agenda (from here forward, referred to as the ‘EMS Research Agenda‘) is to identify and explore the following:

  • To identify and explore barriers that currently exist in the development and conduct of EMS research in Canada.
  • To identify and explore opportunities that currently or potentially exist that would aid the development of EMS research in Canada.
  • To make recommendations for change/next steps in order to overcome barriers and capitalize on opportunities.
  • To identify national EMS research priorities.


EMS Research Agenda Contact:Jan L Jensenjljensen(at)dal.ca902 456 1630

The methods of this study have been published in BMC Emergency Medicine. Please follow this link for the full-text article: click here

The results of this study will inform people who work within EMS (such as paramedics, managers and medical directors) and EMS researchers, who can use the knowledge to improve the way EMS research is conducted and the results are used in systems across the country. The hope is these advances in Canadian EMS research will lead to improvements for patients, professionals and EMS systems, because of the increased quality research evidence available.

Paramedics, EMS physicians, EMS researchers and other relevant stakeholders have been invited to participant in this multi-phase study. The phases of the EMS Research Agenda study are:

1. QUALITATIVE ONE-ON-ONE INTERVIEWSSome EMS Research Agenda participants will be recruited to participate in one-on-one telephone interviews, in which the barriers, opportunities, and priorities related to Canadian EMS research will be explored. The results of this sub-study will inform the Roundtable Session.2. NEWFOUNDLAND ROUNDTABLE SESSION

All the participants from across Canada will gather in St. John’s Newfoundland on June 10, 2011 to discuss the barriers and opportunities for Canadian EMS research, make recommendations for the future and identify research priorities. A professional facilitator will assist with running the roundtable session, and study team investigators will serve as small-group facilitators. The topics identified during the Roundtable Session will be part of the consensus survey.


The purpose of this survey is to identify, using participant consensus, the most important barriers to Canadian EMS research, the most important opportunities that exist, the most important recommendations for change and the most important research priorities. This electronic multi-round survey, which will follow Delphi methodology, will ask participants to rank the importance of each topic under the main headings (barriers, opportunities, recommendations, and priorities).

EMS Research Agenda Study Team:

Jan L Jensen ACP MAHSR, Halifax NS CANADA

Blair L Bigham ACP MSc, Toronto ON CANADA

Ian E Blanchard EMT-P MSc Calgary AB CANADA
Katie N Dainty PhD, Toronto ON CANADA
Doug Socha BSc PCP Hastings Quinte EMS, ON CANADA

Alix Carter MD MPH FRCPC, Halifax NS CANADA

Lawrence H. Brown EMT-P, MPH, AUSTRALIA


Andrew H Travers MD MSc FRCPC, Halifax NS CANADA

Alan Craig ACP MScPL, Toronto ON CANADA

Andy Anton MD MSc FRCPC, Calgary AB CANADA

Laurie J Morrison MD MSc FRCPC, Toronto ON CANADA

Ryan Brown PCP BSc, Sydney NS CANADA (Research Assistant)

PRESENTATIONS AND PUBLICATIONS The methods of this study have been published in BMC Emergency Medicine. Please follow this link for the full-text article: click here Blair Bigham presented the results of the qualitative phase of this study at the 2012 National Association of EMS Physicians conference in Tucson Arizona in January. Please click here to view the poster, and the abstract can be located: here (Abstract #138 on page 184).The Canadian National EMS Research Agenda was presented as two oral research presentations at the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians conference in Niagara Falls, Ontario in June 2012.The final findings are expected to be published in e-format in December in the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine. UPCOMING IMPLEMENTATION SURVEY AND MEETING The result of the EMS Research Agenda study was a set of 19 actionable recommendations for the future of Canadian EMS research.The next step is to gather stakeholders in Canadian EMS research to discuss how we can move forward on the recommendations, both on a national level, and within local EMS research enterprises that exist (or could exist!) across the country.An implementation meeting will be Wed, January 9th 2013, 8am – noon, at the National Association of EMS Physicians conference in Florida. Many Canadian EMS folks gather at this conference every year, so we hope to capitalize on this opportunity to bring you together to discuss Canadian EMS research.Please follow this link for more information on the conference: Please note there will be a Canadian pre-conference workshop on Tuesday, January 8th. If you are interested in participating, and think you may be able to attend the session on Wed, January 9th, please RSVP to We also hope to see you there!! (Please note, funding is not available to support travel to this meeting.)In preparation for the meeting, a survey about implementing the recommendations will be distributed in December. Regardless if you are able to come to the January meeting, if you are a stakeholder in EMS research, please email Jan Jensen by DECEMBER 1ST 2012 to be part of the survey.

Check back here often!! We will be planning future implementation and discussion sessions on the EMS Research Agenda, and will post information here.

Click here for the new link to the Canadian Safety and Security Program
Click here to download: 2013 dainty CJEM 2013 ems research agenda – qualiative interviews.pdf
Click here to download: EMS Natl Research Agenda Methodology.pdf
Click here to download: jensen CJEM 2013 Cdn EMS Research Agenda – final results.pdf
Click here to download: national-research-agenda-non-ineractive.pdf

The Canadian National EMS Research Agenda is a project of the EMS Chiefs of Canada.

This research project is generously funded by the Paramedic Association of Canada, the Calgary EMS Foundation, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Defense Research and Development Canada, and the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation.

The research is being conducted at the Dalhousie University Division of EMS and the University of Toronto Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute (RESCU).

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