Research studies can help us improve how we care for our patients and their families. We know high-performing healthcare systems embed research opportunities in the care they provide. At AHS you can find us working on studies that focus on the prevention of illness and disease, testing new treatments and technologies, examining quality of life improvements, and even how changes in patient flow improve the overall health system.
While in an AHS facility, you may be approached about participating in a research study. Whether you choose to participate or not, you will receive the best care available.
Clinical trials are rigorous research studies that test new ways to prevent, detect, treat or manage conditions or illnesses. These studies may test how effective or safe a drug, a device, a procedure, or a change to behaviour, such as diet, may be. Clinical trials are often done in phases where the results from one phase inform the design of the next phase. The four phases in studies of new medication include:
It Starts With Me is an online resource created by the Network of Networks (N2), a Canadian association of research networks dedicated to building resources for researchers, patients and families. This website provides information on what clinical trials are and considerations before participating. View brochure.
Completing a clinical trial often requires a large team that begins with the patient and their family and may include their healthcare team, scientists, industry sponsors, healthy volunteers and ethicists.
Researchers and healthcare teams work hard to minimize any potential risks associated with clinical trials. Nevertheless, risks remain. Therefore, it is important to ask your doctor and healthcare team about the potential risks involved.
To ensure Albertans are protected and receiving the highest quality care possible, Alberta Health Services requires all research conducted in its facilities meet strict ethics requirements and privacy regulations, including the Alberta Health Information Act and the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act.
To comply with the legislation, AHS requires clinical researchers to gain approval from a research ethics board for a study and to submit plans for how they will safeguard the health information they collect.
To get involved in research, speak with someone on your care team or check out one of the searchable databases below. Even if you are not currently a patient, you or a family member may participate in many studies as part of a healthy comparison group.