In association with Simon Fraser University & Vancouver Coastal Health... Simon Fraser University

In association with Simon Fraser University & Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute
Simon Fraser University
Great Northern Way Campus
555 Great Northern Way
Vancouver, BC, Canada V5T 1E2
tel: 1.604.268.7306
fax: 1.604.268.7309
email: [email protected]
Database Ethnography: Cohort of health care workers study (Theme II)
Investigators: Ellen Balka
Research Partners: Occupational Health and Safety Agency for Healthcare, Vancouver Coastal
Health Authority
This project investigates the current endeavour to create a cohort of health care workers for
longitudinal study between the Occupational Health and Safety Agency for Healthcare and the
Vancouver Coastal Health Authority. There are two components to this initiative.
Funds to develop a cohort of healthcare workers were obtained through the Canadian Institute of
Health Research (CIHR). The project as funded by CIHR attempts to uncover all available
information on the health status of health care employees in several facilities in the region, and to
systematize these in a new data environment, to be of statistical, epidemiological, and policy use.
The creation of the cohort relies primarily on data from two sources: VCH (payroll and human
resources) and the BC Linked Health Database, an administrative database owned by the
Ministry of Health and stewarded by the Centre for Health Services and Policy Research at UBC.
Project Description
The cohort database ethnography, funded through the ACTION for Health project, analyzes the
cohort with special focus on the following questions:
1. How is the creation of the Cohort envisioned and planned, and which problems is it seen as
responding to?
2. Which practical, organizational, and political issues are at stake in developing the cohort?
3. Which data is available from the involved facilities and what is the quality of this data?
4. How can various kinds of data be extracted and re-combined?
5. How is knowledge about health care workers generated in this process, and which kind of
knowledge is generated?
6. What role(s) does technology play in terms of what data are available, what if any constraints
there are to use of data, and how data may be combined?
ƒ How do technological systems (and the social systems surrounding them) influence the
production of health information?
ƒ What role does technology play in the use and consumption of health information?
The study will be conducted using qualitative sociological methods, primarily through semistructured interviews and document analysis.