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MUSIC Primary Care Research Network (McMaster University Sentinel and Information Collaboration)

Research strongly demonstrates links between high functioning primary care and improved population health outcomes. Clinician-led research that takes advantage of routinely collected patient data has the potential to rapidly and efficiently provide important insights into primary care delivery, patient-centred improvement and population health.

The McMaster University Sentinel and Information Collaboration (MUSIC), is a practice-based research and learning network (PBRLN). MUSIC facilitates high quality research on topics that are important to primary care and the patients it serves. With overarching ethics approval, MUSIC extracts specific elements of structured, de-identified data is routinely extracted from electronic medical records to create a research-ready data repository for observational research. Data is de-identified at patient and doctor level. MUSIC can support data requests from clinical researchers that include requests to conduct prospective research and health care intervention studies. Each individual project requires its own additional ethics approval.

MUSIC is partnered with both the Ontario provincial POPLAR Network and the national CPCSSN Network. Members of the MUSIC team contribute to the strategic focus and implementation of both networks.

MUSIC has engaged with the national CPCSSN Network for 7 years, contributed to a national de-identified database that provides important primary care epidemiological information about chronic diseases in Canada, as well as vetted projects that ask and answer important questions about primary care. POPLAR and CPCSSN are aligned in a common and supportive relationship to produce both provincial and national primary care data repositories and research communities, respectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does MUSIC use the notes from the chart of the consultations with my doctor? No

Does MUSIC data contain health card or credit card or other personal information? No

Does MUSIC sell data? No

Does MUSIC provide data for pharmaceutical companies to use? No

Program Lead

Michelle Howard

BA (Hons), MSc, PhD

Associate Professor

Program Team

Rebecca Clark


Research Coordinator

MUSIC Conflict of Interest Statement

MUSIC is committed to research that will provide sound evidence for rational medical and public health practice and is seen to be otherwise impartial and free of any funding which may prejudice these goals. We do not provide data or accept funding for research from pharmaceutical companies or other for-profit organizations either directly or indirectly (as unrestricted educational grants or fellowships) where that partnership could create a conflict of interest in the work at Department of Family Medicine. These principles are explicit parts of our agreements with POPLAR and CPSCCN.