Impact of Neurotrauma in Ontario
The Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation’s focus is neurotrauma – specifically how to make a difference in the lives of Ontarians living with an acquired brain injury or spinal cord injury, and how to prevent these injuries from happening in the first place.
Neurotrauma injuries affect more than half a million Ontarians and their families. ONF is committed to fostering research and the development of new knowledge to then implement evidence-informed solutions through partnerships and collaborations that support the prevention of neurotrauma injuries and improved quality of life for those living with ABI or SCI.
Innovation in Action
- Clinical Practice Guidelines and Standards of Care
The work may start in the research lab of a partner, but it ends in the home or community where ONF developed guidelines and evidence-informed practices directly impact the life of people living with ABI or SCI. The goal is to facilitate appropriate and timely access to a continuum of healthcare services. ONF has united researchers, clinicians, allied professionals and community members to shape the tools and resources developed to prevent and improve care for neurotrauma injuries.
Acquired Brain Injury
Among ONF’s contributions, the development of clinical practice guidelines and standards of care have become widely implemented both provincially and nationally. The 3rd Guideline for Concussion/Mild Traumatic Brain Injury & Persistent Symptoms was released in June 2018 – this guideline provides evidence-based recommendations to support clinicians in providing the best care for mild traumatic brain injury. A user-friendly patient version was a requested addition to the 3rd edition release. The patient version was designed to simplify communication between patients and their health care providers. The Clinical Practice Guideline for the Rehabilitation of Adults with Moderate to Severe TBI was developed in a cross-provincial partnership with the Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS) in Quebec. A provincial team has been tasked to update the pediatric guidelines, set for release in June 2019. The Standards for Post-Concussion care are intended to provide specific procedures and standards for post-concussion care to ensure the right care is delivered at the right time, by the right provider across the province.
Spinal Cord Injury
Facilitating collaborations across the province is a notable achievement that the Foundation has become known for over the years. Through strategic partnerships ONF has developed a network of allies committed to research, knowledge mobilization and implementation activities to improve the access and quality of care for Ontarians with spinal cord injury. From research, to knowledge mobilization initiatives like the development of clinical practice guidelines and high-performance indicators the work then moves into the implementation strategy in the Spinal Cord Injury Mobilization Network (SCI KMN). SCI KMN is an ONF supported Community of Practice with a goal to improve health outcomes for people with spinal cord injury through the implementation of guidelines and high-performance indicators.
Injury prevention strategies particularly fall prevention remains at the helm of the work of ONF. Reducing the risk of falls that often lead to neurotrauma injuries continues to make a significant impact on the Ontario health care system. ONF has committed to past and present research activities that look at the impact falls have on adult and childhood demographics. Knowledge mobilization tools like Loop, Loop Junior and the Fall Prevention Month campaign have supported the fall prevention network and allied health professionals in efforts to reduce falls across the lifespan.
The Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation continuously strives to foster change to reduce falls and be a catalyst to improve health care outcomes within the ABI and SCI community.