What is POPLAR?

POPLAR, the Primary Care Ontario Practice-based Learning and Research Network, is an initiative of Ontario’s six University Departments/Sections of Family Medicine and the Alliance for Healthier Communities.

POPLAR brings together Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRNs) across Ontario to provide a central hub and platform for primary care health data, research, and innovation.

The Eastern Ontario Network (EON), one of the PBRNs that make up POPLAR, currently sends a subset of de-identified data to the POPLAR database.



What does POPLAR do?

POPLAR securely collects and de-identifies electronic medical record (EMR) data to support practices in delivering optimal care across Ontario, and strengthen practice-based clinical research and quality improvement processes.

POPLAR works with clinicians, researchers, and policy makers, providing information on the vital work primary care does, while supporting practices in delivering optimal care across Ontario. Currently, over 1,000 family physicians are contributing EMR data for over 1.8 million patients to the POPLAR database.

Who is in the POPLAR Network?

The networks that make up POPLAR are:

  • Eastern Ontario Network (EON) at Queen's University
  • University of Toronto Practice-Based Research Network (UTOPIAN) at University of Toronto
  • Northern Ontario School of Medicine Research Toward Health Hub (NORTHH) at Northern Ontario School of Medicine
  • Ottawa Practice Enhancement Network (OPEN) at University of Ottawa
  • Deliver Primary Healthcare Information (DELPHI) at Western University
  • McMaster University Sentinel and Information Collaboration (MUSIC) at McMaster University
  • Equity, Performance, Improvement and Change (EPIC) at the Alliance for Healthier CommunitiesList of practice-based research networks within POPLAR

    Practice-based research networks in the POPLAR Network

What is the POPLAR Database?

The POPLAR Database is a de-identified, researchable, and secure database containing primary care health information from all seven networks that make up POPLAR.

The database is used for research and quality improvement and includes non-identifying information on patient demographics and health conditions.

Each research project using the database requires approval from a Research Ethics Board. 

What is POPLAR's mission?

POPLAR's mission is to enable primary healthcare learning, research, and data analytics that will:

  1. Enhance people’s experience of care
  2. Improve the health and well-being of Ontario’s population
  3. Reduce the cost of health care
  4. Increase the joy and meaning of work for health care providers
  5. Purposefully enhance health equity and justice in all our work

Want to find out more about POPLAR?

To find out more about what POPLAR does and how POPLAR and EON work together, please check out the following links: