Contribute EMR Data

*At this time, certain activities related to UTOPIAN including recruitment are paused. This includes any collection, use or transfer of data into the UTOPIAN platform, as well as analysis of data collected. Only studies with active research ethics board approval on old data are continuing. 

We would like to invite you to join over 500 Family Physicians that contribute EMR data to the University of Toronto Practice Based Research Network (UTOPIAN)’s EMR Data Safe Haven. We collect EMR data on care as it is managed in our practices.

What is UTOPIAN? UTOPIAN is an initiative of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. UTOPIAN is our ‘living laboratory’, originated by and for Family Physicians and our Teams. It can be used in ways Colleagues approve of, including better care for our patients, Family Medicine research or reports on our healthcare system.

Why is information on care in our practices important? Most of the care for most patients most of the time is managed in Family Practices. The information in our EMRs reflects Family Medicine in ways that other data sources simply cannot capture. It provides evidence and insights into the central role Family Doctors and the members of our teams play in our healthcare system.

Who can join?  Physicians using an EMR (Practice Solutions, OSCAR or Accuro) who are willing to contribute their data can participate.

What do I have to do? Joining is simple:

  1. If you are part of a practice at a downtown academic site (or TAHSN hospital site), including NYGH hospital practice and Sunnybrook, please email for site specific forms that have been approved by your hospital REB.
  2. For all other primary care practices (hospital-affiliated, community, solo practitioners, or part of a team), please complete the following steps:
    1. Review the letter of information, and then sign the consent form.
    2. Complete the survey.
    3. Please return both the consent form and survey to
    4. Put posters where they are visible to patients.  

 Once this is done, our Data Manager will arrange to collect information from the EMR into a highly secure server for analysis.  The data are de-identified (no names, no emails, no phone numbers etc) and will only be used for approved purposes and projects.  Please see The University of Toronto Family Medicine Report and UTOPIAN Data Safe Haven for more information about how the data is used. 

Do I get anything back? You make a major contribution to family medicine for today and for tomorrow. Methods for the return of cleaned, comparable data are currently under development.

What about privacy? We have very strong privacy protection: our processes have undergone several security assessments and the data are de-identified.  The UTOPIAN Data Safe Haven has been reviewed and approved by hospital and university Research Ethics Boards. The data are de-identified prior to use for research (no names, no emails, no phone numbers, etc.) and will only be used for approved purposes and projects.

Do you have questions? Please reach out to UTOPIAN at

We sincerely thank you for considering UTOPIAN!