Building a foundation for better health in the future

BRIC NS is a Nova Scotia-based research network that aims to improve health and quality of life for people with–or at risk of developing–complex healthcare needs.

People with complex health care needs face many challenges.  Some of their needs can be met within the health care system, but they may also need support from outside the system, in such areas as education and social services.

BRIC NS and its partner networks across Canada are working together to find better ways of delivering primary health care services and of integrating health care services more seamlessly–with each other and with services and resources beyond the healthcare system.

Improving access to and integration of services will ensure that people with chronic illnesses receive better, more timely and more comprehensive care.  This, in turn, can slow the progression of disease, prevent complications, and keep symptoms under better control, reducing the need for hospitalizations, invasive procedures and expensive drugs.

By finding strategic ways to address determinants of health at the community level, BRIC NS researchers and their collaborators also hope to prevent the development of serious illness, especially for people at high risk.

Currently, patients in Nova Scotia who make up the top 5 per cent of users of the provincial health care system, or “high needs” patients, use as much as 65 per cent of total hospital and physician resources.  More proactive, preventive and streamlined comprehensive care for these patients is feasible due to their relatively small numbers, and will render enormous savings over time–not only in terms of health care dollars but in terms of the length and quality of people’s lives.

“BRIC NS is building capacity and momentum to address such vital questions as, how do we keep people healthy, how do we identify and mitigate risk, how can we help them manage their condition at home, and how can we provide seamless transitions between levels of care?”

–Dr. Sara Kirk, Scientific Director, Healthy Populations Institute, Co-Investigator, BRIC NS