Vision and Mission 

The OASIS project has evolved through three phases:

The study was designed to verify the accuracy of administrative databases for the diagnosis of asthma by creating a cohort of children with asthma in Ontario. It demonstrated sufficient accuracy for the diagnostic coding of asthma collected largely from physician billings and indicated that an administrative diagnosis code of asthma was sensitive and specific for identifying children with asthma.

We established Canada’s first longitudinal surveillance program implemented to examine the burden of asthma on Ontario’s children and on the provincial health care system. The report Burden of Childhood Asthma described among Ontario children, aged 0 to 9 years, between 1994-95 and 1998-99:

  1. Incidence and prevalence of asthma;
  2. All-cause mortality of children with asthma and the general population of children;
  3. Physician visits and hospitalizations for asthma and all causes among children with asthma and the general population of children; and
  4. Seasonal and geographical variation of asthma hospitalizations.

The asthma surveillance system has provided data on individuals aged 0-39 to support the ministry priorities (see report The Burden of Asthma in Ontario, and paper in Healthcare Quarterly 2007). In 2010, it was extended to individuals aged over 40 years. Data are currently being used to provide on-going assessments of the burden of asthma and health services delivered to asthmatics in Ontario while:

  1. Stratifying information by Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN);
  2. Measuring the provision of care by primary health teams;
  3. Assessing if wait time was an issue for asthmatics to receive appropriate treatment (e.g. pulmonary function test, referrals to specialists etc.); and
  4. Linking and providing valuable follow-up data for other Ontario asthma plan of action initiatives.

Research Methodology

  • Use of existing administrative databases (hospitalizations, physician billings, and emergency visits) to identify Ontarians with asthma through record linkage across all available databases.
  • Longitudinal data analysis to assess outcomes over time.
  • See more in Methodology.