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Contribute EMR Data

When Primary Care Providers contribute their EMR data to POPLAR, we are able to support quality improvement activities along with research projects. Our EMR data includes seven Ontario Practice Based Learning Networks, which will make up approximately 1000 primary care providers contributing approximately 1.8 million patients’ data. Projects using EMR data has shown to be beneficial and successful. We invite all Primary Care Providers in Ontario to contribute their data to the POPLAR Data Platform.


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What is POPLAR?

POPLAR is an initiative across the seven Ontario Practice Based Research and Learning Networks. POPLAR data can be used in ways colleagues approve of, including better care for our patients, Family Medicine research or reports on our healthcare system. POPLAR uses EMR data to facilitate and support Secondary Data Analysis. To learn more please visit our About Page.

Who can join? 

We welcome all Primary Care Providers in Ontario using one of the three main EMR (Practice Solutions, OSCAR or Accuro) to contribute their data to POPLAR.

Do I get anything back?

You make a major contribution to Primary Care for today and for tomorrow. Methods for the return of cleaned, comparable data are currently under development.

Those who have joined POPLAR have the opportunity to be provided with data results for Quality Improvement (QI). This includes receiving reports about quality indicators important to you, helping you to complete the data-driven part of the CPSO QI Program more efficiently.

Why is information on care in our practices important?

Most of the care for most patients most of the time is managed in Primary Care Practices. The information in our EMRs reflects Primary Care in ways that other data sources simply cannot capture. It provides evidence and insights into the central role Primary Care Providers and the members of our teams play in our healthcare system.

What is Secondary Data Analysis?

POPLAR’s data access occurs by way of a secondary-use format in that the data was originally collected within electronic medical records (EMRs) by primary care providers to support direct patient care (primary purpose). Through secure data transfer, POPLAR data is collected, stored, and maintained in the POPLAR Database as the POPLAR Data Platform and is made available for authorized use to support research and quality improvement (secondary purpose).

What about privacy and security?

We have very strong privacy protection: our processes have undergone several security assessments and the data are de-identified.  The POPLAR Data Platform has been reviewed and approved by Research Ethics Boards across Ontario. The data are de-identified prior to use for research (no names, health card numbers, emails, phone numbers, etc.) and will only be used for approved purposes and projects. To learn more about POPLAR’s Data Security please visit the Data Security Page.

Who is the data shared with?

  • Research projects that will request to conduct research with POPLAR data, must adhere to the POPLAR data access process.

  • Following agreements and approvals POPLAR will have Data Partnerships with​ the following trusted non-commercial organizations:​

  1. ICES


  3. Diabetes Action Canada

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Want to Join POPLAR? Here's what you have to do

To join POPLAR, physicians Primary Care Providers register through one of the seven PBLRNs.

Joining is simple:

  • Find your local network. If you are a member of the Alliance for Healthier Communities, then you may already be contributing your data through EPIC.

  • If you are unsure of which network PBLRN you would, you belong to, contact us at

  • You may also register using the link below to inform the POPLAR team you are interested in contributing EMR data. 

What Happens After I Register?

Regional Networks will contact you to review the POPLAR letter of information, and then sign their consent form/research agreement.  There may be a provider survey or additional Regional Network specific forms or documents to be completed.

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