Monthly Archives: October 2015

Dr. Mohit Bhandari

My collaborators and I are incredibly grateful for the support received from Physician Services Inc. (PSI) over the past 7 years. More recently, the Foundation provided funding for the highly important HIP ATTACK trial, which will provide us the opportunity to understand, and to clearly answer the question of whether early surgery for hip fracture patients will improve post-operative outcomes and quality of life. The trial is well underway at both the Juravinski Hospital and St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton with over 100 participants enrolled to date.

The support from PSI has allowed us to offset both, research personnel costs and nursing costs required to facilitate accelerated surgery for hip fracture patients at participating sites. In addition, the funding is being used to support research staff and costs associated with central coordination of the trial at the Population Health Research Institute. Ultimately, the funding received from PSI will be crucial to supporting our recruitment goal of 200 patients in Hamilton by June 2016.

The publications related to this and my other projects that are in-part funded by PSI include the following:

HIP ATTACK Investigators. Accelerated care versus standard care among patients with hip fracture: the HIP ATTACK pilot trial. CMAJ. 2014;186(1):E52-60.

Chiavaras MM, Jacobson JA, Carlos R, Maida E, Bentley T, Simunovic N, Swinton M, Bhandari M. IMpact of Platelet Rich plasma OVer alternative therapies in patients with lateral Epicondylitis (IMPROVE): protocol for a multicenter randomized controlled study: a multicenter, randomized trial comparing autologous platelet-rich plasma, autologous whole blood, dry needle tendon fenestration, and physical therapy exercises alone on pain and quality of life in patients with lateral epicondylitis. Acad Radiol. 2014;21(9):1144-55.

FAITH Investigators. Fixation using alternative implants for the treatment of hip fractures (FAITH): design and rationale for a multi-centre randomized trial comparing sliding hip screws and cancellous screws on revision surgery rates and quality of life in the treatment of femoral neck fractures. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2014;15:219.


Dr. Mohit Bhandari immigrated from India with his family to Canada in 1970 and has resided in Ontario ever since. He attended primary and secondary school in Hamilton, Ontario, began his Bachelors Degree in Biology at McMaster University and transitioned to the University of Toronto after 2 years as an early entry admission to Medical School in 1994. He began his sub-speciality training in Orthopaedic Surgery at McMaster University thereafter and completed a Masters Degree in Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McMaster University during his specialty training in orthopaedic surgery. He travelled for a brief period to United States to obtain super-specialized training in trauma surgery with world experts and returned to McMaster University as a Faculty member in 2004. While running a busy practice, Dr. Bhandari successfully completed his Doctorate (PhD) of Clinical Sciences at Goteburg University in Sweden.

By 2012, Dr. Bhandari was a full Professor and Academic Chair of the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery at McMaster University and a distinguished Canada Research Chair in Musculoskeletal Trauma.
His research interests include the management of patients with traumatic injuries, and most recently, he has shifted his focus to identifying and assisting women with these injuries resulting from intimate partner violence. Most regard Dr. Bhandari as the foremost authority in the translation of knowledge from orthopaedic research to clinical practice (Evidence-Based Orthopaedics).

Dr. Charmaine Lok

The Physician’s Services Incorporated Foundation (PSI) has positively influenced my career path and has had a significant impact on direct patient care through the research they have supported.

I was first encouraged to pursue clinical research as an internal medicine resident when I was awarded a Resident Research Award from PSI for “The Accuracy and Interobserver Agreement in Detecting the ‘Gallop Rhythm’ by Cardiac Auscultation”1. Through this research, the importance of evidence based evaluation of patient bedside diagnostic manoeuvres and tests were highlighted.

Later on, the PSI supported “The Hemodialysis Infection Prevention with Polysporin Ointment (HIPPO) Study” – a double blinded multi-centre, randomized control trial that I designed and implemented in conjunction with my degree in Clinical Epidemiology at Harvard University. In this way, the PSI contributed in a significant manner to my continuing education. More importantly, however, this study has impacted not only patients in Ontario, but worldwide. This study evaluated the effect of a topical polyantibiotic ointment, Polysporin Triple ointment (PTO), on preventing catheter-related infection in patients on hemodialysis. Why is this important?

The prevalence of endstage kidney disease requiring dialysis or transplantation is increasing. Once on hemodialysis, patients depend on a vascular access (central venous catheter, arteriovenous fistula or synthetic graft) to connect their blood to the dialysis machine so it can be “cleaned” and processed. This vascular access is their lifeline; as such, vascular access complications can have a dramatic impact on their quality of life and overall survival. Catheter related infections are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in hemodialysis patients. The HIPPO Study demonstrated that only 1 in 7 patients needed to be treated with prophylactic application of PTO to prevent a serious bloodstream infection and only 1 in 8 patients needed to be treated to prevent a death2. Subsequent related studies have found these findings to be both long lasting with continual low rates of infection as well as cost effective3, 4. The use of prophylactic polyantibiotic ointment to prevent hemodialysis catheter related infections is a Grade “A” recommendation in the Canadian Society of Nephrology and other Hemodialysis Practice Guidelines and it is supported by Infectious Diseases Societies with a recommendation in CDC guidelines.

Since the publication of this early research, I have continued to focus my research efforts on practical strategies to improve clinical outcomes of patients with chronic and endstage kidney disease. This work would not have been possible without the generous and continual support of the PSI.

This blog is an opportunity for me to thank the PSI for all their tremendous support of my research – for enabling both new and established researchers to conduct clinically relevant and necessary research through a fair and rigorous peer review process, and for helping patients who have benefitted directly from this research.

  1. Lok CE, Morgan CD, Ranganathan N: The accuracy and interobserver agreement in detecting the ‘gallop sounds’ by cardiac auscultation. Chest, 114: 1283-1288, 1998
  2. Lok CE, Stanley KE, Hux JE, Richardson R, Tobe SW, Conly J: Hemodialysis Infection Prevention with Polysporin Ointment. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : JASN, 14: 169-179, 2003
  3. Battistella M, Bhola C, Lok CE: Long-term follow-up of the Hemodialysis Infection Prevention with Polysporin Ointment (HIPPO) Study: a quality improvement report. Am J Kidney Dis, 57: 432-441, 2011
  4. Daisy Kosa S, Lok CE: The economics of hemodialysis catheter-related infection prophylaxis. Semin Dial, 26: 482-493, 2013

Dr. Charmaine Lok is a Professor of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, at the University of Toronto and Senior Scientist at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute. She is also associated with the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University. Dr. Lok is the medical director of both the chronic kidney diseases and hemodialysis programs at the Toronto General Hospital, Toronto, Canada. She is active in raising awareness of CKD and ESRD and its importance in population health. Dr. Lok is involved in a variety of local and international scientific and educational programs, including CIHR, KFOC, DOPPS, NKF, ASN, VASA and ASDIN.