Studies that span multiple, distinct settings – whether geographic or organisational – offer numerous advantages over single-site studies. Multisite studies are more competitive from funders’ perspective; multisite studies can produce more robust and generalizable results; multisite studies are increasingly the gold standard for health-related research.

Large-scale multisite collaboration in Canadian EMS research is, as yet, limited to CanROC. However, examples of established and highly productive collaborations exist in other countries and in allied fields of research. Moreover, many examples of smaller-scale multisite EMS research projects can be found close to home, including studies lead by the presenters.

In this short, interactive instalment of the McNally meeting, Ian and Luc will provide examples of multisite collaborations; present arguments for and against embarking on multisite projects; offer up wisdom acquired from working together on two Alberta–Quebec studies; and facilitate a discussion on overcoming barriers to collaborating across sites.


  1. Familiarize participants with examples of large-scale multisite collaborations in Canada.
  2. Present the pros and cons of multisite research in the context of research in prehospital emergency care.
  3. Describe early lessons learned by the presenters through their own multisite studies.
  4. Exchange ideas and proposals for coordinating multisite research.


Luc de Montigny is the Research Coordinator for Urgences-santé, one of Canada’s largest emergency medical services, where he leads the research program, manages collaborative studies, and develops internal capacity and projects. He holds a doctoral degree in Urban Design & Planning from the University of Washington. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Epidemiology at McGill University, where he is currently an Adjunct Professor, and continues to do research consulting for the Surveillance Lab. He is the principal investigator for the National Defense-funded project Precision prehospital risk-prediction through machine learning applied to healthcare databases. He is a volunteer emergency medical responder for the City of Côte-St-Luc.

Ian Blanchard has worked in EMS systems in Canada and the United Kingdom for the last 26 years in various capacities, including as an Advanced Care Paramedic, Quality Assurance Strategist, and researcher. He is the Scientist for the Alberta Health Services (AHS) EMS system, the provincial co-chair of the AHS EMS Research Committee, and was the inaugural paramedic co-chair of the Canadian Emergency Medical Services Research Network – Réseau Canadien de Recherche en Soins Préhospitaliers (CERN–RCRSP). He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor with the Department of Community Health Sciences, in the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. In these capacities, Ian is working with a dedicated group of individuals to build the science, research and knowledge translation enterprise of the AHS EMS system.

McNally Project 15/05/2020- Conducting multisite research in EMS: arguments, examples and lessons