The Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network (CPCSSN) is Canada’s first multi-disease surveillance system based on primary care electronic medical record (EMR) data.

The data comes from physicians participating in 10 practice based research networks across Canada, extracted from multiple EMR systems.  The data is extracted quarterly, mapped to a common database structure then cleaned and coded.   Case detection algorithms are run against the dataset to identify individuals with one or more of eight chronic conditions (diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis, depression, chronic obstructive lung disease, dementia, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy).

The data within the CPCSSN database can be used to serve a number of different purposes and provide timely answers to relevant questions. For a downloadable copy of the CPCSSN case definitions click here.

For example, the data could be used to identify differences in disease rates, like osteoarthritis, in the populations of Alberta, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces to better understand the need for health resources in different regions.  There are many more possibilities – many of which were never possible before the creation of CPCSSN.

Take a look at the documents available for download below that provide further details about CPCSSN data. If you wish to discuss your data needs please contact: John Queenen, PhD / CPCSSN Epidemiologist / Centre for Studies in Primary Care (CSPC)/ Department of Family Medicine Queen’s University, K7L 5E9 / Tel: 613-533-9300,Ext.73838 / e-mail:

CPCSSN Data Product Package

The first step for most researchers is to request CPCSNN’s Data Sample Package, which provides a sample data set as well as other helpful materials to explain CPCSSN’s data collection and access process.

To request a copy of the Data Sample Package, please click the button below to fill out the request form and a member of the CPCSSN team will be in contact with you to finalize your request.   If you only need a copy of the validated disease definitions click here to download a pdf copy of  case-definitions .



Letter of Intent for a Proposed Study with CPCSSN Data

For researchers who would like to include CPCSSN data as part of a research study, submitting a Letter of Intent is the first stage in the process.

The process to obtain CPCSSN data for a research study is described in the “Research Using CPCSSN Data” schematic, which can be downloaded below.


Researchers can submit their Letter of Intent electronically by clicking the button below, completing and submitting the form. A member of the CPCSSN team will contact you and explain the review and approval process.