Editorial board

Boris Sobolev is a health services researcher from the University of British Columbia. He is author of Analysis of Waiting-Time Data in Health Services Research and Health Care Evaluation Using Computer Simulation: Concepts, Methods and Applications. Dr. Sobolev started an academic career at the Radiation Epidemiology Institute in Kiev, studying the risk of cancer in relation to exposure resulting from the Chernobyl accident. In 1996, he came to Canada to work at Queen’s University in Kingston, where he studied how people get access to health care, what services they use, and what happens to patients as a result. There, he pioneered the epidemiological approach to studying the risk of adverse events in relation to time of receiving medical services. Later, Dr. Sobolev joined the University of British Columbia, Canada, where he is a Professor at the School of Population and Public Health. There, he has taught a variety of courses and introduced into the curriculum a new course on causal inferences in health sciences. He was awarded a Canada Research Chair in Statistics and Modelling of the Health Care System, a distinction he held through 2013. Currently, he serves as principal investigator for the Canadian Collaborative Study on Hip Fractures. Dr. Sobolev also leads the Health Services and Outcomes Research Program at the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation at the Vancouver General Hospital. The program’s mission is closing the gap between health care that is possible and health care that is delivered. This ambitious agenda brings together researchers from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds that are required for evaluating the effectiveness of diagnostic technologies, treatment procedures, and managerial solutions. The program’s investigators empirically assess the benefits and harms of therapeutic and health care interventions in the acute and primary care setting, using patient registries and data from routine medical care. By learning what works in everyday clinical practice the program generates knowledge that helps physicians and patients to make shared decisions about the best approach to treatment. Dr. Sobolev promotes and advances the causality perspective in health services research for informing policy and decision-making. In particular, his recent work helped to estimate the reduction in postoperative mortality expected from providing timely cardiac surgical care; the health effects of receiving hip fracture surgery within the government benchmark; the proportion of hospital readmissions that could be avoided had patients undergone medication review in emergency departments rather than in hospital wards; and the expected reduction of mortality had all coronary obstructive pulmonary disease patients had their second exacerbation prevented.