Dr. Laura Rosella speaking for ICES’ research video series

High Resource User Population Risk Tool (HRUPoRT)

A newly published research paper, lead by our very own Dr. Laura Rosella, and featuring the work of Population Health Analytics team members Catherine Bornbaum and Kathy Kornas, explains and validates the development of HRUPoRT (High Resource User Population Risk Tool). This risk tool was developed primarily to predict high health care resource utilization–that is, to figure out which people, in a single-payer public health care system, use the most health care resources.

In Ontario, where a minority of health care users incur the majority of the health care cost, such a resource-scarcity analysis tool is greatly needed. The conception of HRUPoRT gives an opportunity to mitigate the drain of high-cost users by identifying who they are, and systemically addressing their costly health issues.


Creation of the Tool and Model

HRUPoRT incorporates risk factors and clinical information, but also importantly considers socioeconomic status, demography, and even self-sentiment of health. This significantly broadens the picture of who will become the highest users of health care. This makes future health intervention efforts much more practicable. The model underlying HRUPoRT was developed based on a 2005 survey of approximately 60,000 Canadians, examining their health care use over a span of five years. After identifying the factors of increased health care use, those factors were applied to a 2007 sample of about 30,000 individuals (also over five years). The results were clear: the model developed from analyzing the 2005 group accurately predicted the health care use of the 2007 group.


Implications of the Tool

This study reveals many things, such as the equivalent predictive strength of co-morbidities and self-assessment of health. As Dr. Rosella says in her ICES research video series, “This really reinforces our need to listen to patients, to make sure we understand their perspective.”

Most importantly, the study opens doors for future analysis using the immensely powerful HRUPoRT tool. The model’s accuracy means that health planners can rely on it to accurately describe their population–whether said population is regional or localized to, say, a hospital–and hone in on the highest need patients, thus allowing them to plan with priority.