National SCI Registry (RHSCIR)

Every SCI is unique. One of the only ways to study the many variations, complications and outcomes is through registries. Without one, there is no way to know how to improve care or bring new therapies into practice.

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A Vision to Improve Care

Abstract image of individual in wheelchair in motion on a ramp in the Blusson Spinal Cord Centre

How many people sustain a traumatic SCI each year? What was the cause of their injury and how severe was it? What treatments result in better outcomes? Ideally, every researcher, clinician and health care administrator would have access to this type of information. The concept of a national registry on SCI was borne out the vision of two individuals: Canadian icon and Paralympian Rick Hansen and renowned spine surgeon and researcher Dr. Marcel Dvorak. As a result, the Rick Hansen SCI Registry (RHSCIR) was established in 2004.

Launched as a single site at Vancouver General Hospital, RHSCIR has since grown to include 30 major trauma and rehabilitation centres across Canada. It includes nearly 8,000 participants making it the largest database that tracks the experiences of people living with SCI in Canada from the moment they sustain their injury and throughout their lifetime.

RHSCIR has international collaborations with hospitals in New Zealand, China and Israel, marking its turn as a truly global endeavor.

RHSCIR is a prospective observational study. This means that data is collected from participants without including any medical interventions or therapies. A standardized data set (such as demographics and information about the injury) is collected at all participating RHSCIR sites and aligns to international standards such as the ISNCSCI. Sites receive training to ensure high quality data is collected. RHSCIR enables provincial, national and international data exchange to advance SCI research and care through. Data is collected through its secure, shared online platform.

Non-traumatic SCI represents roughly half of the SCI population in Canada. RHSCIR is expanding its data collection to include people with non-traumatic SCI, enabling researchers to obtain a more complete picture of SCI.

Connecting People From Coast To Coast

One of the goals of RHSCIR is to link people with SCI with researchers and clinicians in order to facilitate clinical research and implement best practices in care after SCI. RHSCIR sites across Canada are a network that supports the implementation of best practices through the creation of communities of practice. Standardized reports are provided to clinicians to support the implementation of best practices and to inform patient care. Hospital administrators have access to reports to support improvement initiatives such as accreditation standards.

There are more than 100 clinicians and researchers across Canada that make up our RHSCIR network and collaborate not only on RHSCIR, but other Praxis-funded projects as well.

RHSCIR Facilities

30 trauma and rehab centres across Canada participate in RHSCIR. Being a designated RHSCIR centre ensures Canadians who sustain a traumatic SCI receive standardized treatment. More than half of these centres also participate in the Praxis-supported SCI Standards program, developed in partnership with Accreditation Canada. For a complete list of participating hospitals, click here.

Participant + Family Package

Find out what being a participant in RHSCIR means.

RHSCIR Resources


RHSCIR Community Report


[ENGLISH] Read the 2021 RHSCIR Report


[FRENCH] Read the 2021 RHSCIR Report

Data Services

Learn more about our in-house data services and download reports from RHSCIR

Standards & Guidelines

Resources for clinical guidelines achieved through consensus and enhanced standards.


Clinician Education

RHSCIR is supported through contributions from