John A. Staples

Clinical Assistant Professor

Dr Staples graduated from medical school at the University of Alberta and completed a residency and fellowship in General Internal Medicine at UBC. His subsequent research training included a Masters of Public Health (Harvard University), a New England Journal of Medicine Editorial Fellowship, and a Health Services Research Fellowship (Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Toronto).


CIHR Project Scheme Grant (2016)
VCHRI Mentored Clinician Scientist Award (2017)
PHCRI/VCHRI Innovation and Translation Award (2017)
  • Hospitalizations and transitions of care
  • Unplanned hospital readmissions
  • Traffic safety
  • Medical risk factors for injury
  • Syncope
  • Health services research

Dr Staples’ research seeks to use the techniques of clinical epidemiology and British Columbia’s powerful population-based data resources to generate novel insights that may be applied to improve patient safety, prevent injury, and optimize health system efficiency.

Dr Staples’ largest study examined 10 years of Ontario’s linked administrative data and identified a cohort of about 200,000 patients to examine mortality after hospital readmission (CMAJ Open 2014). Readmission to a hospital other than the original facility resulted in a 4% absolute increase in 30-day mortality that was not entirely explained by patient or hospital characteristics. This work was covered by over 100 media outlets, including Newsday and U.S. News & World Report.

More recent publications have focused on the consequences and prevention of injury. His most provocative study compared the risks of American spaceflight to the risks of American road travel, highlighting that conventional population-level measures of traffic safety may inadequately communicate risk (Am J Med 2014). Two subsequent studies used a nationally-representative cohort of trauma patients seen in U.S. emergency departments to evaluate the appropriateness of applying traumatic brain injury prognostic scores to the elderly (J Head Trauma Rehab 2015; Brain Inj 2016). Dr. Staples also co-led a study modeling the effects of a nationally-implemented motorcycle helmet law in Vietnam, finding that such a policy is dominantly cost-effective and averts medical impoverishment (Inj Prev 2016).

His work has been presented at Hospital Medicine 2014 (the largest conference for hospital medicine in the United States), the Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research (2015), and the International Health Economics Association (2015), and will be included in the upcoming Disease Control Priorities (3rd edition).

St. Paul’s Hospital
5910 – 1081 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6