The province has fostered a culture of quality in health care — now is the time to make building a culture of workplace safety a part of that effort.
Dr. Joshua Tepper is a family physician and the President and Chief Executive Officer of Health Quality Ontario (HQO). Prior to HQO, Dr. Tepper was Vice President of Education at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, an Assistant Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, an adjunct scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), and a research consultant for the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI).
Our friends, neighbours and family members are dying of opioid overdose at a rate never seen before. Similarly, opioid addiction is causing tremendous harm to numerous individuals and their families. The problem is complex, and there is no simple solution.
05/29/2017 05:19 EDT
It is almost a certainty that in about 100 days, how health care is delivered in the province of Ontario will change dramatically as Bill 41 -- The Patient's First 2016 Act -- comes into effect. The impending changes are not without controversy. Several health professional associations and patient advocacy groups have expressed deep concern about aspects of the legislation. There are also those who welcome these reforms and see them as potentially presenting solutions to well documented challenges.
02/09/2017 07:51 EST
Emergency departments are often the canaries in the coalmine when it comes to the health-care system -- early indicators of broader trouble looming ahead. But while canaries grow silent in a dangerous atmosphere, voices of patients, physicians, and other health care providers grow louder when there are problems with emergency care.
12/09/2016 01:43 EST
Our healthcare system has responsibility for 'cradle to grave' care but far more attention has been placed on the beginning of life, and the events during life, than at the end. Without sacrificing the gains we have made and the progress still to be made at the start of life and during life, we also need to create a strong focus about what high quality care looks like as people are diagnosed with serious illness and get closer to death.
06/29/2016 03:43 EDT
For many people, visiting a primary care provider isn't just about receiving care for an isolated injury or illness in the moment that matters. It's about building a long-term relationship -- one that gradually unfolds and many involve working together with several other specialists to address different ailments or chronic conditions that could potentially arise over time. Yet, a new report from Health Quality Ontario shows that this ideal isn't always the case.
06/03/2016 05:29 EDT
In my practice, I have seen the terrible impact addiction can have on people of all backgrounds. It destroys jobs, families and personal health, often in the span of just a few months. This level of complexity and quick-moving consequence is something you don't often see in many other conditions, which makes finding solutions that much harder. Addressing addiction requires approaching treatment in a much more integrated fashion across different parts of the health care system and groups of providers.
05/13/2016 11:58 EDT
Chances are most of us have acted as informal, unpaid caregivers at some point for a parent, child or spouse. When we serve in this role, we provide critical support to our loved ones and the health system at large. However, this support often comes at a personal cost.
05/03/2016 03:36 EDT
While the incomes of Canada's wealthiest are increasing, the absolute wealth of our poorest is decreasing. As this gap grows, so too do the differences in people's health risks, care and outcome. The poorer people are in Ontario, the more likely they are to have shorter lifespans, to be overdue for screening tests and to suffer from multiple chronic health conditions.
04/20/2016 03:58 EDT
Over the last few years, entire hospitals have gone paperless and large swaths of digital imaging is filmless. Electronic medical records (EMRs) are increasingly commonplace in primary care, and telemedicine is growing in rural and urban settings. Even the stethoscope has gone digital.
11/17/2015 04:57 EST
Quality seems like a word that's easy to define and easier to understand. But that's not quite the reality. In health care, quality is a term invoked by many, but often lacking a shared meaning. And in the absence of a single vision, it can be hard to collaborate on efforts to improve the health system.
11/13/2015 11:55 EST
Getting the best primary care in Ontario may depend on where you live or who you are. That's because not everyone can access same-day or next-day care when they are ill, or receive a timely call back after phoning their primary care provider. Some Ontarians feel more involved than others in decisions related to their care.
11/12/2015 12:28 EST
Complaints should not be hard for patients to make or for providers to receive. One of the best ways to ensure complaints serve their purpose -- that is to say, point out important issues so we can improve care -- is to create systems that can properly manage them. That way everyone feels heard; no one slips through the cracks. My patient's complaint inspired me to look at my own practice. I am starting to restructure my time in clinic over the course of a week, using email and phone calls more frequently, and better integrating the other highly skilled members of the team.
10/29/2015 12:28 EDT
When I was in training, most family doctors worked only with other family doctors and registered nurses. Today, my health care team is rich with a variety of critical skills. But what's missing -- and should be an essential part of any healthcare team -- is the digital expert.
09/11/2015 08:04 EDT
The percentage of long-term care home residents who are using antipsychotic medications varies from zero per cent in some of the province's homes to 67 per cent in others, according to a new report published by Health Quality Ontario. That's a striking amount of variation.
05/21/2015 06:01 EDT
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