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Helping Health Care Providers Strengthen the Health System

Behind the scenes at Health Quality Ontario: Understanding What We Do.

As health care providers, professionals, and patients ourselves, we all want our health care system to improve, and part of that means seeing innovations and discoveries move from paper to practice in a timelier fashion. But adopting new practices and incorporating new evidence-based research into daily care is difficult – and daunting.

We know that the health system in Ontario is in need of more efficient and effective ways to provide high quality care. This brings me to the subject of my latest video blog: “How does Health Quality Ontario (HQO) help health care providers improve the quality of health care in Ontario?

Video Blog Transcript

Identifying the evidence to improve care is one way we can help ensure the uptake of the highest standards of care.

However I remember my surprise when I first read the statistic that it takes an average of 17 years for research evidence to be incorporated into standard clinical practice. It was in a paper called, “Crossing the Quality Chasm,” and it was written in March 2001. Fourteen years later, and I’d argue that while we’ve taken great steps toward adopting new health technologies and practices, we continue to be eclipsed by other industries who just seem to move at a faster rate than the health care system.

Think about it: Apple comes out with upgrades that are immediately adopted, spread and copied within a year (or less), but in health care it can take a generation or more.

Faster isn’t always better, and it’s also worth noting that in order to bridge the gap and embrace new practices, providers must know that they work.

There are volumes and volumes of information about new health care technologies out there. Part of our job at HQO is to wade through this constant stream of information and carefully evaluate the evidence so that we can make the best possible recommendations on what does and doesn’t work.

By filtering this information, our intent is to create communities of quality improvement practice, active forums online and offline that enable providers to actively share ideas, innovations and experiences. All of this serves to help providers “upgrade” how they deliver high-quality care.

I hope you will enjoy watching my latest video blog. Soon I’ll move from introductory videos and start exploring more specific quality improvement issues.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the challenges of information technology and early adoption. Please Tweet me @DrJoshuaTepper or email info@hqontario.ca.

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