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Wait Times: A Metric to Watch

Dr. Joshua Tepper

Earlier this summer, Health Quality Ontario revamped its public reporting on wait times to make it more user-friendly. We also added reporting on the wait time between a specialist receiving the referral from the patient's family doctor, to the patient's first surgical or specialist appointment, to gain a fuller picture of the patient experience.

Since then, the data has been used on numerous occasions to document how well or badly one hospital is doing compared to the rest of the province. There have also been almost 100,000 page views of the wait times pages on the Health Quality Ontario website since their launch. Interest in the information remains strong and there were more than 13,000 page views of the nine wait times measures pages between mid-November and mid-December.

Measure – Change – Improve: Better Surgical Care in Ontario

Dr. Joshua Tepper and Dr. Tim Jackson

Simply measuring quality doesn’t make health care better. But transforming that data into opportunities for improvement can have a very real impact on patients and their health and safety.

This is demonstrated in the recent Quality Surgery: Improving Surgical Care in Ontario report released by Health Quality Ontario.

The Art and Science of Measurement in Healthcare

Dr. Joshua Tepper

(Join Health Quality Ontario CEO Dr. Joshua Tepper for a tweet chat to discuss this topic on Nov. 8, 1:30 pm ET)

At Health Quality Ontario we like to measure things. After all, data is the cornerstone of quality improvement. But are we measuring the right things? Are we measuring too much? How do we move from measurement to improvement? How do we involve professionals and patients in deciding what we measure? How does personal experience balance data?

Measuring the System’s Fault Lines

Dr. Joshua Tepper

A quality health care system seamlessly delivers care across a broad spectrum of care settings and patient populations. Unfortunately, even a good health care system can have fault lines into which patients can fall and where quality care is deficient.

Measuring Up, Health Quality Ontario’s newly released 11th annual report on the performance of the province’s health system and on the health of Ontarians, documents those fault lines as well as other areas where the provincial system can improve. It takes the pulse of the system through measurement and through narratives from people like Gordon, Lilac and Elgin who share their experiences as patients and that of Shawn Dookie, a nurse practitioner.

Wait Time Reporting: The Wait is Over

Dr. Jonathan Irish

Reflecting back to 2003, clinicians, patients and other stakeholders identified access to care as a major issue for some health services. Particular concern was expressed about wait times for surgical care for cataract surgery, joint replacement surgery, cancer surgery and cardiac surgery as well as for diagnostic imaging services including CT and MRI scans.

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