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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.

Quality Still Matters

Dr. Joshua Tepper

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there,” says the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland.

That view is shared by many involved with bringing quality to health care. Everyone felt quality was important but what it meant and how to get there was much more elusive – especially at the system level.

Installing Better Signposts

Anna Greenberg

Public reporting on health system performance is an essential part of health care improvement. This we know. But in order for such reporting to be effective, the data being reported has to be read and, if necessary, acted upon by those for whom it is intended.

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