Earlier this year, Globe and Mail health writer André Picard wrote a column about innovation in health care. “One of the most frustrating traits of the Canadian health-care system is its failure to recognize and embrace success,” he began. “Imagine if we took all our successful local innovations and pilot programs and actually implemented them on a larger scale,” he wrote later.
Earlier this week, Health Quality Ontario released a quality standard on diabetic foot ulcers.
Diabetic foot ulcers are a significant health problem. An estimated 1 in 10 people in Ontario have diabetes and up to 25% of these individuals will develop a foot ulcer during their lifetime. Sometimes these ulcers eventually lead to amputation of the foot or lower leg. Diabetic ulcers can also cause pain and limit mobility.
Health care quality is defined as a health system that is safe, effective, patient-centred, timely, efficient, and equitable and the Choosing Wisely Canada campaign aligns with these goals.
Delivering high-quality care is about more than just appropriately providing care to those who require it in an equitable and safe fashion. It is also about not providing treatments, procedures or tests that are deemed to be unnecessary, or potentially harmful to patients.
It has long been recognized that how we pay for health care in Canada has resulted in a system that does not appropriately incentivize high-quality care along many of its six domains of quality.
“When it comes to moving health care practices forward efficiently, Canada is a country of perpetual pilot projects. We seldom move proven projects into stable, funded programs, and we rarely transfer the outcomes of pilot projects across jurisdictions. This approach is not serving our health care system well.”