It is only appropriate that the biggest conference in Canada, and one of the biggest in the world focused exclusively on health quality, should look with blunt honesty at the challenges of providing quality health care in 2018.
It is equally clear from listening and talking to the frontline health care professionals, patients, family members and others who made up the 3,000 delegates attending our Health Quality Transformation conference, that those present are willing to meet these challenges and uphold the six principles upon which quality care should be based - efficiency, timeliness, safety, effectiveness, patient-centredness and equity.
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.
Relationships are the bedrock upon which our health care system is built.
Nowhere was this described with more eloquence than at the recent Health Quality Transformation (HQT) conference in Toronto, where keynote speakers Dr. Don Berwick and Kim Katrin Milan both addressed this issue from very different perspectives.
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.
Moving from good to excellent in the delivery of quality health care is a journey that will never end – better has no limit.