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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.

Making Freedom from Violence a Quality Indicator

Dr. Joshua Tepper

The Safe Patients/Safe Staff program at Sinai Health System provides resources to help staff safely and effectively care for patients who are at risk of aggressive or dangerous behaviour.

At Grand River Hospital Corporation, teams are available to respond to codes for potential workplace violent incidents. In the event of a code called for aggressive behaviour/physical danger, an immediate and mandatory debrief is held to ensure the emotional, psychological and physical wellbeing of all staff and patients.

The North Bay Regional Health Centre and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health are among nine hospitals in Ontario implementing the Safewards program, an evidence-based series of interventions that promote patient and employee safety by reducing conflict and containment.

Improving Care: Using Evidence for Change

Dr. Irfan Dhalla

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.

I, doctor

Dr. Joshua Tepper

Robotic nurses are caring for the elderly and assisting with surgery - computers are helping to diagnose cancer and plan personalized treatment plans. This is not the future, this is happening now.

Welcome to the era of robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and big data. Technically nimble and visually adept robots combined with deep learning machines with access to large (and rapidly increasing) amounts of cloud-based data are poised to make unprecedented in-roads into the current technical and cognitive roles of different health care professionals.

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