June 11, 2009
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The Ontario Health Quality Council’s (OHQC) 2009 Annual Report On Ontario’s Health System was released earlier this week, and it notes that Ontario lags when it comes to EMR adoption:
25 percent of family-practice doctors in Ontario had electronic medical records, compared to 50 percent in Alberta, 98 percent in the Netherlands and 89 percent in the United Kingdom.
Of course, eHealth Ontario is focused on other priorities: wait times, diabetes management, medication management… and crisis management. Ontario’s EMR target for full adoption is 2015, but the Ontario Medical Association and the Ontario Hospital Association both issued releases supporting the OHQC Report’s call for more EMR adoption.
Meanwhile, the Pew Research Centre has a new report out today about how consumers use the internet to find and interact with sources of health information that shows a pretty high level of engagement — according to the WSJ Health Blog’s interview with a co-author of the report:
Nearly 60% [of internet users] said they have consulted blog comments, hospital reviews and doctor reviews, listened to podcasts about health care and signed up to receive updates about health or medical issues. And 20% have posted comments, reviews, photos, audio or video online related to health care, such as participating in an online group forum.
On this front, Ontario is doing pretty well. The Canadian Medical Association launched an online diabetes tool for family physicians with chronic disease patients at mydoctor.ca which:
allows patients to share important diabetes-related information – such as blood sugar, weight and exercise results – with their doctor in a secure, online environment.
Also, the Ontario Hospital Association’s myhospitalcare.ca website, which started off pretty thin, has gotten an information upgrade this week.
April 22, 2009
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The Ontario Hospital Association has put up a new website at myhospitalcare.ca that compiles some publicly available hospital data and puts it in a user-friendly, layman-accessible format.
The OHA site can provide data sorted by type of care (Acute, Maternity/Pediatric, Emergency, Rehab, Chronic and Mental Health) or by indicator (Clinical Outcome, Family Satisfaction, Patient Safety, Patient Satisfaction, Perception of Care and Wait Time). The site can also be used to review performance metrics for individual hospitals but large swaths of data appear to be missing. For example, I was unable to locate any data on clinical outcomes for UHN or Sick Kids.
It is possible the OHA initiative was undertaken in response to the Fraser Institute’s Ontario Hospital Report Card, issued in March, which strongly criticized the hospitals for refusing to be identified in the report — only 17 out of 136 evaluated facilities agreed to be identified. The Fraser Institute report appears to provide much more complete and detailed information, but because of the anonymity, generally cannot be used to identify specific hospitals.
Both the Fraser Institute site and the OHA site provide resources (follow those links) to help assess and compare methodologies.
Earlier this month, the WSJ Health Blog took a look at health care performance metrics, noting a Health Affairs paper renewing a call for emulating the airline industry’s approach to safety, and an editorial on some quality-of-care pitfalls.