Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 17:34 EDT

Leaders discuss how to improve Canada’s health care system

March 25, 2013

The Health Council releases newest report on quality improvement in

TORONTO, March 25, 2013 /CNW/ – The Health Council of Canada’s newest report on quality improvement, Which way to quality? Key perspectives on quality improvement in
Canadian health care systems
, calls for the establishment of common and measureable goals to achieve
quality improvement in Canada’s health care systems.

While many Canadians believe we have one of the best health care systems
in the world, recent international rankings for health care quality
place Canada in the middle or at the bottom of the pack.

Why are Canada’s provincial and territorial health systems not
performing as they should? What are governments and others doing about
it? The Health Council’s report shares insights from senior health care
leaders across the country on system-wide approaches to quality
improvement, what it takes for them to succeed, and the challenges to
gaining more traction. We heard that any successful approach to quality
improvement requires strong and committed government leadership, and a
series of performance measures and targets that are reported publicly
in order to be truly accountable to Canadians. We also heard about the
challenges leaders face when implementing quality improvement
initiatives, including a lack of data to measure impact and limited
clinical leadership.

“Good health care is not only about the interactions between doctors and
patients. The system needs to be structured in a way that supports
better care, and to do this we need strong leadership from the top and
the engagement of the front-line providers,” says John G. Abbott, CEO of the Health Council of Canada.

The Health Council finds that although each jurisdiction has its own set
of challenges when it comes to quality improvement, governments could
learn more about one another’s successes and adapt them. To encourage
the sharing and uptake of innovative practices in quality improvement
across Canada, the report highlights improvement practices and
approaches from select provinces. One example of these is the Health
Quality Council’s support of the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative (SSI)
by measuring and reporting on surgical wait times, and sponsoring a
surgical working group to probe and eliminate surgical variation. The
Saskatchewan government’s use of a Lean Management System across its
health care system also supports the success of the SSI.

“Currently, quality improvement approaches vary across Canada. There are
different provincial quality agencies with different mandates, each
with a unique range of responsibilities and focus,” says Dr. Dennis
Kendel, Councillor with the Health Council of Canada. “Each government
has its own focus. We need more collaboration among agencies and
governments, to share their innovative practices, and contribute to
common goal setting.”

About the Health Council of Canada
Created by the 2003 First Ministers’ Accord on Health Care Renewal, the Health Council of Canada is an independent national agency that
reports on the progress of health care renewal. The Council provides a
system-wide perspective on health care reform in Canada, and
disseminates information on innovative practices across the country.
The Councillors are appointed by the participating provincial and
territorial governments and the Government of Canada.

SOURCE Health Council of Canada

Image with caption: “Key perspectives on quality improvement in Canadian health care systems (CNW Group/Health Council of Canada)”. Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130325_C7743_PHOTO_EN_24741.jpg

Source: PR Newswire