Spreading successful health care innovation is critical to the success of transforming health care systems.
But this is no easy task, especially in today’s complex health care environment. Funding constraints, slow-moving organizations and siloed care responsibilities can combine to create challenges to implementing new initiatives and it currently takes an average of 12 years for a health care innovation to be adopted into practice.
So, it is fitting that we should celebrate a program which over the past 5 years overcame these hurdles and helped introduce 8 proven health care initiatives to all parts of the province, in the process improving care for an estimated 300,000 patients. These interventions continue to be sustained and spread further across the province to this day.
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.