Health Provider Action & Media Coverage of IFHP Reform

Submitted by Danyaal Raza on May 20, 2012 - 02:53

The proposed Interim Federal Health Program cuts (discussed further here) have not only motivated individual physicians to action, but also mobilized groups of health providers nation wide.

Interim Federal Health, Bill C-31, Jason Kenney & Refugee Health – a Primer

Submitted by Danyaal Raza on May 20, 2012 - 02:38

Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, has been a very busy man as of late. In less than five months, he has sought to redefine Canada’s threshold for asylum seekers and to tighten the handshake that welcomes them to their new home. For those in the medical community providing care for and advocating on behalf of refugee patients, these efforts have caused considerable consternation.

The Politics of Health

Submitted by Danyaal Raza on May 19, 2012 - 16:18

As the newest member of the Open Medicine blog team, you can expect posts from me that focus on the intersection of health and elected politics. If I had started posting some months ago, you might have seen stories on the 2014 health accord, the health scandals in Alberta/defection of Raj Sherman and the recent ICES report on primary health care reform in Ontario.

Drug-Pushing and Bribery at the American Academy of Neurology

Submitted by Wajid Sayeed on May 14, 2012 - 23:08

I recently returned from a university-sponsored junket to New Orleans, where I attended the 2012 meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.  I learned a few things, met a few people of interest to me, and took a stroll or two through the displays in between sessions. In one (smaller) hall, there were daily displays of posters from academic institutions all over the world. In the larger hall (at the very back of which we were served a soggy and repetitive lunch), scenes like these were to be beheld:

Baseball Forbids Pay for Performance – A Lesson for Healthcare?

Submitted by Steven Lewis on May 10, 2012 - 15:21

Baseball has terrific and comprehensive performance data to which it pays assiduous attention, and an outcomes-based culture. Yet its collective agreement forbids pay-for-performance (P4P) based on players' reaching certain statistical performance targets, like number of home runs or stolen bases. Health care ignores far more data than it pays attention to, yet P4P has been touted in many organizations as the solution to problems of quality and efficiency. This despite the dearth of comprehensive, valid data that relate what a provider does to how well her patients do. This post explains what baseball understands about P4P and why what seems to be a good idea in theory is fraught with unintended consequences in practice.

The Puck Stops Here: Kaizen and the Art of Goaltending

Submitted by Mark Wahba on April 23, 2012 - 18:21

Braden Holtby is the 22-year-old rookie goaltender for the Washington Capitals. He is the sensation of the first round of the 2012 National Hockey League playoffs. Like all goalies, he wears a customized protective mask that marks his identity. But it's what's on the back of Holtby's mask that's truly unique: the symbol of Kaizen, or continuous improvement. Holtby observes, adapts, and implements small changes to his game to improve the odds of stopping the puck. The province of Saskatchewan wants everyone in healthcare to be a Braden Holtby. It has committed to implementing the culture of Lean pioneered by Toyota and adapted to healthcare by organizations such as Virginia Mason Health Systems. Whether in the form of a Stanley Cup or better patient care, Kaizen produces winners.

The Trouble with Preventive Care

Submitted by Wajid Sayeed on April 21, 2012 - 12:26

I love CBC radio. I play it loud with the windows down while driving through quiet residential neighbourhoods. The content and production values surpass anything else on the radio in this country.  I had to turn off my radio to write this, because otherwise I'll be too distracted.  I continue to love it, despite the fact that my favourite show is being cancelled this summer, a decision for which I blame . . . well I won't get political here.

The more things change...

Submitted by Wajid Sayeed on April 18, 2012 - 14:33

My name is Wajid Sayeed. I graduated from UWO medical school in 2010, and started a Neurology residency program at the University of Manitoba shortly thereafter. When I was approached about writing for the Open Medicine blog, I was on vacation, said I'd think about it, and then fully intended to dally an hour or two away watching YouTube videos.

Western's EM program takes another crown: Open Med Ed

Submitted by Tarek Loubani on April 17, 2012 - 01:36

EM London's video rounds just hit 2500 views, and soon I'll be uploading the 20th video. Despite issuing a challenge for anybody to take the Rounds Crown from us, there have been no contenders.

Never ones to rest on our laurels, our program is ready to take another crown and throw another gauntlet.

“Footy's on, Footy's here again”: Why Systems Thinking is good for your health and says that the Cats will take the Flag*

Submitted by Alan Shiell on April 10, 2012 - 11:53

The Geelong Cats regularly sit atop Australian Rules Football. In 2005 the Sydney Swans improbably took their first Grand Final in 72 years. The Cats' domination has survived major turnover in management and on the field. The Swans' miraculous victory applied the principles and culture that define the Cats: specify the outcomes to be achieved, align the incentives, provide information rapidly on the progress being made, support reflective practice and experimentation, and leave operational decisions to front-line agents safe in the knowledge that they will quickly work out how best to get the job done. In public health, We need to see the patterns and the structural forces that cause diseases. And we need to equip frontline practitioners with the information and organizational supports they need to diagnose problems, to take risks and innovate, to act, to reflect, and to re-act accordingly. We need systems thinking.