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Friday, June 24, 2011

Transformative change

Dr. Jack Kitts, Chair, Health Council of Canada

We recently released Progress Report 2011: Health Care Renewal in Canada, a national look at progress being achieved in key areas of health care. As I discussed the report with the media, the subject of transformative change emerged as a key theme. But what is transformative change, and why is it important to talk about?

Transformative change relates to the service delivery model. We keep asking for more money, more doctors, and more nurses based on the status quo delivery model. But most health experts would agree that there’s probably enough money, human resources and capacity in the system already. If we were to change transformatively, we would be able to better deliver the service by maximizing the use of those resources. 

We need to ask important questions like: Is everyone working to their full scope of practice?; and Are we truly working in teams to the benefit of patients? There’s no question that with a change in interprofessional models of care and service delivery, with the tearing down of barriers and eliminating turf protection, we could deliver the service a lot more efficiently, with much higher quality.

Here’s the recipe for success:
1) Set ‘transformative change’ as a priority
2) Start with the federal government and get the collaboration of provinces and territories
3) Build information systems that allow you to measure progress
4) Set targets
5) Invest in achieving those targets

I believe that the publicly-funded system - with transformative change - can do a lot better in terms of health service delivery and cost. We need to allow the one system we have to carry on and strive for peak efficiency and service.

Key Words: Transformative change

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