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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Time to unlock the potential from pockets of in innovation

Dr. Dennis Kendel serves on the Board of Directors of the Saskatchewan Health Quality Council and is a councillor with the Health Council of Canada. 

There is no shortage of upcoming conferences focused on healthcare quality improvement, innovation or transformation. So, what makes the Health Council of Canada’s (HCC) upcoming symposium in Toronto on October 29-30 unique and very interesting?

Over a decade has elapsed since Saskatchewan created the first Health Quality Council in Canada. Six other provinces have followed that lead to create agencies dedicated exclusively to monitoring and enhancement of safety and quality in healthcare.  To date no agency in Canada has brought all seven of these Quality Councils together in a single forum to compare their QI strategies,  candidly discuss both their achievements and disappointments, and consider future opportunities for more inter-jurisdictional collaboration.

In Toronto on Oct 29-30, we’ll have an opportunity to learn from all seven provincial Quality Councils and to explore with them future options for better integration of their work with the innovation agenda of the Council of the Federation and with many national agencies committed to healthcare QI.

We’ll also have an opportunity to learn from Australia’s National Health Performance Authority about what is working well in that agency’s efforts to transform healthcare quality, effectiveness and efficiency in a large nation of federated states.
We’ll have an opportunity to hear about CIHI’s future plans for more rigourous measurement of health system performance across Canada and more effective public communication about system performance.
And, we’ll have an opportunity to engage in conversation with Ross Baker about building system capacity for quality improvement.

Over the past decade I’ve had some marvellous opportunities to see first-hand some amazing evidence of small scale healthcare QI across this country. However, until recently, I’ve been disappointed in Canada’s record with respect to truly transformative change in any jurisdiction. As a Board member of the Health Quality Council in Saskatchewan, I believe we are now on the cusp of truly transformative change and I am delighted that Bonnie Brossart will be at the HCC symposium to share with the nation some key insights from our experience in Saskatchewan over the past three years.

As an HCC Councillor, I am also incredibly impressed with the pan-Canadian inventory of healthcare innovations now easily accessible to all Canadians through the HCC's Innovation Portal.
The challenge for all of us across Canada, as I see it, is to apply all that we’ve learned from “pockets” of innovation across the country to make future healthcare in Canada the best among all of the OCED countries.

The inspiration, energy and committed leadership that will be essential to our achievement of that goal may emerge from the crucial conversations that will occur at the HCC Symposium in Toronto on October 29-30. You will not want to miss an opportunity to be part of those crucial conversations!
Hope to see you in Toronto at the end of October.

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