Congratulations to the CICC's Seema Marwaha, Erica Merman and Victoria Leung, for their innovative video submission. Their idea? To take simple, teachable moments, such as the importance of hand-washing, capture them in a creative way and distribute them using social media.
We profile a Toronto program, where patients already get hospital care in the comfort of their own home.
A White Paper, entitled Reconnecting the Pieces to Optimize Care in Atrial Fibrillation, was recently released by the Centre for Innovation in Complex Care (CICC), of the University Health Network (UHN) in Toronto, Canada. This report identified significant gaps in atrial fibrillation (AF) care in Ontario, discussed challenges for patients and healthcare professionals as well as costs to the healthcare system. The report also describes the launch of the Innovate AFIB project, created to improve atrial fibrillation care and to serve as a model of care for other patients with complex, chronic conditions. In this interview we speak with Dante Morra, MD, MBA, FRCP(C), Medical Director for the CICC and staff physician at Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network, and Dr. Andrew Ha, MD, FRCP(C), staff cardiac electrophysiologist, Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network.
There’s a reason it’s called a “debt burden.” Recent headlines—things like Debt Boosts Young People’s Morale and What, Me Worry? Young Adults Get Self-Esteem Boost from Debt —indicate this might not be the case, however. Debt that’s a mental health nightmare for most people, the articles assert, is actually a positive thing for people in their early to mid-twenties.
University Health Network patients will soon get a new kind of tablet to help in their recovery — but not the medication kind.
The hospital network, a leader in clinical communication, is launching a pilot project to give some internal medicine patients computer tablets to update their health-care providers on their progress.
It was on a plane in 1998 that John Cole used his napkin to map out a revolution for Northern Ireland's health-care system.
Mr. Cole, an executive in Northern Ireland's Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, was on his way home to the outskirts of Belfast after a visit to the Codman Square Health Center, which provides a mix of medical services, classes, counselling and other activities to one of Boston's poorest and most notorious neighbourhoods.
Dr. Paul Friedman insists he wasn't distracted by the woman in the second row wearing a pair of wings and a rainbow bodysuit. And he didn't even seem to notice when a visitor teleported into the audience, scanned the crowd and vanished into thin air.
Friedman, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist, has given medical lectures worldwide. But last week he entered a new dimension, when he gave a presentation on the online fantasy world known as Second Life.
Dr. Dante Morra likes to say that “in the 1990s, the only people who used pagers were gangs and doctors.” His punchline: “Now, it’s only doctors. The gangs have moved on.” Danielle Kain, a medical resident in Halifax, recently became one of those doctors. At the start of her residency, she was assigned a basic pager—“a big, clunky, ’90s-style thing . . . not quite as big as a deck of cards.”
Avatars are all the rage these days, with the James Cameron movie breaking all box-office records. But before this movie made avatars famous, there was Second Life, the virtual online world where you can create your own avatar, and live vicariously through your virtual self. Your avatar can visit bars, go on dates, or buy clothes. But more and more people are using this online world to seek health and medical advice from health professionals. Freelance science journalist Alison Motluk takes us on a tour of this strange alternate reality.
Norm vs. Cancer: A terminally funny one man play
What do you get when a middle-aged man with a cancer diagnosis takes too much medication and hallucinates a journey inside his own body? You get Norm vs. Cancer: A terminally funny one man show as presented by Rob Hawke, thyroid cancer survivor, Gemini award nominated comedian and winner of the Best Solo Male Comedy at the San Francisco Fringe.
The show revolves around Norm, who has a diagnosis of cancer, takes too much medication, and hallucinates a journey inside his body. All of his organs come to life, including his very angry liver, his kidney who is obsessed with interior decorating and his misguided appendix. Norm must find and kill the cancer before it kills him.
When asked why he would make a comedy about such a serious disease Rob said "so many of us go through this disease, that we have to use every tool we have to get through it, and one of our best tools is laughter."
Norm vs. Cancer is a part of the Centre for Innovation in Complex Care's Patient Empowerment Project (PEP).
Robert Hawke, co-lead of the CICC's first patient-led project, spoke alongside the Honourable Debra Matthews, Minister of Health and was mentioned in the Ontario Legislature on May 3rd, 2010.
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Issue 1, Volume 1
In late June, the Rochester, Minn.-based hospital system Mayo Clinic tried something it had never attempted before.
Using the micro-blogging service Twitter, it announced the imminent release of a study on Celiac disease, an immune system response to gluten. Then it tracked which of its followers had re-distributed the Tweet and, after careful consideration, provided a few users with an embargoed copy of the study--a practice normally reserved for journalists. Those followers, each of whom have Celiac disease, were permitted to blog about the study once it was released to the public.
It’s well known that communications foulups of various types pose serious problems in caring for patients, but how often could something like a hospital paging the appropriate doctor go wrong? Often enough to worry about, a newstudy in the Archives of Internal Medicinesays.
A review at two Canadian teaching hospitals reveals that in a two-month period, 14% of all pages were sent to the wrong physician—meaning to a resident who was scheduled to be off-duty or out of the hospital—and 47% of those were urgent messages. Extrapolating, that’s about 2,000 misdirected pages per year per hospital that require an immediate response, but don’t get one, the study found.
Demonstrating the BlackBerry as a Clinical Communication Tool: Pilot Evaluation Conducted Through the Centre for Innovation in Complex Care
Sherman Quan, Robert Wu, Dante Morra, Brian M. Wong, Richard Mraz, Melinda Hamill, Howard Abrams and Peter G. Rossos. Electronic Healthcare, 7(2) 2008: 94-98
The authors describe their experience with piloting the use of BlackBerry devices on the general internal medicine wards at the UHN in collaboration with Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. They detail the implementation process, impact on clinical care, and lessons learned from the experience.
Emergency-room nightmares spur calls for action
(The Globe and Mail, November 3, 2008)
Emergency wards are so overcrowded, patients have had heart attacks, miscarriages and, in at least one case, even died while in the care queue, prompting doctors to call on provincial governments to implement waiting-time targets and to stop using the hospital department as a patient "dumping ground."
Brian Rowe, professor and research director in the University of Alberta's department of emergency medicine, who has done considerable research in emergency-department overcrowding, describes current conditions as the worst he's seen in 22 years of practice.
Like a flight simulator for hospitals
(Toronto Star, August 1, 2008)
Summer jobs don't get much better than this.
A team of six students from different faculties at the University of Toronto has spent the past nine weeks developing Pulse Check, an online emergency room simulator – a glorified video game – that allows doctors, medical students and hospital managers to test changes in procedures, technology and staffing without putting patients' lives at risk.
Bigger, older population emergency for hospitals
(Toronto Star, January 8, 2008)
Dr. Dante Morra
Dr. Howard Abrams
There was a time when administrators addressed the issue by building more emergency departments. The government, hospital administrators and researchers have now articulated the problem. The recent Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) report has shown clearly that overcrowding cannot be solved in the emergency department.
The real problem is that there are too many admitted patients in emergency department beds because no acute care in-patient beds are available in the rest of the hospital. This looks like an emergency department problem, but it is not.
Second, there are too many in-patients who no longer need to be in hospital but have no rehabilitation, retirement home or nursing home bed available, or there is insufficient support for them to return home. They remain in acute care in-patient beds long past their need for acute care. So not only are there not enough acute care in-patient beds, the wrong people are in some of them and we haven't yet achieved the right balance for support in the home or support in alternative levels of care.
2007 Recipients, 3M Health Care Quality Team Awards
UHN undertook a major transformation initiative to significantly improve patient flow from the Emergency Department (ED) to General Internal Medicine (GIM) to its post-acute care partners, to ultimately reduce wait times and improve access to UHN’s Emergency Departments. A team within UHN comprised of multiple clinical leaders and project management experts was formed to design, develop, implement and evaluate an array of improvement initiatives that fall under six themes: care coordination, care model, workflow, communication of information, work environment, and team renewal. Each of the six themes was led by a clinical leader and supported by project management experts comprised of industrial engineers, academics, and data analysts.
Celebrating Innovations in Health Care Expo 2007 Awards - Finalist
Continuity of care or the transfer patient care from one provider to the next, referred to as patient sign-out, occurs on a daily basis. Transferring pertinent clinical information such as past histories, medications and other issues of concern is essential to this process but without mechanisms in place to ensure this transfer occurs efficiently, care becomes fragmented and patient safety is compromised. In response to this issue, a web-based electronic sign-out application was designed and developed. The application is simple to use and can be accessed by multiple users from any PC with internet access, essential considering sign-out for most clinical teams occurs at the same time. The electronic sign-out application is now being used by virtually all services across the academic teaching hospitals across the GTA.