Local perspective on “hospitals of the future”

In conjunction with its new exhibit, “Our Body: The Universe Within”, the Children’s Museum in Kitchener, Ontario, is presenting a series of Sunday afternoon presentations entitled “The Future Health Care”

http://www.thechildrensmuseum.ca/ourbody/speakers.html

The first presentation in the series explored what “hospitals of the future” might look like.  According to an article posted on the TheRecord.com (http://news.therecord.com/News/Local/article/661578), highlights from presentations by Moira Taylor (President of St. Mary’s Hospital in Kitchener / Waterloo), Patrick Gaskin (CEO of Cambridge Memorial Hospital), and Malcolm Maxwell (CEO of Grand River Hospital in Kitchener / Waterloo) included:

  • “…hospitals could learn a lot from corporations such as Toyota, which put a priority on finding efficiencies within their operations”
  • “Another solution, the CEOs said, is more alternative methods of care, such as getting medically stable people out of expensive acute care beds and into more cost-effective community-based services, such as in-home nursing care. It’s also things like more nurse practitioners, anesthesia assistants and physician assistants.”
  • “One of the biggest advances, they said, would be electronic health records, which can cut unnecessary surgeries, ambulance trips and adverse drug reactions that should have been preventable.”
  • “…hospital of the future also needs to become more responsive to patients’ needs and schedules …. offering such things as elective surgery on Friday nights or Saturday mornings”
  • “Patients need to be more involved in the whole process, with access to their own digital medical records and their own test results.”

I was pleased to see recognition at the most senior levels of hospital adminstration of the need for electronic records and greater patient engagement in the healthcare delivery process (enabled by IT).

Mike

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