Health Care in Canada 2009: A Decade in Review – October 2009

Posted on October 30, 2009. Filed under: Health Status, Health Systems Improvement, Public Hlth & Hlth Promotion | Tags: , |

Health Care in Canada 2009: A Decade in Review

About the review – information copied from Health Edition

10-year retrospective produced by CIHI
October 30, 2009

“The Canadian Institute for Health Information published the 10th edition of its Health Care in Canada report this week – an annual snapshot of the state of health care in the country. This anniversary edition takes the opportunity to look back at what has happened in health care and some of the issues that lie ahead.

Health care funding is one of the subjects discussed in the 120-page report, and it says that while there is an abundance of information about health expenditures there is no method yet in place to know what value is created.

“We can readily describe how much money goes where in many different ways. Interpretation, however, is far more difficult and contentious because there is no standard approach to linking volumes and activity to clinical and population health outcomes. Nor is there a method for comparing observed to ‘ideal’ efficiency, or otherwise assessing value for money. All we can say for sure is that the system got a good deal more costly during the past decade.”

The lack of health outcomes data is mentioned a number of times in the report. CIHI expects to produce a report on this subject next spring. It will propose short- and long-term options for upgrading the availability of health care outcomes information.

CIHI says the emergence of new information technologies, like electronic health records (EHRs), promise a veritable “treasure trove” of data to help answer a number of key questions about Canadian health care, and delve into the interconnection between health status, health care needs, services and outcomes. However, it says much depends on whether privacy rules will permit this depth of analysis and if the necessary technical capability is built into new EHR systems.

The democratization of health-care information, accessible through the Internet, has been another major development of the last decade that is yet to demonstrate its full impact especially if the current policy focus on patient-centred care grabs hold.

“In that event, one can envision interactive EHRs, intense measurement and reporting on the patient experience, and portals that allow the public to view, and even analyze, previously inaccessible data. Vigorously pursued, these developments would stand the system on its head,” the report says.

Health Care in Canada 2009: A Decade in Review can be found at”


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