Brent Diverty: an e-Health Conference Blog

Brent Diverty: an e-Health Conference Blog

Brent Diverty: an e-Health Conference Blog

Going inside Canada’s one-stop health care data shop

Canadians are intensely loyal to their Canadian health care system. We consider it a symbol of national pride, both political and emotional. In many ways, we consider it our birthright.

We want to know how many family doctors there are in Canada and where they’re located. We want to know what the wait times are like in our local emergency departments. We are concerned about the safety and quality of care in our local hospitals and long-term care homes.

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) has been providing this type of relevant, timely data since 1994.

One of CIHI’s biggest initiatives to date was the introduction of the Your Health System web tool in 2013. It combined new and previously released measures to provide Canadians with a snapshot of our overall health and a broad look at how our health system is performing.

The tool—created for the Canadian public based on the health information they said was most important to them—featured comparable, interactive and easily understood information.

In short, it was a hit. The number of visits was nearly unprecedented for CIHI. The public and CIHI stakeholders alike could finally access one-stop shopping for Canadian health data. People could get information in an interactive way that helped them easily understand how the health system is doing close to home, while also providing provincial and national perspectives.

In September 2014, the original tool became the In Brief section of Your Health System, as we launched another section, In Depth, designed to be used by health care managers to look at their own data and then compare their outcomes with those of other hospitals, regions, and provinces and territories across the country.

One of the strengths of this tool is that it uses dynamic, interactive graphics to make it easier to understand complex information. This data can help health systems work more efficiently, more safely and more transparently. With this tool, users can identify regions and facilities with top results and consider how they can learn from the best practices of others. For convenience, users can export data and images from Your Health System to Excel and PowerPoint for their own purpose.

At this year’s e-Health conference (May 31 to June 3, 2015), we offer a closer look at how data sourced from e-health solutions is being used to measure, monitor and improve health system efficiency and safety through public reporting and other means. Our pre-conference symposium—Measuring the Performance of Your Health System: Aligning Public Reporting and Performance Analytics—is a half-day event on Sunday, May 31 (in the afternoon).

The symposium features a stellar lineup of speakers—from across Canada, as well as from Australia and the Netherlands—who will share their insights and experiences on measuring, understanding and improving the performance of their health care systems.

We encourage you to take advantage of this valuable learning opportunity if you

  • Have a vested interest in learning how health data—which is increasingly being sourced from e-health solutions—is transforming health system performance;
  • Are a care provider, part of a decision-support team, or make decisions for the day-to-day management of a hospital or health care facility;
  • Are involved in establishing health policy, involved in health research, or are from a regional health authority or provincial/territorial ministry; or
  • Are part of the vendor community supporting information technology or information management.

Above all, we at CIHI believe that you can improve upon only what you can measure.