Thursday, January 31, 2013

New standard for hospitals on reporting adverse drug reactions released today

Standard will be supported by marketing activities to boost reporting by health professionals

OTTAWA, January 30, 2013 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, today congratulated Accreditation Canada on including, for the first time, guidance on the reporting of adverse drug reactions in its latest Medication Management Standards for health care facilities, including hospitals.

"Our Government is committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadians," said Minister Aglukkaq. "This initiative supports Health Canada's ongoing efforts to increase the quality and quantity of adverse reaction reports, an important part of our drug safety monitoring system."

As part of a certification process, Accreditation Canada evaluates the performance of its clients against national standards of excellence. These standards examine all aspects of health care, from patient safety and ethics, to staff training and partnering with the community. The new adverse reaction reporting component of the new standards was commissioned by Health Canada.

Accreditation Canada's Medication Management Standards are now available to more than 700 client organizations, including 143 hospitals and other acute care facilities, and other facilities including long-term care, home care and aboriginal health services.

The adverse reaction reporting component provides guidance on issues such as how to report patients' adverse reactions to drugs, and who is responsible for reporting them. The standards will encourage consistency in reporting practices and will strengthen and complement any reporting systems already in place.

This new standard will also complement Health Canada's ongoing efforts to promote adverse reaction reporting, including marketing activities aimed at health professionals in Canada. These activities provide information on how to report adverse reactions to drugs and other health products, why it's important to do so, and how to stay up to date on new safety information.

Starting next month, Health Canada will place notices in selected health professional journals and will distribute adverse reaction reporting forms with instructions to selected health associations, physicians and pharmacists, and facilities.

Adverse reaction reporting is an important source of data Health Canada uses to identify potential safety problems with marketed health products. Other sources include peer-reviewed scientific studies and information from drug manufacturers and international regulatory agencies.

The new reporting standard stems from Health Canada's consultations with provinces and territories, health professionals, industry, and the Canadian public regarding ways to address the under-reporting of adverse drug reactions in Canada. Much feedback, particularly from provinces and health professional associations, supported the development of a hospital-based adverse reaction reporting standard as an alternative to a legislative requirement.

Health care professionals and organizations can contact Accreditation Canada for more information on the new standards.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Canadians not keeping track of their discretionary spending

One in three Canadians monitors fixed expenses only

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, January 15, 2013 /Canada NewsWire/ - Many Canadians are taking a carefree approach to spending, acknowledging in a new poll commissioned by Edward Jones that they keep track of fixed expenses, but when it comes to discretionary spending, they aren't paying as close attention. One in three Canadians (29 per cent) only keep track of fixed expenses, such as mortgage, rent or car payments. A further 32 per cent of Canadians do not keep track of their expenses at all.

According to Statistics Canada, Canadian household debt-to-income ratio reached a new high of 164.6 per cent in the third quarter of 2012, which means for every $100 in after-tax income, Canadians owe $65.

"Failing to keep track of expenses could be keeping Canadians in hot water," says Michelle Kay-Scott, Senior Product Manager of Retirement Planning with Edward Jones. "Having a better understanding of where your money goes, from mortgage payments to a dinner out, can help to identify your current spending habits, so you can adjust them as necessary to achieve your financial goals."

Family status makes a difference

Family status is a driving force when it comes to our diligence to keep track of spending. According to the poll conducted by Leger Marketing, Canadians with children are more likely to monitor their expenses compared to those without children (73 per cent versus 65 per cent).

Kay-Scott notes

"Money priorities can change at different life stages, whether saving for a home, expecting a baby or living in retirement. Regardless of family status, it's important for Canadians at all life stages to identify where they stand financially and build a solid plan to meet financial goals."

Identify your discretionary spend with a new web-based app

To help Canadians track their discretionary spending, Edward Jones has launched a new web-based app. The easy-to-use app identifies the costs of everyday items (e.g. dining out, entertainment, new clothing) and calculates how spending on these items could translate into savings toward financial goals, such as retirement or a down payment on a home. Access the app from your smartphone at:

Other key findings from the survey:

...Regionally, Albertans, British Columbians and Ontarians are more likely than Quebecers to keep track of every penny they spend (47 per cent, 46 per cent and 40 per cent versus 30 per cent, respectively).

...Canadians making $40K to $59K are more likely than those making $100K and over to say they keep track of every penny they spend (45 per cent versus 33 per cent).

About Edward Jones

Edward Jones is a full-service investment dealer with one of the largest branch networks in Canada. It is a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada and the Canadian Investor Protection Fund, and a participating organization of the Toronto Stock Exchange. Including its affiliate, Edward Jones serves nearly 7 million individual investors in Canada and the U.S. from more than 11,000 locations.

Edward Jones is a limited partnership in Canada and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Edward D. Jones & Co., LP, a Missouri limited partnership. Edward D. Jones & Co., LP is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Jones Financial Companies, LLLP, a Missouri limited liability limited partnership.

A total of 1500 Canadians completed an online survey between October 1st and October 4th, 2012 using Leger Marketing's online panel, LegerWeb. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/- 3.48%, 19 times out of 20.

Friday, January 11, 2013

University of Guelph Researchers to Share Vision of Life in 2030

GUELPH Ontario January 10, 2013 - University of Guelph News Release - What will life be like in 2030? It could be that technology will prevent your car from crashing, or that mathematics will make the difference between wealth and poverty.

These are visions of the future that researchers from Ontario universities – including the University of Guelph - will share with the public at "Life in 2030: Discuss the Future with Those who are Creating It," a free public event that will be held January 23 in Kitchener.

Hosted by the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University, in partnership with U of G and University of Ottawa, this is the first in a series of Research Matters discussions taking place across Ontario during the next few months.

“The work of Ontario researchers has a significant impact on the day-to-day life and future of Ontarians,” said D. George Dixon, vice-president of research at University of Waterloo. “This event is an opportunity for researchers to connect with people in the Kitchener-Waterloo area and share their hopes, concerns, and expectations for the next generation of Ontarians. Additionally, because universities are publicly funded, we recognize the importance of sharing our work with the communities to whom we are accountable.”

Moderated by Iain Klugman, president and CEO of Communitech, four researchers will discuss what life will be like in 2030 through the prism of their research:

...Ajay Heble, University of Guelph, “Music improvisation and community building: Improvisation will be at the core of sustainable communities and unprecedented change”

...Amir Khajepour, University of Waterloo, “Intelligent cars: Vehicles will prevent themselves from crashing”

...Donna Kotsopoulos, Wilfrid Laurier University, “Math pedagogy: Mathematics will make the difference between wealth and poverty”

...Andrew Pelling, University of Ottawa, “Cellular nanotechnology: Technology and biology will integrate in unpredictable ways.”

“Our universities – both locally and across Ontario – are home to some of the most prestigious, varied, and collaborative research environments in the world,” said Abby Goodrum, vice-president: research at Wilfrid Laurier University. “We want all members of our community to be able to share this wealth of ideas.”

Life in 2030 is a Research Matters event that takes place at The Tannery, 151 Charles St. W. in Kitchener, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Those interested in attending are asked to register online.

Research Matters events allow Ontarians to discuss emerging challenges and opportunities with researchers who are helping to shape the future, as well as voice their opinions and ideas in conversation with some of the province’s leading thinkers. There are five Research Matters events taking place across Ontario that will include 21 provincial universities. The other four will occur in Sudbury on March 7, Oshawa on April 3, St. Catharines on April 16 and Toronto on May 9. The Research Matters campaign also includes a blog and social media opportunities for Ontarians to engage with university research. Visit the Research Matters website at for details.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Annual eye examinations for Ontarians with diabetes continue to be funded by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan

Ontario Association of Optometrists reminds Ontarians of the importance of annual eye exams for people with diabetes

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, January 9, 2013 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO) is reminding Ontarians that routine eye examinations for people with diabetes continue to be covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) regardless of their age, and that a referral for this service is not required.

A recent study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) found that when routine eye examinations for healthy adults were delisted from OHIP in 2004, there was an 8.7 per cent decrease in the test for people living with diabetes, despite the fact that annual eye examinations remained covered for this population.i

"For people living with diabetes, the consequences of neglecting eye health can be especially severe. The OAO continues to work with the provincial government and other partners to develop an integrated approach that ensures patients with diabetes receive proper eye health care as part of overall diabetes management," said Dr. Farooq A. Khan, President, OAO. "The OAO urges people living with diabetes to call and schedule eye examinations with a local Doctor of Optometry at least once every year."

Eye Health Risks Associated with Diabetes

Diabetic retinopathy is the most damaging eye condition caused by diabetes. Although vision loss due to the condition can be prevented, unfortunately, many people with diabetes do not know that they have damage from retinopathy until it is too late. Diabetic retinopathy causes the blood vessels of the retina (inner layer of the back of the eye) to leak, swell or develop abnormally. It is the leading cause of blindness among Canadians between the ages of 30 and 69, and will be developed by the majority of people with diabetes within 20 years of having the condition.

Although prevention of this devastating condition is best accomplished by maintaining normal blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and blood lipid levels, receiving a comprehensive eye examination by a Doctor of Optometry at least once a year is essential to catch retinal changes as early as possible, and ultimately help preserve vision through a variety of treatment options available.

Doctors of Optometry, widely available in local communities all across Ontario, are the primary health care providers trained to diagnose and manage damaging eye conditions caused by diabetes. To find an optometrist in your community, please visit:

About the Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO)

The OAO, founded in 1909, is the voluntary professional organization representing more than 1,500 optometrists in Ontario. The OAO is dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding of the importance of eye health, and helping Ontario's Doctors of Optometry provide the highest standard of eye health and vision care.