Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Canada's Health Care System Reminiscent of Banking in the 80s

New report challenges health sector to catch up with other industries' use of data, evidence and technology to personalize services.
TORONTO, Ontario February 26, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - A new report from one of the country's most respected health innovation leaders is calling for a radical rethink of Canada's health services industry. Calling for the health sector to learn from others, including the financial services industry, where customers can do their banking online, access their personal health information from anywhere in the world, and get customized services based on their needs, the International Centre for Health Innovation at the Ivey School of Business at Western University laid out a blueprint to modernize and personalize health care in Canada.
"If we are going to bring our health system into this century we need to learn from the practices of other sectors and begin to take advantage of their experiences with customer engagement and service as well as the information and technology that is available to us," said Anne Snowdon, Chair of the International Centre for Health Innovation. "Just as Ford Motors moved away from building only Model T's for everyone, regardless of their different preferences - the health care sector needs to treat patients based on their individual diagnoses, values and goals."
The thought paper investigates the advancement of digital communication technologies and points to increasing evidence that individuals are ready to manage their own health and wellness and are actively seeking out strategies and tools to change the way they access health services. The Centre outlines several steps for governments, health professionals and providers to accelerate the "personalization" of systems, including:
  • Put the patient in charge of their health information and care decisions - not providers.
  • Treat patients, not the disease they have. "One size does not fit all" in diagnoses and treatment.
  • Incent providers for outcomes, not the number of services they deliver.
  • Join the 21st Century and get digitally connected.
  • Engage citizens in decisions about services paid for by government.
"There is great innovation happening right across the country in health care, but it's limited and way behind other sectors," said Snowdon. "These new approaches will improve patient care, outcomes, and save the system money. Most of all, we'll start to empower patients to take ownership of their own health."
You can access the Executive Summary and White paper at

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