Abstract

Authors who come to us with ideas often reflect challenges set out on the pages of Hospital Quarterly. In this way, we present different points of view on important issues facing healthcare organizations. You will recall, for example, the consumer perspective on care provided by Valerie McDonald (Winter 1999/2000) - a reflection of both good and bad from her extensive hospital experience. In this issue, Joan Tranmer responds directly and includes a recommended caring protocol. She, in effect, champions the role of the patient in setting expectations and participating in the care process. Mary Ferguson-Paré et al. continue the theme that care must be "client-centred" and give voice to their perspective. This thoughtful article considers the special needs of the elderly and urges us to respect their interests and needs rather than devaluing them as consumers.

Margaret Fitch considers the role of supportive care for the cancer patient. She points out that the support system is potentially very broad but not fully coordinated or integrated within the cancer care system. She writes, "For cancer patients and their families, supportive care and treatment must be interwoven so that the cancer tumour is attached and the human spirit is uplifted.

Doris Grinspun puts these issues into perspective by highlighting the limiting factors to providing caring practices - a succinct summary of the roadblocks often faced by nurses in the workplace.

Never before have the issues of nursing as a profession and the provision of nursing services been more critical - a profession with a long history of dedication to meeting patient needs and of striving to provide services of highest quality to their patients.

Administrators who encourage best practices in their healthcare organizations are well served by a paper prepared by Louise Lemieux-Charles et al. It reports on work being undertaken to integrate performance indicators into the accreditation process.

In the Winter 1999/2000 issue, Jeffrey Weatherill described a model for rural healthcare organizations to collaborate with health sciences centres. In this issue, Kevin Smith et al. respond with a model to optimize the relationship between the Academic Health Centre and the Community Hospital. They encourage a common vision to achieve best care through best practices.

The columns and opinion pieces once again present the reader with important information. For instance, we appreciate Robert McMurtry's overview of the major changes in research funding in Canada; Raisa Deber's analysis of the Federal/Provincial healthcare costs debate; and Mittman's perspective on the future of the Internet in healthcare.

This balance of best practices, science and technology will continue in Hospital Quarterly as we strive to present you with valuable and interesting perspectives. Please continue to provide your thoughtful responses. They are invigorating.

About the Author

Peggy Leatt, Ph.D.
Editor-in-chief