In this issue of Healthcare Quarterly we rollout a new Longwoods publication − the Journal of World Health and Population - the continuation of a journal developed over a decade ago by Dr. Sagar Jain in the Department of Health Policy and Administration at the School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The new Editor is Dr. John Paul who is not only a graduate of the University's PhD program but who also has a wide-range of global health experiences in both public and private sectors.
In this issue of Healthcare Quarterly we continue to focus on the diverse approaches to regionalization of healthcare adopted by the various provinces. This series was initiated in the Fall of 2005 (Vol. 8, No. 4) with a paper by Levine on Quebec's regionalization strategy. Now the focus shifts to Ontario with a paper from Pink et al. looking at issues related to benchmarking financial performance indicators in Ontario hospitals. The paper is based on work done by a research team from Ontario's Hospital Report Research Collaborative that is focused on performance measurement, evaluation and ultimately, knowledge transfer on performance excellence back to the field. A second paper from Ronson offers a thoughtful analysis of the recent legislation that will enact Ontario's approach to integrated health systems − Local Health Integration Networks. The article identifies a number of areas of concern and offers advice on how the new corporations may avoid the likely pitfalls. In an upcoming issue, we will turn attention to Alberta's experience with regionalization with a paper from Casebeer and her colleagues who have analyzed the past ten years' healthcare restructuring in their province.
A perspective piece from Seeman and Brown reviews the writings of one of this century's foremost management guru's, the late Peter Drucker. Drucker's contribution to contemporary quality improvement principles is vast and long-lasting. The authors pay homage to his legacy in healthcare.
A paper from Aldarrab at the Hamilton Health Sciences Centre (HHSC) discusses that organization's approach to moving patients with acute myocardial infarction through the emergency department more quickly by applying techniques of Lean Six Sigma. As the paper demonstrates, the new process will improve patient outcomes and also strengthen collaborative links beyond the emergency department throughout the hospital to create a new model of healthcare delivery.
Additions to the case study library section include a description of supply chain improvement through institutional collaboration. Another case demonstrates how one organization reduced needle-stick injuries by 80% and eliminated blood collection injuries completely. Cases are popular resources among our readers and we encourage you to submit them. Ken Tremblay, CEO of the Chatham Kent Health Alliance is the editor for this electronic library and so ensures the value of each case published.
In FutureThink, McGowan, Straus and Tugwell argue that Canada's lack of a national medical library is depriving health professionals and their patients of evidence that would help with decision-making. They point to the inherent benefits that medical library systems in the US and UK are providing to their users and argue that Canada needs to make similar progress.
Other columns and features in this issue include a thought-provoking interview by Tremblay of Bernie Blais who was Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services in Nunavut for two years. The challenges of delivering healthcare in the North are unique yet there are lessons for all readers. There is also a photo spread on the Ontario Hospital Association's 2005 convention enjoyed this year by almost 8000 people.
St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto should be proud as it announced the new Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute. This will bring together research, education and patient care to create a unique global organization dedicated to delivering science to patients faster than ever before. Congratulations.
Finally the cover - this dramatic photograph of real blood vessels is currently on display at an extraordinary exhibit called Body Worlds 2 at the Ontario Science Centre. This reminds us that developments in organ preservation have enabled scientists to offer new ways and means of teaching both the public and medical students about anatomy and health.
Thank you for participating in the growth of Healthcare Quarterly - now as popular on line as it is in print. Our recent readership survey has confirmed the importance of this journal to the policy makers and administrators of healthcare alike. Many important ideas were suggested and we will pursue these with diligence.
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