Healthcare Quarterly

Healthcare Quarterly 11(4) September 2008 : 1-1.doi:10.12927/hcq.2008.20082

Editorial

Peggy Leatt

Abstract

As the healthcare industry continues to thrive and change, it is important we analyze the evolution taking place to ensure proper healthcare is provided to our patients. This issue includes articles that do just that - examine how to properly assess and manage the changing culture of healthcare while ensuring patient satisfaction. Included are articles addressing public-private partnerships, discussing complex change management regarding care provision, explaining the benefits of using judicial processes in treatment options, and examining patient safety, to name a few.

Joseph A. de Mora examines the main elements that embody Canada's evolving healthcare environment in his article "Health Human Resources and Public-Private Partnerships: Understanding Their Contributions to Canada's Transforming Healthcare Environment." The changes he discusses have an impact on the new approaches to health human resources and on public-private partnerships. Additionally, de Mora presents his views on the core findings from a meeting of healthcare chief executive officers, held in Banff, Alberta.

"Leading Complex Change in Healthcare: 10 Lessons Learned" presents external and internal challenges of transferring perinatal services from one facility to another. The authors, Lianne Collins, Rebecca Parkes and Gerard Seijts, outline such challenges along with the method they used to ensure the facilities' readiness. They conclude with 10 lessons they learned from the experience.

Next, we have a narrative presented by Mark Handelman and Bob Parke encouraging the use of a judicial process to resolve conflict between care providers and decision-makers regarding treatment decisions. This Health Law segment, titled "The Beneficial Role of a Judicial Process When 'Everything' Is Too Much," presents a fictional case scenario that argues that the use of a third party to mediate conflict is in the patient's, the family's and the healthcare team's best interests.

In Ideas at Work, Scott A. Lear, Joanna Bates, Josée G. Lavoie, Suzanne Johnston and Richard E. Scott discuss the growing trend in the establishment of partnerships between university-based researchers and non-university stakeholders, such as the British Columbia Alliance on Telehealth Policy and Research (BCATPR). BCATPR's development and operation are outlined, and the strengths and challenges associated with this partnership model are discussed.

Fascinating, still, are the findings presented in our Case Study "On the Journey to a Culture of Patient Safety," by Barbara Tiessen. This case study presents the improvements in patient safety made by a small Ontario-based acute care hospital after being prompted by a Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation (CCHSA) Patient Safety Cultural Assessment project. Results from a follow-up survey present interesting results.

Our Futurethink segment discusses the benefits of providing patients access to their own health information. In "Yes, Virginia, There Are System Benefits to Be Gained from Providing Patients Access to Their Own Health Information," authors Kevin J. Leonard, David Wiljer and Sara Urowitz discusses how the healthcare industry has been slow to embrace the concept of consumer input and the positive role it can play in patient care.

Finally, the Longwoods Review presents "Employers, Home Support Workers and Elderly Clients: Key Issues in Delivery and Receipt of Home Support," by Anne Martin-Matthews and Joanie Sims-Gould. This piece examines the experiences of elderly clients and their family members, with the goal of identifying issues in home support services provided to older individuals. Strategies for addressing the issues are presented as well.

As is evidenced by this issue's articles, the changing face of healthcare is foremost in our minds. As changes continue to present themselves, we must evaluate their efficacy and ensure that our patients are still served appropriately.

About the Author(s)

Peggy Leatt, PhD

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