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A Unique Approach To Homecare

A Proposal to Improve Canada's Healthcare System

Posted by Steve Jones

Tue, Dec 23, 2014

Colin Goodfellow, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Kemptville District Hospital south of Ottawa, recently published a whitepaper in the Healthcare management Forum titled, “The Dramatic Dehospitalization of Health Services is a Prerequisite for a Sustainable and Effective Health System.” While the article itself is available only by subscription, Dr. Goodfellow has posted a video outlining the main points of his vision.

Highlights of the video:

The current healthcare system is:

  • unaffordable
  • inefficient
  • not patient centric

The new system would have:

  • Decentralized delivery of health care by specialized services such as physiotherapy clinics and home care services
  • Distributed, well-coordinated delivery system, where each part communicates with the other parts
  • Digital patient records
  • Standardization of care

Barriers to change:

  • The health system itself: Big institutions are extremely resistant to change.
  • Over-funding: This is counter-intuitive when individuals are being denied the home care they need because of a lack of funding, but there is so much money in the system, it perpetuates itself.
  • For the cost of one mega-hospital we could have a full integrated digital patient record system across both the institutional government-funded sector and the private sector.

Health care systems such as Dr. Goodfellow proposes exist in a number of places, notably, in certain health management systems in the USA, and in Northern Ireland.

Canada’s health care system is a good system; it delivers decent quality health care. It performs in the middle of the spectrum of health care systems in developed nations. The problem is that it is out-of-date, and does not serve us as well as it could. Our system is a legacy from the 1960’s administration of Lester B. Pearson with only one major revision since.

What do you think? Would Dr. Goodfellow’s proposal work for Canada?