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article imageOntario Hospitals secrecy to end

By Brandigal (Donna)     Apr 12, 2007 in Health
Ontario hospitals will be forced to publicly disclose their patient safety record if they want to get paid.
Dr. Alan Hudson, a neurosurgeon, has announced that public reporting of safety data and quality in hospitals will begin next year April 1st.
Dr Hudson is also head of the Ontario Wait Time Strategy and former president of the University Health Network.
As of now, there is no law in Ontario that makes hospitals or doctors tell about complication rates or medical errors. So as a patient, you have no idea about the risks your taking before you go into a hospital.
This new law will make the hospitals have to disclose quality and safety data such as death rates and infection rates in a public record. If they do not, they will not get government funding. Hospitals that do provide the data will get more funding that will allow them to do more.
Dr. Hudson said "If you are going to buy a house in Ontario you check the roof, you check wiring and plumbing. This is slightly more important. This is your life,"
Patient safety data for those five areas will be posted on www.ontariowaittimes.ca, where patients now go to check the wait for the medical procedures. It will include infection rates at the hospital and the death rate for the procedure. Eventually six or seven measures could be posted, and one day data will be available for all surgical procedures.
Right now individual doctors' performance records will not be made public. The hospitals will be forced to show the quality and safety records to the public. Hudson said they should not have had to be forced. It should have always been there.
In hospital death rates are already tracked by the Canadian Institute for Health Information but that report is not public. Hudson now says he will track this as well.
They have a year to get ready for this. New quality committees will be established by hospital boards to over see this.
Cara Flemming said "When hospitals start to review mortality rates, they see a decrease in their death rates. Just talking about it leads to change."
Almost 23,750 people die, in Canada, alone from hospital errors such as wrong drug, wrong dose, wrong patient. The report said this number is higher than people who have died from HIV, car accidents and breast cancer all combined. That is a high number but people are not made aware of this because everything is kept quiet for fear of malpractice. Now the numbers will be made public.
I think this is a great idea. We need to know which hospitals are safer than others. Which have the fewer errors. If you have to go to a hospital you want to know the one you are going to will give you the best possible car.
More about Ontario hospitals, Secrecy, End
 
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