Friday, November 20, 2009


The just concluded American Heart Association Annual Scientific Meeting at Orlando, had an interesting presentation one of the finl sessions.
The clinical trial was entitled EFFECT ( Enhanced Feedback for Effective Cardiac Treatment ) . The results of the trial was presented by Dr Jack Tu of Toronto. The researchers asked for report cards ( process of care indicators ) of 86 hospitals, with about 16,000 patients who were admitted for treatment for heart attacks and heart failure, as regards their medical treatment algorhythms, nursing and medical professional care and supporting staff quality of care. Basically how treatment was being administered. Then they have a repeat assessment one group after two years and the other ( control group ) after four years. These reports cards were made public. What they found was that with this yearly assessment being made public, the standard of care improved and more patients received treatment faster and better, therby reflecting better outcomes.
I was very taken by this study as it would allow us, if we wish to improve and stretch our healthcare dollar, to also, without much additional cost, do the same. Have a public report cards for selected hospitals ( public and private ), to start, to see the standard of care. I am confident that once the report cards are made public, people all along the line will pull up their socks and improve. This will be to the betterment of patientcare and stretching the healthcare budget. Of course I can see resistance all the way, but using the government initiative to assess government ministries by KPIs, the ministry of health can also do the same.
Unless there are some who are afraid of report cards.

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