December 21, 2016

Why Patient Education Fails So Often

The number of Canadians living with chronic disease is at an all-time high. Many chronically-ill people manage their conditions at home, where they don’t have direct access to medical expertise. As a result, patient education has never been so important. Living independently is great. But in many cases, it requires a lot from those who have to keep track of
December 15, 2016

A Surprising Way Nursing Homes Can Increase Family Engagement

In many Canadian nursing homes, family engagement is low. Industry professionals are aware of the difference that loving support networks can make. But what’s the best way to encourage family members to get involved? Caring relatives may find it difficult to visit residents for various reasons. Some of the most common include geographical distance and overwhelming outside responsibilities. It might
December 14, 2016

Is a Professional Caregiver Burnout Epidemic Headed for Home Care?

In Ontario, the number of chronic and complex patients who live at home is growing quickly. Among the professionals who provide home care services for these patients, caregiver burnout is increasingly common. Frontline workers – including nurses, personal support workers (PSWs), and rehabilitative therapists, among others – are under increasing pressure as the home care landscape changes. As a result,
December 8, 2016

Ontario’s High-Needs Patients: Can Health Links Reach Them All?

It’s a well-known problem. A small percentage of Ontario’s patient population accounts for a large percentage of health care spending. The province’s Health Links initiative was designed to fix this issue – but how well is it working? In the years since they were introduced, Health Links have had a positive impact on the lives of high-needs patients. Care coordination
December 6, 2016

How Health Care Leaders Can Better Support Family Caregivers

Family caregivers are one of our most important resources. Providing approximately 80% of the country’s home care, these unpaid workers are an integral part of Canada’s health care system. Now, health care leaders are beginning to realize their value. More than ever before, governments are making support for caregivers a priority. Ontario just announced $20 million in funding for respite
November 29, 2016

5 Unexpected Benefits of Using Videoconferencing for Telehealth

We all know telehealth is convenient. It’s a well-established fact that the right communication technologies can reduce travel and wait times for patients. We also know that telehealth brings crucial services to areas where they otherwise wouldn’t be available. By connecting patients and doctors long distance, the right electronic tools improve access to care in remote and rural regions. These
November 22, 2016

The Key to Better Complex Care? Improved Care-Plan Sharing

Coordinating care for patients has never been more difficult. And unless things change, this task will only get harder in the years ahead. If you work in health care, you’ve seen the trends. You know that chronic disease rates are growing (by a whopping 14% each year), along with the demand for services in the community. You’re also aware that
November 17, 2016

Helping Long-Distance Patients Live Well With Remote Care

Patients who live outside of cities don’t always receive the best quality of care. And sometimes it may seem that delivering positive health outcomes just isn’t possible. For urban doctors with patients in remote areas, recognizing this inequality can be difficult – even heartbreaking. Many wish they could do more to help, but geography gets in the way. Luckily, there
November 15, 2016

Should We Have Hospital Readmission Penalties in Canada?

Since 2012, American hospitals with high readmission rates have faced serious financial penalties. These penalties are part of a controversial initiative called the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP). Here in Canada, unplanned hospital readmissions – especially those tied to chronic diseases – are a serious problem. These events can be extremely costly, which makes them a real threat to the
November 11, 2016

Overhauling Home Care Means Doing More With Less. Here’s How.

Home care is worth getting excited about. It’s cost effective. It’s in line with patient preferences. And it has the potential to provide appropriate support for many chronically-ill patients. For these reasons, many see home and community care as the ultimate solution to Canada’s healthcare problems. And yet, Ontario – a province that has wholeheartedly embraced this solution – has
November 10, 2016

5 Reasons Health Care Teams Should Revisit Telemedicine

Telemedicine has been around for decades. But in the last few years, it’s seen a major surge of interest. Should health care providers embrace this resurrected trend, and how much value can they expect if they do? Now, more than ever before, patients are looking to receive health information in real time. We’re used to the convenience of the web,
November 4, 2016

5 Misconceptions About Long Term Care Homes

The public is scrutinizing long term care homes. And that’s understandable. There’s no point in pretending the news stories don’t exist. Of course, abuse and neglect are the exception – not the rule. If you operate or work in one of these care facilities, you’re aware that they’re often characterized by empathy and compassion. Though safety is the primary concern
November 2, 2016

How Technology Can Prevent Canada’s Looming Health Care Crisis

We’ve heard it many times before. Canada is headed for a health care crisis. Our system isn’t sustainable. Our aging population will bankrupt us. These ideas can make for compelling news stories, but they are perhaps a tad dramatic. Health care leaders and practitioners know that the factors impacting expenditures in the sector are complex. Distilling them into soundbites does
November 1, 2016

In Home Care, How Risky is Digitally Sharing Health Information?

We live in an age when nearly every medical and caregiving professional has a smartphone or tablet. These mobile devices can be extremely useful on the job – especially in home care. But when it comes to sharing health information, providers should be wary. Canadians have already seen privacy breaches involving electronic medical records. And sadly, there have been numerous
October 20, 2016
Image of a heart for heart and stroke awareness month in Canada

5 Tips for Managing the Care of a Chronically-Ill Loved One

Are you involved in coordinating the care of a chronically-ill loved one? If so, you’re likely well-acquainted with frustration. Perhaps you’re a full-time caregiver, or maybe you’re just helping out. The person you love could be a child, a spouse, or an aging parent. Whatever your situation, if it involves helping to manage one or more chronic illnesses, life is