How is Saskatchewan's health care system performing? New online reporting tool gives managers, providers, and the public ready access to information about quality of care in this province

REGINA, Feb. 17 /CNW/ - The people managing and delivering health care in Saskatchewan - and the people using those services - now have easier access to information about the quality of health care in this province, thanks to a new online reporting tool (qualityinsight.ca) launched today by the Health Quality Council. It was developed in response to demand from providers, health regions, and government for timely information about how the health system is performing.

This new provincial resource displays results for various indicators of health care quality in Saskatchewan. An indicator is a tool for measuring, monitoring, and comparing important factors that influence the quality of health care - in the same way that the gauges on a car's dashboard show how the vehicle is running. (Adapted from A Citizen's Guide to Health Indicators, Health Council of Canada, January 2011).

Marlene Smadu, Chair of the Health Quality Council, and Associate Dean (Southern Saskatchewan Campus) for the University of Saskatchewan's College of Nursing, says this province is again leading the way in health care with the launch of Quality Insight. "Our health system is ahead of other jurisdictions in Canada in its understanding of - and use of - measurement and transparent reporting to improve care, and in its collaborative approach to identifying indicators of quality that will be useful for improvement," says Smadu.

Right now, most of the information in Quality Insight measures the health system's progress in achieving targets set for the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative; this major improvement effort was launched by the Health Ministry in March 2010, in response to the Patient First Review. In addition to measuring improvement progress, the indicators about quality of surgical care will also help inform efforts by managers and providers to shorten waits for surgery and improve patients' experiences with the health system. Over time, HQC will add more indicators related to quality of surgical care, as well as other measures of quality in other parts of the system. The site will also include indicators available from other reporting organizations, such as the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI).

"Transparency is important to us, but gathering and analyzing information for reporting on the quality of care in our health region currently takes a lot of time and energy," says Brandy Winquist, Decision Support Consultant, Cypress Health Region. "The beauty of Quality Insight online is that it makes knowledge about the health care system's performance more accessible to everyone, which will be more efficient for us. Cypress Health Region certainly looks forward to the new possibilities it presents."

With HQC's team of subject matter experts, zu, a Saskatoon-based web company, designed and programmed the Quality Insight website.

The Health Quality Council is an independent agency that works closely with health regions, providers, and government to accelerate improvement in Saskatchewan's health care system. HQC is fulfilling this mission by measuring and reporting on quality, building leadership and capability for improvement, engaging providers, and informing health policy.

SOURCE Health Quality Council

For further information:

Sheila Ragush (February 17 and 18)      OR   Nicole Wohlgemuth (After February 18)
Cell: (306)370-2543        Tel: (306)668-8810, ext. 125
Email: sragush@hqc.sk.ca       Email: nwohlgemuth@hqc.sk.ca

Katherine Regnier
Director, Accounts & Marketing
zu
306 653 4747
katherine.regnier@zu.com
zu's Health Quality Council case study: http://zu.com/zHQC

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