Welcome to the READ Portal! This site provides access to health care management literature for managers from the front lines to CEOs and policy makers. You will find articles from open-access peer reviewed journals, reports from governments, NGOs and other organizations, as well as articles from the mass media.

The READ Portal will not be updated any longer because CHCM is being restructured.  We hope you have enjoyed this resource.   Read the full post

READ in Review: Top 5 Posts from June

READ in Review highlights the top posts on the READ Portal from each month, as determined by how many readers click the link to each article. The following were the top posts for June, 2012: 1. The use of quality indicators to promote accountability in health care: the good, the bad, and the ugly In […] Read the full post

Acute care inpatients with long-term delayed discharge: evidence from a Canadian health region

Background: Acute hospital discharge delays are a pressing concern for many health care administrators. In Canada, a delayed discharge is defined by the alternate level of care (ALC) construct and has been the target of many provincial health care strategies. Little is known on the patient characteristics that influence acute ALC length of stay. This study examines which characteristics drive acute ALC length of stay for those awaiting nursing home admission.
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Shedding Light on Canadians’ Total Wait for Care: Report Card on Wait Times in Canada

The Wait Time Alliance (WTA) has issued national report cards annually since 2007. Initially, our report cards were solely directed at provincial performance in the five areas identified in the 2004 Health Accord: cancer (radiation therapy); heart (bypass surgery); joint replacement (hip and knee); sight restoration (cataract) and diagnostic imaging (CT and MRI). Since then, the WTA has directed its attention toward: (1) broadening the scope to include Canadians’ access to all areas of care; (2) improving the quality of public reporting on timely access; (3) highlighting issues that contribute to lengthy wait times; and, (4) identifying best practices to improve wait times. The 2012 report card is the WTA’s most comprehensive effort to date to shed light on all of these areas.It contains six sections:
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Quality Matters: Improving Care at the End of Life

Summary: As patients live longer, many states, community-based coalitions, and health care providers have begun to focus on the quality—and quantity—of medical care provided at the end of life. The resulting programs have provided physicians with techniques for delivering bad news, managing transitions to palliative care, and handling requests for therapies that are likely to be futile. They’ve also helped to elicit patient preferences, leading to lower utilization in some locations.
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Unraveling the IT Productivity Paradox — Lessons for Health Care

Debates about the productivity yield of IT are new to health care but not to other sectors of the economy. During the 1970s and 1980s, the computing capacity of the U.S. economy increased more than a hundredfold while the rate of productivity growth fell dramatically to less than half the rate of the preceding 25 years.1 The relationship between the rapid increase in IT use and the simultaneous slowdown in productivity became widely known as the “IT productivity paradox,” and economists debated whether investing billions of dollars in IT was worthwhile. The Nobel laureate economist Robert Solow observed in 1987 that “you can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.”
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The use of quality indicators to promote accountability in health care: the good, the bad, and the ugly

Excerpt:
In this commentary, we hope to stimulate innovation in the field of health care performance measurement. We will discuss several considerations regarding the use of three quality indicators that are commonly used to improve accountability in the Canadian context. Specifically, we will focus on the hospital standardized mortality ratio (HSMR), all-cause urgent readmissions, and emergency department length of stay (ED-LOS; see Textbox 1). We discuss “the good,” “the bad,” and “the ugly” to illustrate both positive and negative consequences related to measurement. We conclude with specific recommendations regarding investments to improve quality measurement.
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Telehealth Benefits and Adoption: Connecting People and Providers Across Canada

Introduction:
The objective of the Telehealth Adoption and Benefits Study was to inform Telehealth stakeholders, including funders of Telehealth programs, health system administrators, clinicians and patients, about the evidence of value of Telehealth activities in Canada. The study focused on the quality, access, and productivity benefits being achieved by these Telehealth activities.
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Equitable Access to Rehabilitation: Realizing potential, Promising Practices, and Policy Directions

Introduction:
This discussion paper is the outcome of a think tank session the Canadian Working Group on HIV and Rehabilitation hosted in March 2011. It outlines issues of access to rehabilitation services for people living with complex chronic and episodic conditions1, promotes discussion on appropriate and timely services, and identifies opportunities for policy-makers and clinicians to consider issues related to chronic conditions and episodic disabilities and to take action to address these issues.
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What is preventable harm in healthcare? A systematic review of definitions

Background: Mitigating or reducing the risk of harm associated with the delivery of healthcare is a policy priority. While the risk of harm can be reduced in some instances (i.e. preventable), what constitutes preventable harm remains unclear. A standardized and clear definition of preventable harm is the first step towards safer and more efficient healthcare delivery system. We aimed to summarize the definitions of preventable harm and its conceptualization in healthcare.
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