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Comparing health care quality, access and patient satisfaction across Canada

University of Regina
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A faculty member at the University of Regina has released a national study comparing the performance records of a select number of health regions from across the country. The indicators examined are quality of care, patient access and patient satisfaction rates.

The research was conducted by Dr. Wallace Lockhart, a faculty member in accounting in the Paul J. Hill School of Business at the U of R. "The purpose of the research is to identify best practices and performances in health care in Canada," says Lockhart.

In the area of quality, the survey looks at ten measurements, including hysterectomy readmission rates and in-hospital hip fractures. In the area of access, there are six measurements, including waiting periods for people with fractured hips and knee replacement rates. In the area of patient satisfaction, there are three measurements, including physician care and hospital care.

"What surprised me about the findings is that, although there are significant differences between regions in any one measure, their aggregate scores are relatively close. This suggests to me that best practices in healthcare are not concentrated in any one location, and that healthcare organizations can learn from each other by identifying strongest performers in each key area," says Lockhart.

In all, 45 health regions across Canada were compared - 30 Group One regions, representing health regions with populations of 200,000 or more, and 15 Group Two regions, representing health regions with fewer than 200,000 people. The data comes from the Canadian Institute for Health Information and the Canadian Community Health Survey.

In Group One, Moncton, New Brunswick, had the highest overall ranking followed by Regina-Qu'Appelle in Saskatchewan, and South Vancouver Island, which includes Victoria, in British Columbia.

In Group Two, the Palliser Health Region in Medicine Hat, Alberta, was ranked number one, followed by North Vancouver Island, including Campbell River, in B.C. and North Shore, which includes West Vancouver, B.C.

To download a PDF report card with detailed performance measurements of all 45 health regions, please go to http://www.uregina.ca/admin/faculty/Lockhart/download.html.

For more information please contact:
Dr. Wallace Lockhart
Assistant Professor (Accounting)
Paul J. Hill School of Business
University of Regina 306-337-2394 (office) or 306-550-1494 (cell)

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