Inspiring a Future of Better Health through technology
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) hosted its inaugural CMA Health Summit in Winnipeg last week. The CMA proactively invited 25 patient delegates to attend the summit to align with their goal of consistently bringing a patient perspective to the work they do.
I was lucky enough to apply and attend as one of those patient delegates. It was two days of fantastic presentations, speakers, discussions and networking. I wanted to share some of the key highlights, from my perspective, to ensure the message from the CMA Health Summit does not fade. These messages are integral to moving our health care system forward.
Innovating for the Technological Revolution
Digital technology is expanding at such a rate and various technologies’ can help revolutionize the healthcare industry i.e. virtual care, big health data and technological developments.
How can we embrace this in healthcare to allow people to put their health in their own hands?
- We need to look for innovative and out-the-box ways to excel our proof-to-concept-to-reality ideas.
- Ensure we are ‘designing for spread’ – meaning not only for ‘pilot projects’ but for ideas with sustainable and beyond pilot project applications
- Leverage exponential thinking in our daily mindset and create the conditions for change – go for 10x and not just 10%
- Understand that big health data is here to stay and impacts not only data but also the applications and innovations that support it. We need to be on the bus to ensure we don’t get left behind.
Really start with the patient
Patient-centered care is when an individual’s specific health needs and desired health outcomes are the driving force behind all health care decisions and quality measurements.
In essence, care is organized around the patient.
- Ensure we include more compassion in our work and systems to ensure we are all about ‘health care and not health practice.’
- Ask, “what questions do you have?” of patients at every visit to ensure patient-centered care becomes routine practice.
- Take time to treat the person and not just the disease or condition.
- Use technology as a tool and not a barrier.
- The patient has been said to be the most underutilized resource in medicine. Connect, communicate and collaborate = better outcomes for patients, doctors and health care systems
Canadian healthcare system Evolution
Canadian healthcare, while advanced in many areas, has to embrace technology to allow it to catch up and surpass other countries in health care delivery. We also have to ensure equitable access to basic social and health care fundamentals in order to create a sustainable and value driven system.
While some of the below takeaways may seem lofty, many of these were from group consensus.
Shaping the future of health and medicine in Canada requires a mindset of making the impossible possible. It can be done!
- Implement a nationwide electronic health record system with access for both health care professionals and patients
- Allow national licensure for health care professionals allowing across Canada practicing opportunities
- Ensure universal access to Pharmacare with a National Pharmacare system
- Ensure all Canadians have access to a family physician
- Provide access to clean water and basic technologies for all communities to ensure standards of health can be achieved. This is critical, especially in our Indigenous communities.
Many successful and thought provoking discussions at the summit will provide input to help inform the CMA’s policy and advocacy agenda, including a new policy paper on innovation.
As a patient, advocate and citizen personally vested in the future of our health care system, I have gained insight and inspiration from this summit. I look forward to future discussions and initiatives in these areas to help exponentially shift our health care to where it needs to be.
Thanks to the speakers for their time in preparing and presenting and the the CMA team for all the preparation for the summit!
Onwards and upwards.