The lessons we learned from Cy Frank

26 Mar

Cy FrankCyril Frank, or Cy, as he liked to be called, was a visionary with a transforming vocation who accomplished a lot for the wellbeing and health of the residents in Alberta and Canada. Surgeon by profession, he was always interested by the challenges about the quality of services and health systems, very similar to those of AQuAS. He was a leader in his home country and he will be always remembered by people in Alberta and Canada, as demonstrated by the long list of messages, memories, thoughts, stories and notes of condolence that are published every day on the University of Calgary’s notice board. Where he was a professor. Stresses the obituary that the journalist André Picard wrote in The Globe and Mail explaining the variety of ‘hats’ that led Cy Frank over his life. Continue reading

In favour of the variability

19 Mar

Joan EscarrabillJoan Escarrabill. Director Chronic Care Program at Hospital Clínic Barcelona

John Wennberg explained to us how difficult it is to justify the variability in clinical practice. The health care that people receive, is more determined by where they live (zip code) than by their overall health. This variability is influenced more by local clinical practice (the features and character of each place, i.e. zip code) than the prevalence of disease or patient preferences. Furthermore, in places with greater health services and activity, the satisfaction, quality and the survival rates are often worse. As this variability (chaotic, according to Wennberg) is not explained by sanitary reasons, it also constitutes an element that leads to greater health inequalities.

There are many examples. The “Observatori de Teràpies Respiratòries a Domicili” analyzes annually the performance of these home treatments. There are paradoxes related to the number of treatments. In Catalonia there are over 65,000 people who receive treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) in order to treat sleep apnoea. On the other hand there are just over 2,000 people who need home mechanical ventilation. There is less variability in the patient group treated with CPAP (the difference is 2.5 times between the territory with the lowest and the highest prevalence) than in the group of patients using ventilators (the difference is 22 times). The home oxygen therapies’ variability maps show the differences in use of these treatments among different districts of Barcelona. Continue reading

The reuse of data: a transforming element of social and economic reality

12 Mar

AGA2Anna García-Altés, Head of the Catalan Health System Observatory

The information generated through the contact between citizens and the administration is of great importance, ranging from registrations of birth to registrations in the education system; employment; transport; housing and utilities; the development of economic activities; tax payments; health system; the judiciary system, and even death certifications. This information is essential for the development of the responsibilities that are attributed to the Administration but becomes an invaluable asset for secondary uses.

The current economic situation has highlighted the ever present need to base public policy on assessments to ensure that its objectives are met and, therefore, that an efficient public resources allocation is performed. Data availability is the element that facilitates the evaluation culture implementation in the administration. Data analysis in each are provides information on the policy effectiveness and efficiency and tremendously improves planning. Continue reading

More participation, better policies?

5 Mar

Elena TorrenteElena Torrente, Coordinator of digital health. DKV Servicios

For us [the Athenians legislators], the debate is not a stepping stone towards action, but the first step essential to taking any wise decision.” – Pericles

I read this quote in the book “És la política, idiotes!” by Professor of Political Science Quim Brugué where he firmly defends politics and the need for collective decisions in politics. Right now when political disaffection prevails, this is an interesting book to say the least that points to an issue that for me is paramount: Intelligence is always collective.

Nowadays, in the era of social networks where we can share knowledge and contribute ideas, interesting debate has never been so easy. But, how about in the area of public policy? Is collective intelligence taken into consideration when they design it? Does it make sense to do it? Continue reading