The following is a review of developments affecting health care in CanadaThe information is updated the first week of every month - so ... make this a regular stop in your information gathering activities.
The following information has been compiled from publicly available sources, StratCom does not assume any responsibility for the accuracy or the authenticity of the information and StratCom cannot be held liable for errors.
Healthcare in Canada - October 2000
The Montreal Neurological Institute is building a communications centre for brain tumour research. The centre, scheduled for completion spring 2001, will include a wing equipped for telemedicine, teleconferencing, teleteaching, a telephone help line and a Web site for doctors and patients. Funding for the MNI's brain tumour research centre has come from private donations totaling $12 million. The total budget for building and equipping the research centre is $26 million.
The University of Ottawa Heart Institute has launched a new arrhythmia monitoring centre. The centre uses technology which allows patients to stay at home during the monitoring period and transmit their ECG recordings over the telephone. Patients wear a monitoring device the size of a pager connected to two chest electrodes. The patient's ECG is recorded continuously. When a cardiac event occurs, the patient presses a button on the portable device. The ECG is saved for 30 to 40 seconds before and after the cardiac event. After five or six such recordings, the patient calls the centre using a toll-free number. One of two full-time technologist downloads the ECG recordings over the phone in a manner similar to a modem. The ECGs can then be faxed to the physician or analysed by the centre's technologists.
The federal government is planning a diabetes information-gathering system to show the true magnitude and scope of the disease in Canada. The program will be an extension of the National Diabetes Surveillance System (NDSS) Prairie Pilot project which began independently in 1996 but for the past year has been brought under the umbrella of the Canadian Diabetes Strategy, a $115-million, five-year initiative aimed at helping prevent and control diabetes.
The Canadian division of the Institute for Safe Medication Practice (ISMP www.ismp.org) is undertaking Canadian initiatives to reduce error. The organization will begin to record all the causes for the error, and take a non-punitive, teamwork approach to reporting and preventing errors.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta has introduced new guidelines for point-of-care (POC) simple/rapid testing for HIV infection. The Alberta college guideline specifies that POC testing for HIV infection should only be done in designated clinics and facilities, and by or under the direction of approved health-care professionals, and along with appropriate pre- and post-test counselling.
Saskatchewan is the first province to use urine samples as the only diagnostic tests province-wide for detection of Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhea. Saskatchewan's provincial lab will be using the Becton Dickinson ProbeTec.
Healthcare in Canada - September 2000
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Last modified: November 01, 2000