infraNET Project and
Waterloo Institute for Health Informatics Research
at the University of Waterloo
The Challenge of Measuring Outcomes
in the Healthcare System
Dr. David Zitner
Director, Medical Informatics
Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University
Wednesday, May 26,
3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Davis Centre, Room 1302
University of Waterloo
This seminar is of
interest to Health and IT Executives, IS/IT Staff, Faculty and Students.
There is no charge for this event, however, we ask that you
register to attend.
Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Canadian health care is unmanageable because patients, politicians
and providers don't have the information necessary to support
personal, policy or administrative choices. Health system commentators uniformly
recommend a focus on outcomes, yet no jurisdiction is able to specify the
benefits and harms from our large expenditures on health care. Clinicians
must estimate health status at each clinical visit, yet the information
is rarely captured to support outcome reporting.
This talk reviews the purposes of health care and discusses how
health outcomes can be captured as part of the routine work of health
care. It includes a description of an ongoing health outcomes project. The
presentation is aimed to give the audience an understanding of the
importance of measuring health outcomes, how health outcomes could be
captured, and what questions each of us should be asking our
clinicians, health service administrators, and politicians.
David Zitner, a family doctor, is Director of Medical
Informatics in the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University. He has
served as a member of the Physician Advisory Committee to the Canadian
Institute for Health Information and on the
Federal/Provincial/Territorial Deputy Ministers of Health Working
Group, which produced "When Less is Better: Using Canada's Hospitals Efficiently."
He is a co-author of the Fisher Prize winning paper "Operating in
the Dark: The Gathering Crisis in Canada's Publicly Funded Health Care System", "Public
Health: State Secret", and "Health Care Decision Support Systems: Methods
to Identify Pertinent and Superfluous Activity". Recently funded research
includes HEALTHInfo Rx, a project that will provide decision support to
patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and collect back information
Dr. Zitner was diverted from an active family medicine
practice when he chaired a medical audit and utilization committee at a
large tertiary care teaching hospital and learned that Canadian communities
are lacking the information which is essential to manage and understand
our large and complex health system. Dr. Zitner found a continuing absence
of regular, pertinent and reliable information about access to care (waiting times)
and information about the results of care. Consequently, his research interests
relate to the collection and use of timely information including outcomes
measures, to support clinical care, teaching an, research and health services administration.
For more information
Managing Director, WIHIR
The infraNET Project
Computer Systems Group, University of Waterloo
This seminar is hosted by the Waterloo Institute for
Health Informatics Research (WIHIR) and The infraNET Project,
University of Waterloo.
The infraNET Project, initiated by the
University of Waterloo in 1996, is a partnership to advance Web and
Internet technologies. Its founding partners are: LivePage (now part
of Siebel), MKS, Open Text, RIM, Sybase (Waterloo) and Waterloo Maple.
We also gratefully acknowledge the
assistance of the Institute for Computer Research, University of