Category: Managing Chronic Diseases

Improving medication safety for the elderly

Medication safety at home

Mimi Roots is worried about her ninety year old mother, Maria. Maria lives alone and has multiple health issues: congestive heart failure, asthma, arthritis, gastrointestinal issues, and a thyroid that was surgically removed. She receives care from five specialists and her family doctor – and each prescribes their own set of medications. Maria takes a…

Radiation treatment after breast cancer: not optional

Lisa Priest Personal Health Navigator Sunnybrook healthydebate.ca

The Personal Health Navigator is available to all Canadian patients. Questions about your doctor, hospital or how to navigate the health care system can be sent to AskLisa@Sunnybrook.ca The Question: I have a friend who has just had a lumpectomy and sentinel lymph node biopsy for a small invasive lobular breast cancer. She has not yet met…

Changes called for as 1% of population accounts for 1/3 of health care spending

Changes called for as 1% of population accounts for 1/3 of health care spending

Ontario’s Health and Long-term Care Minister is calling for a change in how health care costs are scrutinized in light of research showing that a tiny proportion of the Ontario population accounts for a very large proportion of health care expenditures. “We need to shift our focus” away from line-by-line scrutiny of hospital, drug and…

Why patients need to be vigilant about blood clots

Lisa Priest Personal Health Navigator Sunnybrook healthydebate.ca

The Personal Health Navigator is available to all Canadian patients. Questions about your doctor, hospital or how to navigate the health care system can be sent to AskLisa@Sunnybrook.ca The Question: I take warfarin for atrial fibrillation. Every three weeks, I go to a clinic to get my blood checked and, if needed, my warfarin dose is adjusted.…

Does evidence support expanding telehomecare in Ontario?

Telemedicine

Telehomecare programs offer remote monitoring for people living with chronic diseases, linking patients to providers without requiring an in-person visit.  Ontario is currently developing a number of large-scale telehomecare programs with the promise that they are patient centred, cost effective approaches to care. While there is great enthusiasm for telehomecare programs from patients, providers and…

Are Canadians too salty?

Six Grammes of Salt

Salt intake is difficult for individuals to control, because more than three quarter of the salt we consume comes from processed foods, like bread, deli meats and dairy products. Most Canadians are consuming more than double the daily recommended amount of salt. While there is a link between salt consumption and heart disease and stroke,…

Did mammography save her life?

Did Mammography Save Her Life?

Some breast cancers detected by screening mammography are cured and would have led to death had they not been detected early. Other breast cancers detected by screening can be treated just as effectively if diagnosed later, may not have needed treatment at all, or may be so advanced that treatment does not prevent death from…

Need & access to bariatric surgery in Ontario

Belly iStock_000012609799Small

The frequency of obesity has skyrocketed across Canada, and its treatment is a major challenge to the health care system.  Bariatric surgery is an effective treatment for obesity that appears to be good value for money.  Although Ontario is expanding bariatric surgery capacity, some are concerned that capacity remains below current needs.  What is bariatric…

Should patients have better access to their medical records?

Should Patients Have Better Access to Their Medical Records?

Patients are increasingly interested in reading the information in their own medical records. Canadian laws and existing technologies support this in principle. However, most patients are not yet easily able to access their medical records in practice. Canadians today have easy access to a range of systems that store their personal information. The difference between…

Do lessons from the fight against smoking apply to reducing obesity?

Obesity2

A multi-pronged strategy was needed to significantly reduce smoking rates across Ontario over the last few decades. Obesity is a current and worsening public health threat.  The obesity epidemic may also need to be attacked from many angles, but may be harder to effectively fight than smoking. Healthydebate.ca took to the street in December 2010…