The role of call scheduling in resident burnout

Kieran Quinn

Today my son Hunter is 821 days old (2 years, 3 months, 0 days). As a resident, I have spent 129 of those days in the hospital while on call; after-hours care that are over and above my ‘regular’ working day (0 years, 4 months, 3 days). In other words, I have missed 15% of

Zero tolerance for workplace violence in health care: a call to action

Rob Devitt Irene Andress and Kevin Edmonson

Imagine doing your job in fear. For many healthcare professionals, this is the reality they face every day. It is no secret; workplace violence is a leading form of occupational injury and results in reduced job satisfaction and fear to perform necessary duties within healthcare. For far too long, violence against healthcare workers has occurred

Canadian hospitals begin to open up visiting hours

visiting hours

Two years ago, Colin’s first son was born at a hospital in a mid-size city in southern Ontario. After a long, difficult labour, his wife and baby were moved to a semi-private room at 5:30am. But Colin was not allowed to join them. “The nurses said I’d have to leave, and come back later in

Hospitals must do more to help late-career docs transition to retirement

Mamta Gautam and Chris Caruthers

Unemployed youth is a worldwide problem.  This problem is creeping into medicine and affecting our new doctors too.  In recent years, there have been discussions about the lack of physicians in Canada. Much of this has been based on anecdotal and reported evidence of unmet health care needs of Canadians including long waiting lists and

More is better when it comes to hospital staff satisfaction surveys

Devitt and Martin

Staff satisfaction surveys are a vital tool when trying to improve employee engagement.  The connection between workplace health and quality patient outcomes is well documented. Yet, according to National Research Corporation Canada (NRCC), only two Ontario hospitals using their tool survey more frequently than once every year or two. Can an organization effectively focus on

Is activity-based funding for hospitals really a good idea?

Ritika Goel blogger

What do you first think of when you learn that a loved one has been hospitalized? Most of us worry about our loved one getting the best treatment, having appropriate follow-up care and being sent home when they are well. As the person’s family doctor, I may connect with the team in the hospital to

Should hospital staff satisfaction survey results be public?

Patients and their families were treated with “callous indifference.” Water was left out of reach. Soiled bed sheets weren’t changed, sometimes, for months. The abuses that took place between 2005 and 2008 in an England hospital shocked the country. A 139-day public inquiry revealed that there were many signs leading up to the abuse. If acted

Hospitals need to be more than just landlords

Yoni Freedhoff healthydebate blogger

Last month I had a meeting at the Ottawa Hospital’s Civic campus. On my way through the hospital I passed by something called the Omega Laser Stop Smoking Clinic. According to their literature, “laser therapy treatment is a non-invasive method used to balance the energy flow between meridians“, and is reported by them to work

Is Canada’s medical malpractice system working?

Starting next year, doctors’ malpractice insurance in most parts of the country will cost a lot more – more than doubling in many places. Fortunately for physicians, however, that will affect provincial health budgets more than their own practices. Most doctors are covered by the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA), a non-profit mutual defence organization

Nurses can and will care for Ebola patients

Linda Haslam-Stroud

Ontario registered nurses have a limited right to refuse unsafe work under the province’s Occupational Health and Safety Act. Still, the question remains: will nurses refuse to care for Ebola patients should we ever be faced with that scenario? As President of the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA), the largest nurses’ union in Canada, I can

What Canada can learn from Sweden’s health registry system

In 2007, a group of Canadian cardiologists found themselves in a unique position. New – and expensive – implantable cardiac defibrillators were being used by fewer than a dozen doctors. And the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences was offering to help them create a registry that would track outcomes for five years. Soon, they had the largest registry

Medical education’s silence on death a disservice to doctors and patients

Amina Jabbar

Society is in denial about death, especially in the context of medical care. People visit their doctors for cures. Few expect to be told there is no fix, let alone that their illness will lead to their deaths. Medical education reflects that same social discourse. Though I frequently provide care to dying patients, my medical education was

Hospital parking: health care’s controversial cost

Shalimar Novak is sick of paying for parking. The social worker has been to Toronto’s Mount Sinai once or twice a week recently for appointments related to her pregnancy, and paid about $15 every time. “It definitely adds up,” she says. “And when you have a kid coming, you’re thinking in diaper dollars. It would be nice