To describe the substantive and procedural criteria used for placing patients on the waiting list for liver transplantation and for allocating available livers to patients on the waiting list; to identify principal decision-makers and the main factors limiting liver transplantation in Canada; and to examine how closely cadaveric liver allocation resembles theoretic models of source allocation.
Medical directors of all seven Canadian adult liver transplantation centres, or their designates. Six of the questionnaires were completed.
Relative importance of substantive and procedural criteria used to place patients in the waiting list for liver transplantation and to allocate available livers. Identification of principal decision-makers and main limiting factors to adult liver transplantation.
Alcoholism, drug addiction, HIV positivity, primary liver cancer, noncompliance and hepatitis B were the most important criteria that had a negative influence on decisions to place patients on the waiting list for liver transplantation. Severity of disease and urgency were the most important criteria used for selecting patients on the waiting list for transplantation. Criteria that were inconsistent across the centres included social support (for deciding who is placed on the waiting list) and length of time on the waiting list (for deciding who is selected from the list). Although a variety of people were reported as being involved in these decisions, virtually all were reported to be health to be health care professionals. Thirty-seven patients died while waiting for liver transplantation in 1991; the scarcity of cadaveric livers was the main limiting factor.
Criteria for resource allocation decisions regarding liver transplantation are generally consistent among the centres across Canada, although some important inconsistencies remain. Because patients die while on the waiting list and because the primary limiting factor is organ supply, increased organ acquisition efforts are needed.
Flight nurses in the Norwegian National Air Ambulance Service are specialist nurse anesthetists or intensive care nursing specialists. For air ambulance bases far from hospitals, these nurses present otherwise unavailable competencies. This study reports a 6-year experience with flight nurse participation in local emergencies beyond the transportation phase.
The fixed-wing air ambulance base in Alta, Northern Norway (20,000 inhabitants), with 2 aircraft and 2 on-call teams is 150 km by road from the nearest hospital. We did a prospective registration of all emergency nonflight missions near the air ambulance base from January 1, 2005, to December 31, 2010.
The 217 completed missions corresponded to 3 missions per month, half during daytime. Twenty-three percent of patients were under age 18, injury rate was high (36%), 63% had potentially or manifest life-threatening conditions, and 11% died during treatment. One third of all missions (67/217) resulted in an air ambulance flight to the hospital.
Mission frequency did not significantly reduce flight availability, and precision in case selection for this special service was good. The use of flight nurses in the local community promotes equal access to advanced medical services for populations far from hospitals.
The Alberta Cardiac Access Collaborative (ACAC) is a joint initiative of Alberta's health system to improve access to adult cardiac services across the patient journey. ACAC has created new care delivery models and implemented best practices across Alberta in four streams across the continuum: heart attack, patient navigation, heart failure and arrhythmia. Emergency medical providers, nurses, primary care physicians, hospitals, cardiac specialists and clinicians are all working together to integrate services, bridge jurisdictions and geography with one aim--improving the patient journey for adults in need of cardiac care.
This study evaluates the use of in-person focus groups and online engagement within the context of a large public engagement initiative conducted in rural Newfoundland.
Participants were surveyed about their engagement experience and demographic information. Pre and post key informant interviews were also conducted with organizers of the initiative.
Of the 111 participants in the focus groups, 97 (87%) completed evaluation surveys; as did 23 (88%) out of 26 online engagement participants. Overall, focus group participants were positive about their involvement, with 87.4% reporting that they would participate in a similar initiative. Online participation was below expectations and these participants viewed their experience less positively than in-person participants. Organizers viewed the engagement initiative and the combined use of online and in-person engagement positively.
This study presents a real-world example of the use of two methods of engagement. It also highlights the importance of the successful execution of whatever engagement mechanism is selected.
The aim of this study was to assess the dimensionality of YFHS-Swe and identify possible unique factors in the evaluation of youth-friendliness. YFHS-Swe was answered by 1110 youths aged 16 to 25 years visiting youth clinics in Northern Sweden. Thirteen factors were identified by exploratory factor analysis and except for one factor they all proved to fit well and have good reliability when assessed by the confirmatory factor analysis. The YFHS-Swe proved to be credible and suitable for assessing youth-friendliness of differentiated health services in Sweden. With cultural and linguistic adaptations, it can be used in similar settings internationally.
Limited access to specialist care remains a major barrier to health care in Canada, affecting patients and primary care providers alike, in terms of both long wait times and inequitable availability. We developed an electronic consultation system, based on a secure web-based tool, as an alternative to face-to-face consultations, and ran a pilot study to evaluate its effectiveness and acceptability to practitioners.
In a pilot program conducted over 15 months starting in January 2010, the e-consultation system was tested with primary care providers and specialists in a large health region in Eastern Ontario, Canada. We collected utilization data from the electronic system itself (including quantitative data from satisfaction surveys) and qualitative information from focus groups and interviews with providers.
Of 18 primary care providers in the pilot program, 13 participated in focus groups and 9 were interviewed; in addition, 10 of the 11 specialists in the program were interviewed. Results of our evaluation showed good uptake, high levels of satisfaction, improvement in the integration of referrals and consultations, and avoidance of unnecessary specialist visits. A total of 77 e-consultation requests were processed from 1 Jan. 2010 to 1 Apr. 2011. Less than 10% of the referrals required face-to-face follow-up. The most frequently noted benefits for patients (as perceived by providers) included improved access to specialist care and reduced wait times. Primary care providers valued the ability to assist with patient assessment and management by having access to a rapid response to clinical questions, clarifying the need for diagnostic tests or treatments, and confirming the need for a formal consultation. Specialists enjoyed the improved interaction with primary care providers, as well as having some control in the decision on which patients should be referred.
This low-cost referral system has potential for broader implementation, once payment models for physicians are adapted to cover e-consultation.
Out-patient cardiac consultation in academic group practices often lacks a coordinated intake process, making it difficult to perform prospective testing or to direct undifferentiated consultations to the cardiologist with the shortest waiting list. We created a programmatic approach, with a single point of entry to improve the efficiency of cardiology consultation, without departing from the Canada Health Act. The purpose of this paper is to describe the design of Cardiac EASE.
Care of a secondary patient (an individual other than the primary patient for an outpatient visit) is common in family practice, but the content of care of this type of patient has not been described.
In a cross-sectional study, 170 volunteer primary care clinicians in 50 practices in the Ambulatory Sentinel Practice Network reported all occurrences of care of a secondary patient during 1 week of practice. These clinicians reported the characteristics of the primary patient and the secondary patient and the content of care provided to the secondary patient. Content of care was placed in 6 categories (advice, providing a prescription, assessment or explanation of symptoms, follow-up of a previous episode of care, making or authorizing a referral, and general discussion of a health condition).
Physicians reported providing care to secondary patients during 6% of their office visits. This care involved more than one category of service for the majority of visits involving care of a secondary patient. Advice was provided during more than half the visits. A prescription, assessment or explanation of symptoms, or a general discussion of condition were provided during approximately 30% of the secondary care visits. Secondary care was judged to have substituted for a separate visit 60% of the time, added an average of 5 minutes to the visit, and yielded no reimbursement for 95% of visits.
Care of a secondary patient reflects the provision of potentially intensive and complex services that require additional time and are largely not reimbursed or recognized by current measures of primary care. This provision of secondary care may facilitate access to care and represent an added value provided by family physicians.
To compare primary healthcare (PHC) provided by an independent not-for-profit organization (INPO) with that provided by two public municipal organizations (MO1 and MO2), in terms of clients' perceptions of performance, acceptance, and trust.
A survey using a pre-tested questionnaire to all clients visiting a health centre (HC) doctor or nurse during one week in 2000 (n = 511, 51% response rate) and 2002 (n = 275, 47%). The data were analysed by descriptive statistics and cumulative logistic regression analysis.
The INPO differed from both publicly provided services in accessibility, consistency of service, and outcomes. Clients reported lower trust in HC provided by public organizations compared with the INPO. Trust was higher if clients also reported experiencing "very good" or "moderate" organizational access--or if general satisfaction was "very high" or "moderate" or if they experienced outcomes as "very good" or "moderate" compared with the "very poor or low" situation. Women reported lower trust in HC than men. When the family doctor was included in the same logistic regression model with the service provider, only the family doctor was a significant explanatory variable. Reported acceptance of private alternative service providers among clients was similar between the study organizations.
Clients of the INPO generally rated the service more positively than clients of publicly provided services. The results indicate that trust in HC depends more on a family doctor system than a service provider.