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Executive Summary

On March 24 and 25, 2011, 153 people gathered in Ottawa for the eighth annual Taming of the Queue conference. Building on the success of its predecessors, this conference was designed to bring together a range of perspectives on access to health services. The 2011 Taming of the Queue conference focused on two themes:

    1. The challenges of delivering health services in rural and remote regions; and
    2. The continuing care component of the health system.

Presentationssmall group discussions and posters demonstrated how re-shaping
processes to be patient-centred or patient-oriented can improve the accessibility and quality of care.

Participants at the conference discussed strategies such as relocation of services to care closer to the patient and team-based delivery of services; each of those strategies was shown to have a positive impact on wait times. Many of the sessions stressed the need to focus on primary care.

As well, the conference highlighted projects where models of care were designed to engage patients and providers; these projects resulted in efficiencies in delivery. One speaker affirmed that, in the U.K., addressing wait times was used as a means of re-building public trust in the health system. 

Success stories on improving access to continuing care were shared. These stories illustrated: the benefits of integrated planning; greater emphasis on illness prevention and health promotion; and patient engagement in designing continuing care programs and strategies.

Throughout the conference, participants and presenters in discussions of managing wait times, returned to the following philosophy: ‘plan for the common and accommodate for the uncommon.’

The conference once again received a very positive evaluation with more than 90% expressing interest in attending another TQ conference. 

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