Canadian Institute for Health Information Meeting with F/P/T Deputy Ministers of Health: Summary of priority issues


  • General consensus that more health information on outcomes is needed and could be accomplished through increased collaborative efforts e.g., working with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Medical Error

  • Worth tackling but also need to think ahead about what can be done about it e.g., survey other countries on this and establish partnerships
  • Need to educate public on low volumes
  • Need to look at sustainability of small hospitals e.g., are they clinically safe? Are they financially viable?

Population Health Issues

  • Need to look at impacts outside of clinical realm (e.g. health promotion, chronic disease self-care, early childhood development, etc.)

Continuum of Care

  • Need data so we can look at quality of community care, home care, etc. what are the standards, assessment tools and points of entry for home care?

Primary Care

  • Need to establish indicators of performance to track and report on quality and cost of various models, and appropriateness of care
  • Develop models of care for the frail elderly and evaluate their relative effectiveness

Drug Costs

  • Need for CIHI to provide comparative date re: utilization and appropriateness of prescribing practices

Health Human Resources

  • Must not only report raw data (counts and population ratios) but ALSO explain mix
  • Must not only report raw data (counts and population ratios) but ALSO explain mix
  • Must look at models of delivery care - can't talk about demands/supply issue without understanding models of care and service pieces, e.g., nursing hours etc.
  • Need to put indicators and numbers in context, e.g., with National Health Expenditures Database (NHEX) look at staffing ratios
  • Need for a central repository so we can link work force and service levels
  • Need to look at different models of delivery like Community Health Centres and at best mix in rural/remote areas and international models.

Access/Wait Times

  • Evidence needed on wait lists/times, including standardization of definitions by using good tools available e.g., cardiac care. Can these be leveraged?
  • Need for Canadian Institute for Health Information to assume a role in this area - perhaps as a facilitator with the Conference of Deputy Ministers to build on existing tools and move to implement more broadly