Canadian Healthcare Technology: Technology can help with Canada’s chronic wait times problem

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In the Canadian Healthcare Technology November 2020 issue, this article explores Dr. Chris Simpson, Novari Health’s former Chief Medical Information Officer’s experience throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and how this has affected hospital wait times as well as potential solutions to mitigate this problem.

Dr. Simpson writes: “‘never waste a good crisis’, the change management experts say. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and we reflect on the massive disruption it has caused, I have found myself searching for opportunities for healthcare transformation amongst the chaos.

Many have said that this crisis has not really generated new problems so much as it has exacerbated old ones. One good example of this is the Canadian healthcare system’s chronic wait time problem. Waiting for medical care is as Canadian as maple syrup and poutine. But now, thanks to COVID-19, things have gotten a whole lot worse.

Even before the pandemic, Canada was a poor wait times performer; finishing at or near the bottom of the list of peer countries when it comes to access to primary care, specialist care, tests, procedures and surgeries. Now, as we look back over the past few months, we see that the problem has worsened, with backlogs in surgeries and procedures (let alone the backlog of other kinds of medical care) estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands across the country…”

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