Today the rest of “Greg’s Journey” has been added to the website, just as we wrote it some time ago.  It describes what we went through in the last days/hours leading up to Greg’s death.  One point to note is that Greg actually died of a blood clot.  This happened after Greg experienced more swelling and pain in his lower body and after we went back to emergency for Greg to be checked for this specific risk. He never had the chance to fight the cancer directly.  This interval in time exposed more gaps and troubling attitudes and for us there remains a number of yet to be answered questions.  

Shortly after the public release of the HQCA report, now a little over a month ago, many leaders of key health care stakeholders spoke of their commitment to review and act on the recommendations made to them.

We, Greg’s family, have also continued our efforts to encourage positive change.  We met with three senior members of Alberta Health Services last week and Wednesday (22nd), we received their letter containing a comprehensive plan to improve patient care in their areas of responsibility.  There are some steps which have already been taken relative to the issues identified in the HQCA report and also some issues that were found as a result of AHS’s own internal and confidential report.  While this letter to us is not able to be made public, we can say that we believe that some action has already been taken to revise, standardize and improve family access when accompanying patients in emergency.  Other steps of improvement are being taken in the hospital following patient surgery. 

We also understand that there have been meetings with the people at the Southern Alberta Urology Centre in order to make improvements there.  The HQCA made two recommendations in this area.

We see all of these as being positive first steps and we look forward to the time when each one is explained publicly and when we can recognize them appropriately.
We also had an opportunity to meet with the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Edmonton on Tuesday (21st).  It is clear that they are committed to improving what is happening within the health system with doctors.  They are looking forward to meetings organized with other stakeholders to see how they can work together on this effort. 

One initial step they are going to act on soon (HQCA recommendation 5) is to insure that every doctor working under their licence is aware of the need to organize themselves to be compliance with the standards set by the College.  We will report on this step when it happens.  In the meantime, if any patient feels that they have not been taken care of in this way, it is entirely in order to file a complaint with the College so that this can be investigated and dealt with appropriately.

It is our intention to continue to encourage and to work with everyone interested in helping move Alberta’s health care system toward one that provides universal continuous, collaborative, patient centered health care.  We will keep working to have our HealthArrows site informative in order to help you to learn from what we have learned and what we are working on.  We hope more and people will join in the effort to generate positive change. Thank you for your interest, your comments and your support so far and please continue to refer HealthArrows to all family and friends that you feel will be interested in it.

One Month Later