The Health Quality Council of Alberta (HQCA) plays a critical role in our health system. As an independent body that takes a system level view and whose efforts promote and improve of patent safety and health service quality across Alberta they are a valuable resource for all of us (learn more from this quick video). This week the HQCA launched a new tool that demonstrates their continued dedication to transparency, improvement and the value of shared information. The FOCUS (Fostering Open Conversations that Unleash Solutions) website was designed to give healthcare providers, decision-makers and the public the information they need to have important conversations.
“We believe in the power of information – that Albertans benefit when they have access to information about their healthcare system,” says Andrew Neuner, HQCA CEO. “Transparency is important to a publicly funded healthcare system. It fosters trust and confidence among the public. Knowledge can start conversations, and when necessary, lead to improvements.”
Transparency is essential in inspiring trust and confidence in our health system. The FOCUS site presents information in a clear and concise format and allows the user to explore and compare 18 different measures related to patient experience in Alberta’s 16 Emergency Departments. The numbers come from the HQCA’s patient experience surveys as well as data provided by Alberta Health Services. The information will be updated every four months and allows the user to see trends over time.
The initial focus of FOCUS is on Alberta’s emergency departments but we are excited to hear that the online tool will expand to other areas of the health system as well.
We believe that Albertans need to be involved in shaping our health system in an informed way. This tool opens the door to meaningful discussion by providing information to the public. Without transparency the public are left in the dark and cannot easily contribute to conversations or ask questions about our healthcare system.