Katherine Atkinson is the Director of Research & Business Development of the new Ottawa Hospital Mobile Health & Research Team, and is also PhD Candidate in Public Health Sciences in Stockholm Sweden.
Because Katherine’s team works within the system, directly with clinicians and patients on the front line, they have a unique perspective for meeting efficiency needs as opposed to those providers coming from outside.
Katherine has observed two main factors driving the need for efficiency: on the clinician side, there is a huge shift in the way patients are approaching health care (wanting more engagement, more tools, and more information from their providers); on the policy makers’ side, there is a shift in the demographic, with an increasing aging population. This means clinicians are being required to deliver better, more focused care to more people, with less money.
As a result, Katherine believes Practice Efficiency must become a more dynamic, ongoing process because the demands and variables are constantly increasing and changing. There needs to be a move away from ‘putting out fires’ to a more proactive, strategic approach with a longer term view.
While Katherine’s team works on efficiency projects at the Ottawa Hospital, she notices that there is some resistance. Because the health care system is already strained, asking clinicians and therapists to add yet another task or step (i.e. data collection, pilot studies) can be challenging. She believes this resistance can be mitigated by communicating the importance of these measures, but also feels there needs to be coordinated preparation of clinical environments to support ongoing Practice Efficiency.