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Our Stories

Funny animation, featuring St. Michael’s: Why should I care about quality in health care?

Toronto, November 26, 2014

By Emily Holton

A new whiteboard animation by Dr. Mike Evans, staff physician at St. Michael’s, has got everything: Canadian examples, concrete advice and a clinician very excited about tackling urinary tract infections.

It’s a fun, fast, evidence-based explanation of why quality improvement matters in health care, and how it’s done. St. Michael’s Hospital sponsored the short video along with Health Quality Ontario and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in the U.S.

The animation includes a neat example of something St. Michael’s does to help its patients along the journey from the Emergency Department to surgery. When elderly patients with fractured hips wait more than two days for surgery, their risk goes up for delirium, a longer stay in rehab – even death. To make sure these patients had the best shot at recovery, the hospital mapped out and re-designed every step of these patients’ journeys to surgery through a project called “Code Hip.” This quality improvement initiative led to a jump from 66 per cent to over 90 per cent of elderly hip fracture patients getting into the operating room within 48 hours of arriving at the hospital.

So what is quality improvement? “It’s the ability to gather better approaches, try them on and see if they work, then adapt them until they do,” Dr. Evans explains in the video. “It requires skills but it’s also an outlook; the humility and self awareness to say, ‘Hmm, I’ve got room for improvement.’”

Dr. Evans is known worldwide for his work in innovative health messaging to the public. More than 10 million people have seen his famous whiteboard lectures on YouTube.

“Every day we get thanked for not being preachy, for being evidence-based, for being funny, and for telling it like it is. It’s very rewarding,” said Dr. Evans.

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael's Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.

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