Researchers from The University of Ottawa Heart Institute in conjunction with The Ottawa Hospital and OHSNI are pursuing research funding with Centre for Security Science and Public Health Agency of Canada. An important aspect to delivering health care to Canada’s northern communities is the need to transport patients from remote settlements to clinics and diagnostic facilities for health care services that are not available locally. The travel costs associated with this can often exceed the cost of the service provided. This raises the question of under what circumstances it will be preferable to establish local clinics and testing facilities to bring these services to patients rather than the reverse. An ongoing source of objective data regarding clinic and resource utilization according to specific diagnostic and demographic subgroups will be extremely useful in making these decisions.
Once process and non-technical issues have been addressed, establishing and managing data from emergency rooms and clinics is not complex. Specific algorithms will be developed to classify patients into relevant diagnostic subgroups.
The capability to track clinical encounters according to specific diagnosis will provide a valuable source of information to identify circumstances when doing things differently may provide better care in a more cost effective manner.
The University of Ottawa Heart Institute researchers undertook a research project to determine the incidence of smoking among pregnant women in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut, in an attempt to appropriately implement a smoking cessation program. OHSNI, the Pauktuutit organization and the Government of Nunavut – Department of Health were partners to this research.
Level III (portable) Sleep Studies October 29, 2013
Holding Level III sleep studies in Iqaluit offered an innovative opportunity to reduce costs and improve patient experience and outcomes versus sending patients to Ottawa for Level I sleep studies for the investigation of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OAS).
The report showed a positive cost avoidance to the Government of Nunavut when 10 patients received Level III studies in Iqaluit versus sending 10 patients to Ottawa for Level I studies. With OHSNI paying for the study, the cost avoidance to the GN for 10 patients was $25,000. OHSNI’s costs were $10,000. If the GN had paid for the study, the cost avoidance would have been $15,000 the cost of sending 10 patients to Ottawa. The report further showed 100% of patients responding to the follow-up survey agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: “Having the study in Iqaluit was convenient for me”.
It is recommended that additional Level III sleep lab studies be conducted in Iqaluit with a minimum of 12 to a maximum of 15 patients per clinic.
The project team consisted of Dr. Judith Leech, West Ottawa Sleep Centre; Dr. Alison Dugan, The Ottawa Hospital, Elaine McNaughton, Director of Operations, OHSNI, Beth Storry RPSGT polysomnographer at West Ottawa Sleep Centre, Dave Johnson RT, Medigas, Praxair Inc. and Darlene McPherson, Executive Director, Iqaluit Health. Pam Schmid, Manager, NIHB, Health Canada.