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January 25, 2021: Brian Lee, "Healthcare Future"     website: Custom Learning

President Bill asked Kurt Schurer to introduce our guest speaker. Kurt introduced Brian Lee, who is well known to many of Calgary West's members. Brian's topic today is: "The Future of Healthcare in Alberta", and he brings expert knowledge from both sides of the US-Canadian border.

Brian presented a passionate presentation, observing that Alberta Health Service is a massive bureaucratic, slow-moving, monopoly, and he believes there is a need to revolutionize the Alberta Healthcare Patient Experience. He quoted the Dalai Lama saying: “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”

Brian's mission is to revolutionize Alberta's healthcare system to be a “Patient-Driven Culture of Healing Kindness.” He presented some background about what his company does and presented why patient experience can and should be measured.

Patient experience measurement 601
Hospitals have a HCAHPS mandatory inpatient survey, with 29 questions. Six provinces use this, as do 4,355 US Hospitals. It includes an overall rating. However, because they ask the patient to complete while being cared for it results in: Perception = Deception. Question: As a patient, which do you better understand? Your clinical treatment or your personal experience?

Brian showed that there are 18 private websites where we can rate hospitals, and we do. Calgary's three hospitals all score under 4 stars. Brian makes a point of how we would choose a hotel, if costs were the same, would we choose a 3 star hotel? Three to 4 stars do not promote loyalty, 5 star does.

Brian suggests that 5 star for our hospital experience should be defined as: “Consistently meet or manage patient/resident's expectations with kindness care, everywhere.”

A Few Stories you Need to Hear
Brian shared his mother's story about the poor food at Peter Lougheed Hospital, while the Provincial NFS Target was bragging about 90% approval rating. He calls this manipulation and shows other cases of AHS manipulating the patient's approval rating.

A Few Stories You Want to Hear
He congratulated AHS for transparency about emergency waiting times, so we could choose which hospital to go to in an emergency. Brian also recognized pockets of excellence with some doctors, and health care givers he had experienced. He highlighted Joe Corral, a recent AHS care-giver who died from Covid 19.

A Personal Challenge for Rotarians!
Brian challenged us to make a difference by standing up for kindness care. He quoted from the book, "I Am Malala", a young Pakistani girl who won a Nobel Prize for her bravery. Her quote: “If we stand up for something bigger than our lives, then our voice will be multiplied.” Malala Yousafzai.

Brian challenged members to stand up to Alberta Health Services to deliver the following:

  • Adopt a policy of public transparency.
  • Where all tax-payer funded hospitals, clinics and long term care facilities will compete on the basis of quality.
  • Release quarterly benchmark standardized star-rated patient experience reports.
  • Alberta Health Services create a website AHS Care Compare similar to US Care Compare that would empower patients to make (limited) choices based on star ratings.
  • Benchmark Alberta providers against other provinces and the US.
  • Join the revolution by advocating for change by letting the Premier, the Minister of Healthcare and your MLA know.
  • It's time for transparency, competition and accountability.
  • We are entitled to more for our $20.6 billion annual healthcare budget!
  • If you don't get an answer next time you have a compliment or a complaint, then download Brian's app: Care Say Reviews

Brian wrapped up his talk with this observation from Albert Einstein: “Insanity is doing the same thing, the same way and expecting a different outcome.”

Questions and answers followed Brian's talk, with President Bill leading and David Impey fielding the chat room questions. After Brian answered the last question, he announced that he is hosting a Healthcare Summit, June 8th, virtually. It's titled: "Re-imagining Healthcare Engagement", with eight world class speakers, and he invited our members to attend.

President Bill thanked Brian and announced that normally we offer our guest speakers Rotary West's Boltman, made by Motive Action, but they are unfortunately not available due in part to Covid 19. Instead he offered an I.O.U. that Brian graciously accepted.

Sa'adat Keshavjee thanked Brian for his presentation, noting that it was great to see him again, and contrasting his own experience of having been born in the “Developing World” where he was lucky to see a doctor or get healthcare. Sa'adat noted some differences between that world and ours, wished Brian success in establishing a better hospital experience for Canadians, and thanked him for his excellent presentation.

President Bill showed Brian Rotary West's Boltman.

reported by Debbie McMillan

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