“It’s good to be different” is the phrase that we, as parents, find ourselves repeating again and again to our children, as they grow and take on interests that others don’t necessarily share.
This is a useful means of maintaining a sensible perspective, but it’s not an approach that should be limited solely to child-rearing. Indeed, being “different” – in the best sense of the word – has often given rise to some of the most significant and influential changes in history.
Take, for instance, the invention of the light bulb. When Henry Woodward and, later, Thomas Edison were developing the basis for the way we light our homes and cities today, the rest of the world was content simply to use candles. By working against the grain, those originators brought into existence a device that we could not imagine living without today. Just as they challenged the conventional wisdom of their era, our CIUSSS is now striving to do the same with health care.
Last December, I pledged that over the coming 12 to 18 months, we would make noticeable changes in the way we conduct business. Now, four months in, the underpinnings of this trans-formation are taking shape: In March, our CIUSSS hired a digital health expert on a research contract. With a strong background in government policy and digital health know-how, he will collaborate with teams throughout the network to best determine how we can improve the delivery of care, no matter where the patient may be – whether in a healthcare facility, at home or in some other type of accommodation.
On a practical basis, this will require us to review, among other things, the management of medical files, the tools that healthcare professionals use to log into medical information, and even how patients navigate our website in their search for information.
There’s still a lot of work to be done, and we don’t yet have all of the answers. But here’s one statement I can make with complete confidence: It’s going to be different. This is a lesson that most children grow to appreciate, often after a good deal of effort. And now it’s our turn to move forward by recapturing and taking full advantage of that valuable, child-like perspective.