Dr. Diane Finegood joins expert panel at 16th Annual Healthcare Summit

1 June 2016

MSFHR President and CEO Dr. Diane Finegood will be among the expert panelists speaking at the upcoming 16th Annual Healthcare Summit in Kelowna.

The Healthcare Summit is a forum that allows Canadian health care officials, senior policy makers, and the private sector to meet and discuss the ways in which government transforms the quality health care delivery arena to produce effective and efficient solutions.

This conference brings together many of the best subject matter experts in the field to share case studies, cutting edge policy, programs, research and technologies aimed at successful collaboration within shared services and the health care industry.

At this year’s summit, Dr. Finegood will moderate a panel focused on innovation and practice-based evidence in health care. In anticipation of the summit, Dr. Finegood sat down to share her views on the future of Canadian health care.



What is your prediction for health care in Canada in 2016?

Dr. Finegood: I think the forces driving change in health care will continue to present considerable pressure on the health care system for change. The drivers of e-health and the growth of technology, the discussions of innovation at the federal level and the provincial level – all of those things will be great drivers to actually push for more change in the health care system in 2016.

It’s going to be a pretty exciting year, I think, for health care now that we have a change in the federal government, more interest in providing that federal government leadership role to some of the aspects of health care. I think all of those things are actually quite positive for health care in 2016.

How do you see big data changing the health care industry?

Dr. Finegood: I think the flood of data in health care will also continue to grow like the drivers for change. Just the growth of personalized and consumer-driven e-health strategies and opportunities can grow the amount of data that’s available. There’s already a considerable amount of data in the health care system, and we really have to support the health care system to be able to utilize that data, not just for research purposes, but also in real time.

We really need to be able to access data appropriately with the appropriate controls, the appropriate privacy by design, all of those things, in order to make use of the volumes of data that actually exist. The growth of big data technology and companies can help to support that, but we’ve got to find ways to work together better.

So I think there’s a strong need to build those relationships with the appropriate controls in them between the public sector and the private sector in order to take advantage of all the opportunity that exists in 2016.

Is the Canadian health care system ready for personalized medicine and patient-centred care?

Dr. Finegood: I think the challenge of really being ready for personalized medicine and patient-oriented care is that the structure was built 50 years ago in a way in which that wasn’t the style or the approach. So there’s lots of incentives in the system and challenges and barriers in the system to really implementing it.

The deeply held beliefs, even by physicians, although they would say that they’re patient-centred, their tools that they have available to them are not necessarily patient-centred. So when we think about the pharmaceuticals that are available, they’re usually determined to be safe and appropriate but don’t necessarily deliver value to each and every patient.

The advent of genomics and other factors like that will help us understand which patients will really benefit from which treatments and which approaches, but there’s all kinds of relationships that need to be adjusted in the coming year and in the coming years in order to really take advantage of person-centred and patient-centred and personalized health care.

What are you most looking forward to at the 16th annual Healthcare Summit?

Dr. Finegood: One of the things I really like about this summit is that it does bring together the public sector and the private sector. You get folks from government, from the health system, and the private sector, often from the technology area, in the same room for some good discussions.

And I think the discussions this year about what goes wrong, for example, when we have large projects in IT that seem to struggle to be implemented. Talking about how do we make use of the data on the ground, the practice-based evidence, if you will. I think those discussions, and also about personalized medicine, will bring together the different silos for some discussion.

And since relationships is really what it’s all about, it’s a great place to start new relationships and to build on old relationships that will help us address the issues that need to be addressed in the health care system in the coming years.