Today's Family Medicine News Highlights

February 22, 2018

Globe and Mail
Health-sector transparency law puts onus on pharmaceutical companies to disclose payments to patient-advocacy groups and medical societies in Ontario

Global News
Study finds chronic heavy drinking one of major risks in developing early-onset dementia

CTV News
Study concludes antidepressants effective in relieving symptoms of depression 

CBC News
Physician recruiter in Nanaimo markets the community to doctors 
Risks of colonics and why doctors advise against it 

Vancouver Sun
Nurses educated outside of Canada face an extensive application process to transfer credits 

My Yellowknife Now
Federal government and Northwest Territories sign bilateral agreement to strengthen health care

Medical Post
MD house calls can reduce chances of dying in hospital: Ontario study

OTTAWA | End-of-life care, such as doctor house calls or in-home palliative care, could reduce the chance of dying in hospital by about 50%, according to a new study by researchers in Ottawa.

At present, almost 70% of people who die in Ontario do so in hospitals or long-term care facilities, even though most of them would prefer to die at home. Less than 20% of Ontarians receive doctor house calls or palliative home care in their last year of life.

The study from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) was led by Dr. Peter Tanuseputro, adjunct scientist at ICES, researcher at the Bruyère Research Institute and a staff physician at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute’s division of palliative care.

“Our research has shown that end-of-life care in a patient’s home can dramatically reduce the risk of dying in hospital,” said Dr. Tanuseputro,

“Most people would be able to die at home if they had the supports in place to make that happen. Unfortunately, in most areas across Canada it’s quite arbitrary who gets palliative care in the home, depending on factors like if your family doctor does home visits, what neighborhood you live in, and what you’re dying of.

“Canada remains in the back of the pack in developed nations in terms of the percentage who die in hospital,” said Dr. Tanuseputro.

Published in PLOS ONE, the study is believed to be the largest of its kind to show the effect of doctor home visits on where people die. The researchers used secure patient health records housed at ICES to examine 264,755 Ontario decedents from April 1, 2010, to March 31, 2013.

They found that receiving doctor house calls for end-of-life care reduces the chance of dying in hospital by about 50% and receiving palliative home care also reduces the chance of dying in hospital by about 50%.

About 38% of physicians in Ontario deliver palliative care, but only a small fraction of those doctors provide home visits. Only one in five palliative care encounters happen in patients’ homes.

“Our research points to the need for a structured palliative care strategy across the province to ensure people have a choice of dying in their homes, and not in hospitals, if they wish. As it stands now, who can access home palliative care really varies across Ontario,” said Dr. Tanuseputro.

He added that other studies done by his group show that patients with certain diagnoses, such as cancer, and those who live in wealthier neighbourhoods have a much higher chance of getting a home visit by a doctor.

La Presse
Le personnel administratif d’Urgences-santé en grève de 48 h 

Le Devoir
Les chercheurs du gouvernement fédéral encore bâillonnés 

Le Journal de Montréal
#ÀCauseDeBarrette : Nouveau mot-clic créé parles paramédicaux 

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