Thank you to Drs Chan, Hwang, and Karimuddin for a well-researched article on the state of wait lists in BC [BCMJ 2015;57:341-348]. However, the data from the Surgical Patient Registry (SPR) are inaccurate because changes relating to patients waiting for surgery are not entered into the system. As a result, the Ministry of Health requires health authorities to audit wait lists, and 10% to 20% of patients are regularly removed through this process. In addition, the data on the percentage of patients receiving treatment within the designated timeframe for their diagnosis also lack accuracy: the use of the prioritization codes was inconsistent immediately after implementation.
The solution to this problem is to have up-to date, synchronized information about patients waiting for surgery. This will require a new electronic system to connect the GP’s and surgeon’s EMR with the hospital electronic record and the SPR. This information would be used to schedule patients and monitor their performance. It would also be used to analyze wait lists to define backlogs and growth in demand.
A proposal for such an electronic system has been submitted to the Ministry of Health by the Provincial Surgical Executive Committee. The intention is for seamless integration with physician EMRs and hospital systems. In addition, the proposal includes a portal for patients to monitor their journey.
This system would allow for better forecasting of demand based on urgency. With the appropriate models for costing surgical care, it would be possible to more objectively define funding required to catch up and maintain services for surgical patients, whatever the funding model.
It is vital that we implement this system as soon as possible to accurately predict demand, manage wait lists more effectively, and improve access for all our patients.
—Andy Hamilton, FRCPC, CCPE
Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee
of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally
accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.
About the ICMJE and citation styles
The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.
An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.
BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:
- Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
- There is no period after the journal name.
- Page numbers are not abbreviated.
For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org