(This post is part 2 of an interview with Dr Michael Carter. Part 1 can be found here)
Q: If you take a step back and look holistically at the healthcare industry in Canada as compared to the rest of the world, how are we doing?
The UK has done lots of really good operations research-type modeling on healthcare problems. They’re way ahead of us. The National Health Service in the UK, since the 1950′s, have had an operations research department with a few hundred people employed full time. We have nothing like that in Canada, and it’s quite disappointing.
I am, at the same time, very hopeful. When I started this about 20 years ago, I would go to a hospital and tell them I had students that would work for free. They’d say: ”Go away, we’ve got no time”. But now, my phone is ringing off the hook. I’ll tell people that I need $10,000 to pay some graduate students to do the work and they’ll say: “Yes, that’s fine”. I think every major hospital in Toronto has a small group of engineers doing industrial engineering type work in process management, process improvement, simulation, etc. It’s changing at a snail’s pace, but there is a small group of people in every healthcare organization that understands what we are trying to do, and that believes in what we believe in. Continue reading