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HiQuiPs: Preparation Part 3 – Root Cause Analysis

In Education & Quality Improvement, HiQuiPs by Edmund KwokLeave a Comment

You have just finished a monthly business meeting with your emergency department (ED) team. One of your colleagues highlighted a recurring issue of the length of time it takes from ordering blood products to administering them in your ED. There is often a long delay in administration for patients who are in acute need.   You have gathered a team to start working on this quality improvement project. The team has put a …

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The (real) battle against strep throat

In Commentary, Opinion by Edmund Kwok4 Comments

In the past week, there has been some national buzz  around: “Why strep throat is causing serious complications, from amputations to death”. This is quite a headline, especially for those in the emergency medicine community who are moving more and more towards a practice of not routinely treating strep pharyngitis with antibiotics. I can already picture some of our patients rushing to the ER at the first sign of a sore throat, with a …

Beyond Medical Education: SoMe in Disasters

In Commentary, Featured, Opinion by Edmund Kwok3 Comments

In the world of medicine, Social Media (SoMe) has arguably made the greatest impact in medical education. What started as scattered simple blog posts on random topics of interest by keen individuals, movements like FOAMed have evolved over the past few years with establishment of robust frameworks for dissemination and active discussion around medical topics (for more details have a look here and here). But is there more to SoMe beyond medical education? Information …

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FLOW Hacks 1: A Novel ED Surge Protocol

In FLOW Hacks by Edmund KwokLeave a Comment

Starting off the FLOW Hacks series is Dr. Edmund Kwok of The Ottawa Hospital, speaking to us about his innovation: A Novel ED Surge Protocol Based on Input-Throughput-Output Model of ED Flow (link). FLOW Hacks: The Concept The FLOW (Featured Leadership & Organizational Workplace) Hacks Series highlights innovative strategies for increasing patient flow in the emergency department (ED).  This series is unique given its focus on the administrative aspect of emergency medicine. We are interested in interventions …

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Defining a Specialty: What is an emergency physician?

In Featured by Edmund Kwok1 Comment

In January of this year, the Canadian Association of Emergency Medicine (CAEP) released a position statement on Emergency Medicine Definitions (go ahead, have a read). The statement provided explicit definitions of what the specialty of EM encompasses, as well as what should constitute an EM physician or specialist, and led to very strong and polarized responses from the EM community. So polarizing, in fact, that CAEP had to promptly post a “we’ll get back …

Tragedy of the Commons: A Healthcare Perspective

In Editorial, Opinion by Edmund Kwok4 Comments

The Tragedy of the Commons is by no means a new theory, nor it is an novel discussion point within the healthcare system. It is, however, quite alarming that despite our awareness of the phenomenon, we continue to exploit it with little consideration for the future of healthcare. Tragedy of the Commons The Tragedy of the Commons was first described by Garrett Hardin [cite num=”1″] as a theory to explain what happens when individuals rationally utilize …