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I’m trying something new this week. Instead of a written blog, this is a video of a presentation given in March 2020 to Home on the Hill in Richmond Hill, Ontario by Dr Nick Kates. At the time, Kates was chair of the McMaster University Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences Program (now retired) and a strong proponent of collaborative care.

Within this video is a brief presentation by Dr. Don Berwick on quality and safety in health care which Dr Kates has been influenced by for his own work. Berwick is terrified of the indignity and loss of influence that one often gets in health care.

One of the points that Dr Kates makes is to compare the excellent care and respect for patients at the local cancer care centre to other medical specialties. As an aside, my local psychiatric facility was recently completely rebuilt and the staff were very proud of it. Shortly after it opened, I was standing in the lobby with one of Dr Kates’ colleagues waiting to go a meeting. She looked around and said what a bleak horror the building was.

She mentioned that she had recently been in the UK and went to a hospital to visit someone in the cancer ward. She got lost and found herself in a very attractive and welcoming lobby brightly painted and with art on the walls. She was approached by a volunteer to offer her help and that is when she discovered she was in the psychiatry unit. “That is how this place should have been designed” she told me.

In an article on the new building, Dr Dawson upset the senior staff when he wrote:

“For all its high tech conveniences, world-class gym, and earthquake resistance, it is a terrible design. Long narrow corridors, disorienting arrangement, small cubicles, white walls, institutional furnishings, locked doors. Yes, it is clean and patients have their own bathrooms. But all the rest stimulated my own fear/aggression response.”

Dr Kates presentation is a little less than one hour and you can fast forward through the introductions.

Enjoy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNhrioNmHQE&t=257s

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