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Lead Consultant:

Tim Lynch
Mr. Lynch founded Info-Lynk Consulting Services in 1985 because of the belief that all too often information is the missing link in health care decision-making.
Read Tim's bio

Publications:

Healthcare Advocacy: Only God doesn’t need an advisor
2008 Care Giver and Early Stage Conference, Edmonton, October 25 2008

Beyond the end of the stethoscope, Richmond Review,
A commentary on the need for integrating low risk private surgical facilities into the Canada's public health system.
March 30 2006

MDs are their own worst enemy, Richmond Review,
A commentary on the battle between Dr. Brian Day and Dr. Jack Burak for Presidency of the Canadian Medical Association.
August 10, 2006

Executive Summary
BC 2003 Forest Fires: A Test of Quality Management in Health Services Delivery

January 30, 2004
Prepared forThe Ministry of Health Planning Victoria, BC & The Interior Health Authority Kelowna, BC
(PDF file size 125Kb)

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OF SARS:
A QUANTUM LEAP OR A PARADIGM SHIFT?

Risk Management in Canadian Health Care
VOLUME 5, NUMBER 6
DECEMBER 2003
(PDF file size 469Kb)

SARS in Toronto - Acting locally, reacting globally
Submitted on April 11th 2003 to International Travel Insurance Journal

The Romanow Commission: An Opportunity Lost
Hospital Quarterly Journal Spring 2003
(PDF file size 120Kb)
Background Information

Vaccination Programs in Canada:
Summary of a study conducted by Info-Lynk Consulting in October 1989

Health insurance - don't leave home without it
ITIJ Journal Spring 2002

Primary Care Reform in Ontario: The Emperor Has No Clothes
www.hospitalquarterly.com

Medicare in a modern world
The Vancouver Sun, March 14 2002

American / Canadian relations, post September 11th: accommodation or surrender?
ITIJ Journal
Nov/Dec 2001

Choice in health care
The Globe & Mail
Nov. 12 2001

London, UK Travel Insurance Conference Regulations of Canadian Travel Industry
May 2001

Vancouver Hosts Insurance Summit, Report on meeting of the International Insurance Society 2000 seminar, Vancouver B.C.,

DEBATING THE DATA: Is there an entrepreneurial option to primary-care reform? Medical Post
-May 4, 1999-

HEALTH CARE DELIVERY: Rewarding excellence is the solution
Medical Post
-February 9, 1999-

A Book Review: The Billion Dollar Molecule,
Toronto Biotechnology Initiative, (TBI) Bioscan, June 1998

 

Services / Health Care

Bridging the Information Gap

Editorial Note: This commentary is a modified extract from the paper: "Navigating the Minefield: Obtaining Reimbursement for Prescription Medicines" that was published in the Provincial Reimbursement Advisor, IMS Health, November,1998. Send comments to tim@infolynk.ca

 

If it could be organised appropriately, the single entity that all parties: health care providers, payers and health care supply companies have in common is information. The mutual generation, interpretation and use of information among these parties currently does not exist.

In their respective ways all parties involved in the policy process have a need for the same information at varying times in their budget or business cycles. No party wants to be seen having to make decisions on the basis of bad information.

The reasoning and insight that is derived from the timely analysis and interpretation of reliable information, along with established practice knowledge, is what drives good health policy formulation.

The challenge for all health care supply companies is to differentiate between participation in policy formulation and conducting a marketing campaign.

The public policy process is more concerned with the sharing of information among people who "need to know". In the private sector this "need to know" can be in conflict with preventing the competition from finding out.

Health ministries are inundated with information, Figure 1. Government officials are exposed to the "high gloss" style traditionally favoured by the pharmaceutical companies. As noted the media influences any single health policy issue it may choose to address.

The public policy information that is generated within government and by its various advisory bodies tends to be more formal and in a more digestible, briefing paper, style.

As illustrated in Figure 1, a spectrum of credibility exists between the creative "high gloss" approach of the marketing and advertising companies and more neutral, low-keyed, referenced presentation that is associated with professional public administration and academia.

In the court of public policy formulation the information that is being used must submit to a credibility measure as illustrated in Figure 1. The councils that are responsible for advising government on public policy must feel comfortable with the level of truth that can be ascribed to any information they are reviewing.

Policy forums generate and receive information via a medium that complies with public administration and academic disciplines. Therefore, the message has to be brief, relevant, reliable and readable to comply with the public administration / academic part of the truth spectrum in Figure 6.

Confidence in the message being relayed is given when it is acknowledged as being supported by peer review publications and / or some form of empirical evidence. Such documentation serve to deliver pertinent information that allows the recipient to ask pointed questions or accept the interpretation presented as being valid.

The plain, low-key, objectivity of such medium is directly opposite to the "high gloss" sales approach that is more closely identified with pharmaceutical companies.

The intent here not to say that the "high gloss" marketing approach has no place in health policy. If more marketing skills were prominent in health policy implementation it is likely that fewer teenage women would be smoking, Canadians would be eating healthier and personal fitness would be more fashionable.

Since physicians have demonstrated a high rate of compliance in responding to such medium, it may be more successful in bringing about desirable changes in this population than publishing bureaucratic looking prescribing and treatment guidelines.

It can be argued that our public policy infrastructure could benefit from applying the "high gloss" style of to promote favorable behavior modifications among the public and within the health care system.

For further information see discussion deck Navigating a Minefield.

 

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