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RHA Highlights - May

Sun Country Regional Health Authority approved a $134 million operating budget at its regular monthly meeting on May 25.

A capital spending budget for infrastructure and equipment was also approved.

The budget will be used to implement the Region’s new Strategic Plan. More details about the budget will be available in a news release published on the Region’s website at www.suncountry.sk.ca

The Regional Health Authority (RHA) learned at the meeting that the Region has been awarded Accreditation with Condition by Accreditation Canada. National surveyors toured the Region and spoke with staff, clients and patients during the first week of May.

RHA Chair Sharon Bauche congratulated the staff of the Region for the work done during the Accreditation Survey and the good results. Almost 94 per cent of the required organizational practices were met.

Accreditation surveyors said SCHR staff exhibited a positive connection to their work, a high level of attachment to local facilities from their communities and a positive shift in attitude toward the Region.

Accreditation with condition means the organization is required to submit follow-up reports within a defined time frame.

The Regional Health Authority accepted the resignation of member Debbie Pedlar, who has moved from Oxbow to Regina.

Among other things, the RHA learned:

  • Since April 13, 11 registered nurses, five licensed practical nurses, one social worker, one dietitian, one speech language pathologist, one pharmacist, one assessor, one combined lab/x-ray tech and four out-of-scope people have been hired. There have been many student hires for relief work over the summer. Resignations during this period include eight registered nurses, one occupational therapist and one licensed practical nurse.
  • SCHR has updated its essential services plan in case of job disruption by the Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan (HSAS). SCHR is prepared to engage its essential services plan if necessary. Information has been placed on the website at www.suncountry.sk.ca  and on radio stations indicating the status of services in the event of job action. Some services may be reduced and other services will not be provided if HSAS employees withdraw their services.
  • SCHR and the health foundations in the Region are in negotiations with upwards of 10 physicians who may eventually be approved to work in Canada. Five first year medical students commenced their 2-week “community experience” program in SCHR on May 16.
  • Staff orientation continues throughout the health region on customer service expectations. Customer service orientation will be included in the new orientation package under development. This is consistent with the Region’s goal to improve the individual experience by providing exceptional care and service to customers.
  • As part of the plan to adopt patient and family-centred care over the next 10 years, Amy Ryan, Regional Manager for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, has attended a workshop to train other staff in the approach. She will introduce the subject to a meeting of regional managers later this year.
  • The Region was found to be compliant with 93.8 per cent of national infection prevention and control standards during the Accreditation survey in May. There were no practices requiring further attention. Education about the bacterial resistant bacteria called Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has been provided in all facilities within the Region. That is consistent with the Region’s mandate to continuously improve health care safety, in partnership with patients and families.
  • SCHR has developed a team to spread a medication reconciliation plan to all health facilities starting 2012. Medication reconciliation is a means of identifying all medications used by each patient. The intent is to reduce medication errors each time there is a change in staff or facility, to improve patient safety. So far, medication reconciliation has been implemented at St. Joseph’s Hospital of Estevan and within the home care system.
  • Consistent with the Region’s mandate to improve population health through health promotion, protection and disease prevention, a steering committee has been formed to spread falls prevention measures throughout all health facilities in the Region. The goal is to reduce the number of residents in long term care facilities who experience a fall.
  • Two replacement ambulances were delivered to SCHR on April 28. One unit will be for Oxbow and the second unit for Weyburn.
  • The Regional Manager, Risk and Emergency Preparedness continues to determine the extent of flooding risk throughout the health region. Information is being summarized in a report and two debriefings will held – one for Kipling and one for SCHR. 
  • A pre-implementation workshop was held on May 25 for the three new wards/units for Cycle 3 of Releasing Time to Care (RTC). That will bring to six the number of units in SCHR that have adopted the RTC model. Health Minister Don McMorris and one of his staff will tour some RTC units in the Region in June to speak with staff about the program.
  • Consistent with SCHR’s mandate to leverage technology to achieve improvements in patient scare and system performance, SCHR has purchased iPads for clinicians providing client assessment services. This includes Home Care Case Managers and nurses, and social workers. In-service education was provided to staff during April and May. Initial evaluation by staff has been positive.
  • Radville and Fillmore Telehealth sites are officially up and running as of May 4. A total of 16 sites within the Region now have Telehealth capabilities.
  • On May 4, representatives of the Board and management met with the Carlyle Town Council. Rumors regarding the closure and relocation of staff from the Community Services Building were put to rest. They are not moving and SCHR has no plans to close or relocate staff.

 Posted May 30.

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