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RHA Highlights - November

Members of the Sun Country Regional Health Authority, the governing body of Sun Country Health Region, held their monthly meeting Wednesday, Nov. 23.

Members of the RHA (Regional Health Authority) learned that the Region is working with nine new physicians slated to practice in the City of Estevan, one physician for Oxbow, two for Arcola, and one for Weyburn. The Region has also offered a contract to another psychiatrist, which would bring its complement back up to three, if accepted. 

Dr. Alain Lenferna, Vice President, Medical, told the Authority that most of these physicians will need to complete the requirements of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan and/or fulfill the requirements of the federal immigration department before they will arrive in the Region to practice.

If all of these obligations can be processed on time, some of them might be in the Region by April, he said.

In other business, the Authority learned:

-         Sun Country Health Region (SCHR) is meeting the Ministry of Health goals with regard to patients receiving a surgical date within 12 months of diagnosis.

-         There were no human cases of West Nile Virus in the Region as of Oct. 19.

-         SCHR has joined a new national program to increase compliance in the housekeeping departments with strict cleaning guidelines to help reduce hospital infections. One of the goals is to change the culture so staff, patients and their families, all feel free to ask health care workers if they have washed their hands since attending to the last patient. Regular audits will be conducted in all facilities to measure compliance with the standards.

-         In line with the Region’s mandate to improve the health of the population through prevention, all sites but two have received new training in how to reduce the number of long term care residents who experience a fall. Falls can drastically reduce the quality of life of senior citizens and can be deadly.

-         Janice Giroux, Vice President, Community Health, is co-chair of the Provincial Health Communities Committee that is developing a framework for the promotion of Healthy Weights.

-          The Region hired five Registered Nurses, one Licensed Practical Nurse, one Physical Therapist, one Social Worker and one Medical Lab Technician between Oct 12-Nov. 15. During that same time period, one Registered Nurse, two Licensed Practical Nurses, and two management personnel resigned.

-         SCHR awarded 39 bursaries to post secondary students in health care fields between April and mid-November. Recipients include students in registered nursing, 39; physical therapy, two; medical laboratory technology, one; and two medical students. Medical students receive bursaries of $25,000/year for four years to complete medical school. All of the bursaries are granted in exchange for work periods in SCHR. One nurse this year has opted to refund the SCHR bursary and remain in Regina after graduating. Don Ehman, Vice President, Human Resources, says more bursaries are expected before the end of the fiscal year in April. During the 2010-11 year, 54 bursaries in all were granted.

-         SCHR has exceeded the goal set by the Ministry of Health to reduce the number of sick hours paid during the first and second quarters of this fiscal year. SCHR has reduced the hours by 8.8 per cent. The goal was to reduce the hours by 6.2 per cent.

-         SCHR has also exceeded the Ministry goal of reducing overtime hours during the same quarters. The Region has reduced overtime hours by 11.4 per cent. The Ministry goal was a reduction of 7.8 per cent.

-         The Region’s attempt to reduce the number of lost days due to injury has not met the Ministry’s target. The Ministry target was a 14.8 per cent reduction while the Region’s actual reduction was 6.6 per cent during the first two quarters of 2011-12. This is in spite of a more aggressive approach to get injured workers back to work sooner. Mr. Ehman told the RHA that injuries from previous years continue to have a significant impact on the lost time claims statistics.

-         A waterline break in the storage room at Weyburn General Hospital Nov. 9 was a reminder of the need for a new building, said Marga Cugnet, Interim CEO. In this case, there was no significant damage but the water lines are old. “We hope this is not the start of water line issues in WGH,” she said.

-         Staff training in a program called LEAN that develops more efficient processes in the workplace continues throughout the Region. As of October 31, over 13 per cent of staff have received training and are developing new ideas to improve their work places.

-         A program to address suspected increased substance abuse issues within the oil and mining sectors in SCHR will begin next month to help these industries provide a safer work environment. The Mental Health and Addictions Department will hire a temporary staff member to work with the industry to identify substance abuse issues in the workplaces.

-         The Saskatchewan Health Quality Council will highlight the work of the Maryfield Mental Health Team that developed a new approach to treating depression in rural areas. Mrs. Cugnet says this team took real initiative to improve care for clients with depression.

-         SCHR’s Nutrition Department is preparing a new menu for the patients, residents and staff and for Meals on Wheels. More traditional meat and potato meals, made from simple recipes and common ingredients, will be offered in future.

-         The next meeting of the Regional Health Authority will be held Jan. 25, 2012.

 Posted November 24.

 

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