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RHA Highlights - April

Sun Country Regional Health Authority learned about the Region’s participation in the Ministry of Health’s implementation of the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative at the Authority’s regular monthly meeting April 29 in Estevan.

Interim President/CEO Marga Cugnet explained that additional funding has been received from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health to assist the Region in meeting established targets for surgeries.

A value stream mapping process to review the operating room process from the point of consent for surgery to point of initiation of anesthesia was undertaken by St. Joseph’s Hospital and WGH Operating Room Teams and Managers.

This was a five-day exercise that was led by KAIZEN consultants through the Ministry of Health as well as SCHR LEAN Co-ordinator Chris McKee.

With the additional funds, Sun Country Health Region (SCHR) plans to deliver an additional 125 surgeries at Weyburn General Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Estevan this fiscal year. About 640 surgeries are usually performed in SCHR annually - before the increase.

In other business, members of the Health Authority learned:

  • SCHR has negotiated an agreement with the Radiology Associates for ultrasound services at St. Joseph’s Hospital of Estevan after a disruption of several years.  Services will resume for 2 days per week, with SCHR covering the additional annual operating costs and St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation committing to purchase the equipment for approximately $175,000.  The goal is to be able to offer all trimester ultrasounds for SCHR obstetrical patients.
  •  Representatives from St. Joseph’s Hospital of Estevan, City of Estevan, and SCHR met with the Special Advisor to the Deputy Minister and Executive Director of Acute and Emergency Services of the Ministry of Health in April 18.  Discussions focused on a potential CT Scanner for SCHR, with Estevan emphasizing their commitment to $2 million for equipment and renovations if it is located at the St. Joseph’s Hospital of Estevan. The Ministry of Health is currently looking at guidelines to establish CT Services beyond regional hospitals.  
  • About 39 per cent of SCHR staff has been trained in customer service expectations according to a new plan to improve customer satisfaction and engagement.  
  • Two staff members are attending a training session in the U.S. to lead SCHR in a process to develop and implement locally the provincial framework for patient and family centred care.  
  • SCHR Primary Care Teams displayed the excellent work being done within the Region at the Provincial Insight Health Quality Summit Conference in Regina. The following presentations were made:  1. Poster Presentation – Early Intervention:  Kidney Disease (Mark Pettitt, Kay Steele, Candace Kopec); 2. Poster Presentation – Collaborative Practice – Rural West Primary Care Team (Leila McClarty); 3. Live Presentation – Improvements in Depression Care (Maryfield Team – Sheila Szakacs and Angela Gervais); 4. Live Presentation – Advanced Access Network (Wanda Miller – who has been invited to showcase our work in Vancouver)   
  •  Members of SCHR have started meeting with representatives from local governments regarding an ambulance purchase plan for the next five years and a potential cost share. 
  • About 50 per cent of facilities in SCHR have implemented the Long Term Care Falls Prevention program. Information on the number of falls reported through the patient safety occurrence reporting process was shared with facility managers. St. Joseph’s Unit “A” Releasing Time to Care Team has selected a falls risk assessment tool and has been monitoring falls utilizing a safety cross. 
  • SCHR is mandated to promote a LEAN culture and implement LEAN strategies across the organization. Teams are continuing to meet and implement the work plan that was developed as a result of the value stream mapping work that was completed in February. A target was set for LEAN training. Twenty per cent of all staff will be trained before March 31, 2012.  The next targeted site/program is Kipling Memorial Hospital and Human Resources. The LEAN Specialist continues to work with all Releasing Time to Care teams as well.  
  • SCHR is mandated to introduce the Releasing Time to Care program into all programs. Three wards/units were selected at the February Continuous Quality Improvement Steering Committee meeting for Cycle 3 of Releasing Time to Care. They are St. Joseph’s Emergency, St. Joseph’s Maternity/Unit B, and Arcola Health Centre.  
  •     Dr. Millie Hlatshwayo is continuing to work through May and June on further requirements for her permanent licensure to practice in Saskatchewan. That license is issued by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan. She plans to vacation in July 2011.  Dr. Nettie Kgobisa will be going on vacation as well in July/August 2011.  A locum is to come and provide clinic services.  No arrangements have been finalized to date.  A meeting was held with community leaders in April to make them aware of the current situation.  
  • A potential physician shortage exists in Estevan again.  Dr. Steven Brednoord has left the city after 17 years of practice.  The St. Joseph’s Primary Centre Group is negotiating with three physicians to remain in Estevan.   
  •  Dr. Charles Omosigho has completed his Group Practice requirements in Weyburn and will be moving to Estevan to start his practice.  Completion of his practice requirements will be followed up by the Weyburn Health Centre physician group. 
  • Dr Sunda Olowu is an Estevan physician who will be working out of the Weyburn Health Centre with Dr. Katie Fong and Dr. Mary McCollam for two weeks starting April 16, 2011 to meet his permanent licensure requirements.
  • The permanent licensure requirements for another physician are delayed at least until September. That doctor is slated to practice in Estevan. One physician has declined an offer from the St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation.  
  • Five first year medical students will complete their two-week community experience program in SCHR.  Dr. Diana Naidu and Dr. Alain Lenferna have organized schedules for the medical students in Radville, Estevan and Weyburn. As a marketing token, backpacks with SCHR promotional items and information will be presented to all students.  






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