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RHA Highlights - May

New members of the Health Authority welcomed 

Reappointed members of the Sun Country Regional Health Authority (SCRHA) welcomed new members to their May meeting on May 30.

Three new members of the Regional Health Authority (RHA) were appointed by the Minister of Health on Friday, May 25.

Reappointed members are Marilyn Charlton, Chair; Lori Carr, Vice Chair; Alan Arthur, Sharon Bauche, Vernon Palmer, Derrell Rodine, Karen Stephenson. New members are Robert Brickley, Gary St. Onge, Audrey Trombley.

Members of the RHA approved the $137 million operating budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year at the meeting and the audited financial statements for the 2011-12 fiscal year that ended March31, 2012.

RHA members  learned at the meeting that in keeping with the Region’s goal to adopt patient and family centred care, guidelines have been drafted for the recruitment of patients and families for Quality Improvement Teams within the Region. One Patient Advisor has already attended one meeting of the Safe Surgery Committee. Both the committee and the advisor found the meeting to be very beneficial and were looking forward to acting on the recommendations from the patient and involving the patient in future work. 

  • To meet the Region’s goal of continuously improving health care safety, SCHR has implemented a medication reconciliation program to prevent medication errors at patient transition points. Results from the Jan-March audit show that 71 per cent of admissions to acute care facilities completed a medication reconciliation form. Results ranged from 95 per cent in Arcola health centre to 55 per cent in Weyburn General Hospital.
  • 100 per cent of the surgeries audited in the Region from Jan – March complied with the three part surgical safety checklist, up from 13.6 per cent from October to December.
  • SCHR public health nurses have completed a Baseline BMI data collection to use in the development of a framework for the promotion of healthy weights.  One hundred and thirty-nine 4 year old children were included in the analysis. Currently, the rate of obesity in 4 year olds in this Region is below the national prevalence rate for children aged 2 to 5 years.
  • Consistent with the Region’s goal to create safe, supportive and quality workplaces, SCHR has been working to improve the scheduling process, attendance support and workplace safety to reduce wage driven premium and injury costs. For the fourth quarter of 2011-12, sick leave utilization in SCHR decreased by 6.4 per cent.  SCHR’s goal was a reduction of -6.2 per cent. In comparison, the provincial average for the same period is -1.1 per cent. SCHR met its goal and was better than the provincial actual.  
  • During the same period, the wage driven premium utilization in SCHR was -11.9 per cent, compared with the goal of -7.8 per cent. In comparison, the provincial average for the same period increased and was recorded as +3.5 per cent. SCHR met its goal and was significantly better than the provincial actual. Recruitment success has helped address some of the overtime demands.
  • To address the issue of ethical recruitment of doctors that has arisen within Saskatchewan, especially regarding candidates from South Africa, SCHR has adopted the same principles that Saskdocs applies. Those include no direct marketing, and using only professional recruitment firms with ethical recruitment practices. SCHR cannot insist that community recruitment committees in the Region follow the same guidelines but have informed them that SCHR will not pay the Consultant fees of firms which do not meet its guidelines.
  • SCHR is committed to achieving the best value for money while improving the patient experience and Population Health by capturing efficiencies and cost savings through shared services and procurement initiatives. To that end, the Electronic Staff Scheduling Program (ESP) has been expanded to Estevan Regional Nursing Home where employees, who are under the CUPE Agreement, are now scheduled through the Central Scheduling Office (CSO).  The plan is to continue to bring additional employees under the CUPE agreement into this ESP program including lab and x-ray at Arcola, Pangman, and Weyburn General Hospital. Once fully staffed in the CSO, the program will be implemented for SUN members as well. 
  • SCHR has met with CUPE to review the status of the laundry project, including the 3sHealth RFP process.  The overall intent of the meeting is to allow CUPE the opportunity to respond on how Laundry services could be handled provincially and specifically the expected laundry service/operations in SCHR.
  • Early indications suggest a new province-wide purchasing contract is providing cost savings on food and chemical supplies for facilities. There is also a rebate structure within the contract that will see approximately $6000 come back to the Region annually.
  • SCHR is working to improve transparency and accountability through measurement and reporting. To that end, the Strategic Planning education and information sharing sessions held during April and May for SCHR staff members were a huge success.  Approximately 650 staff members out of the 2,115 active full-time/part-time and casual staff members (not counting staff members on leave), attended the strategy deployment sessions held in all facilities. That is 31 per cent of active staff members, a great turnout!      
  • The Radville and Redvers construction projects are on course. In Kipling, Stantec has agreed to become the compliance architect. SCHR and Stantec are negotiating the terms, conditions and scope of their involvement. The Kipling Health Centre Functional Plan is being finalized and will be completed by the end of May 2012. 
  • SCHR is committed to achieving system-wide performance improvement and creating a culture of quality through the adoption of Lean and other quality improvement methodologies. Thanks to Lean progress in Mental Health and Addiction Services, there is no wait list for ‘Elective’ counselling/therapy services in Child/Youth in both Weyburn and Estevan, nor is there a wait list for youth in the Addiction Program. Further, the average wait time from first contact to first appointment in both locations is 2 to 4 weeks. The Adult Mental Health Program has wait lists, primarily due to high requests for service. In Weyburn the wait list is 24, plus 5 waiting for Psychological testing. The wait list in Estevan is 32. The wait time for services ranges from 2 to 19 weeks. The Adult Addiction Program has no wait lists and the wait time for services ranges from 1 day to 3 weeks. (Clients assessed as requiring ‘Urgent’ services are usually seen the same day.
  • Lean training is ongoing throughout the region.  As of April 30, over 30% of staff members were trained in Introduction to Lean: Walk this Way.   Training continues to be a priority and the Lean Specialist has focused the vast majority of his time on training.
  • Telehealth continues to expand within the SCHR. Recent additions to the network include Newhope Pioneer Lodge in Stoughton and the Weyburn Special Care Home. Remaining sites to have telehealth capabilities include- Moose Mountain Lodge in Carlyle, Lampman Health Centre, Estevan Regional Nursing Home and Sunset Haven in Carnduff.
  • STARS’ first Saskatchewan mission transferred a critical patient from the Arcola Health Centre on Tuesday May 1, 2012. The transfer was a success and with the cooperation of the Carlyle RCMP and Arcola Fire Department a temporary landing zone was secured for the aircraft just south of the facility in an open grassed area.
  • Recruitment for EMS ambulance services remains a major challenge in the rural services, with potential of several disruptions of service over the next few months. SCHR has recently completed an advertising campaign in the region aimed at finding new recruits. The results are not yet known.
  • An Industry Support Program was developed with the Mental Health and Addictions Department as a temporary program that will be in effect until December 31, 2012. A staff member was hired in April, to support the promotion of a safe work environment within local industry. The single staff in this program will work in partnership with regional industry employers to help in addressing and preventing substance misuse/abuse related issues in the workplace.
  • New staff have been hired into “difficult-to-fill” positions from April 14, 2012 to May 14, 2012: 13 RNs (7 Grad Nurses); 2 LPNs; 1 Addictions Counselor; and 1 management.  4 Senior Assists were hired for the summer.  Resignations during this same period include: 4 RNs (casual and/or part time); and 1 Plumber. 

Posted June 1



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