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Highlights of the November meeting of the Sun Country Regional Health Authority

Members of Sun Country Regional Health Authority, (SCRHA) the governing body of Sun Country Health Region, participated in a second Wall Walk during the regular meeting Nov. 28.

The Wall Walk is a tool used in Lean management systems to monitor progress on an organization’s priorities. The leadership team reports on projects related to their portfolios. If the results are not on track to meet targets, the vice president must provide a corrective action plan to get back on track.

Sun Country Health Region’s leadership team report weekly on the following priorities: a 25 per cent improvement in the number of people who say they can see a member of their primary health care team on their day of choice; zero workplace injuries by March 31, 2017; COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) clinics established in Weyburn and Estevan; a reduction in the number of falls causing injury in long term care facilities by five per cent and a reduction in the over-all number of falls by 10 per cent; education for acute care staff on patients and families in psychological distress (such as threatening suicide); a single point of entry to regional facilities for all patients/residents/clients; a process created for medication reconciliation on admission and transfer/discharge to ensure residents are on the correct medication; patients and families receiving education about their care, risk factors, safety issues and opportunities to prevent infections, blood clots and medication errors; 100 per cent of surgeries adopting an infection prevention bundle; at least 80 per cent of staff following proper hand hygiene measures at all times; front line managers trained to be more effective leaders; all members of the leadership team beginning Lean certification; a new process will be created to sort electronically stored information; paperless pay stubs; a new electronic ordering system for supplies.

All projects are on target except for the safe surgical care bundle, medication reconciliation, and the province-wide electronic ordering system which has been halted until technical problems are fixed.

SCRHA members also learned that:

  • In difficult to fill positions, two Registered Nurses, one dietitian, and two out of scope positions were filled from mid October to mid November. Resignations during this same period include: six Registered Nurses, three Licensed Practical Nurses and one Speech Language Pathologist. 
  • · Five medical students are currently studying with the assistance of financial support from Sun Country Health Region, with the expectation they will return to work here when they graduate.
  • Chris McKee has been appointed Executive Director of the new SCHR Kaizen Promotion Office. He will be responsible for designing, planning and deploying the Lean system throughout the Region. Lean enables organizations to reorganize operations, and empowers staff to generate new methods to eliminate waste and refocus on patient care.     
  • SCHR awarded 39 bursaries from April 1, 2012. Recipients include students in the following programs: 25 in registered nursing; one in Registered Psychiatric program; one in the Nurse Practitioner program; one in Occupational Therapy; four in Medicine; one Emergency Medical Technician; one Primary Care Paramedic; and five Emergency Medical Responders.  In comparison, 55 bursaries were awarded in 2011-2012.   
  • SCHR continues to offer clinical placements for students, primarily in nursing programs.  This is viewed as a significant recruitment opportunity as students are more likely to return to work in a region they are familiar with. There are six Registered Nurses in the program until Nov. 23 (three at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Estevan, two at Weyburn General Hospital, one in palliative care in Weyburn), and one Nurse Practitioner in Carlyle.  
  • · The staff immunization program began in the Region on Oct. 15 and ended Nov. 16.  Immunizations will be provided on an ad hoc basis to the end of December to capture casual, part time, staff on leaves, and other staff who were not immunized during the first round.      
  • The cook shortage for facilities continues to persist in SCHR and across the province. The Region is examining the issue, including the issue of financial assistance to employees who want to take the cook’s education.     

SCRHA approved the 2013-14 Pay for Performance Plan for the leadership team. The plan is a new province-wide system of ensuring accountability from the executive teams at all health regions in Saskatchewan. It ties some leadership salary to improvements made in the special Lean projects, as reported to the weekly Wall Walks.  

The next meeting of the health authority will be held on Jan. 30, 2013 at Tatagwa View in Weyburn.

Posted November 30. 

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