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

Health Region concludes this year’s improvement projects

Members of the Sun Country Regional Health Authority learned at their regular meeting on March 25 in Estevan that three of the four improvement projects from the past year will end successfully on March 31 at the end of the 2014-15 fiscal year.

The first was a pilot project to reduce the number of inappropriate visits to the emergency department at Weyburn General Hospital. Members of the committee wanted to re-direct patients and clients to other sources of health care that would provide for their particular health care more quickly.

Those other sources might be use of a regular family doctor; home care, therapy or psychiatric services and others; after hour’s medical services at the Weyburn/Midale Primary Health Clinic, etc.

The project’s success is already being studied by another community in the Region for replication.

The second improvement project involved educating staff, doctors, and patient/family advisers about the use of a technique called Stop-the-Line to reduce harm and potential harm to patients/clients/residents.

The project is part of the work needed to create a culture of safety. It requires staff to monitor and report on events/instances that caused harm to patients and those which had the potential to cause harm.

The third successful project created a framework and initial education to develop leadership capabilities among managers. A multi-year implementation plan will be in place March 31 for all supervisory personnel in the Region.

The fourth project was to reduce injuries among staff. Health care staff in Saskatchewan is among those who receive the most injuries of all industries. Sun Country Health Region (SCHR) has joined all other health regions in a campaign to reduce those injuries to zero by 2020.  It has accepted a provincial standard for reduction of injuries year by year, but has yet to meet the targets.

This year, SCHR injuries were 40 per cent higher than the targets.

Chair of the committee, Human Resources Vice President Chris Cecchini, said the new fiscal year offers an opportunity to get it right next year and with significant changes in the department, analysis of the reasons for the falls, and a new plan, he’s optimistic.

“We made big inroads this year and we will be more successful next year,” he said.

In other business, members of the Health Authority learned:

-         Seven multipurpose beds will open April 1, 2015 in Redvers Health Centre. The beds will provide care for respite patients and those needing stable palliative or convalescent care. Opening of the acute care wing has been delayed due to a shortage of nursing staff. The Region is discussing ways to provide incentives to attract nursing staff.

-         Planning is underway to host a course in Radville to train local residents as Emergency Medical Responders.

-         Seventeen of the 18 long term care facilities are participating in a Walking Challenge to encourage residents and staff to walk together to improve resident health. Each facility chooses a distant location and adds up the number of steps taken toward it, celebrating with a corresponding supper when the project is completed. Staff and residents at Wawota Health Centre, for instance, chose to walk to Paris and will enjoy a supper with French food at the end of the challenge.

-         The nurse practitioner from Rural West Primary Health Team is planning to visit Coronach Health Centre one day each week, adding to the services available there.

-         The Region’s requirement for all staff to either wear a mask or be immunized against influenza this year will end on April 3 at the end of flu season. As of Feb. 28, 90 per cent of staff members were immunized.

-         Twenty-three concerns were received by the Region’s Coordinator of Quality and Patient Safety during January.  Eight of the concerns involved members of the public looking for more information about services and two concerned ambulance billing. None involved injuries to patients/clients/residents.

-         Doctors from Moosomin will no longer provide services to residents of Wawota and area but will continue to provide services to Maryfield and area. The Maryfield Nurse Practitioner has scheduled one day each week in Wawota and SCHR is looking at alternatives for replacement doctor service in that area.

-         The Region has a financial surplus which amounts to about 2.5 days operating costs. Operating costs are about $400,000 each day.

-         The next meeting of the Health Authority will be held in Tatagwa View, Weyburn on May 27, 2015 at 1:30 p.m.  The public is welcome to attend.

Posted March 27 

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