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Monday, June 18, 2012

Healthcare Success Stories from Western Canada

Western Cdn Healthcare Summit 2012

Healthcare leaders from the Yukon, Alberta and British Columbia shared their stories of challenges and visions in the search for effective and efficient healthcare delivery throughout Western Canada.

Introduced by: Donna Lommer, VP Residential Services & CFO, Interior Health Authority of B.C.
Graham Whitmarsh, Deputy Minister of Health, Province of British Columbia
Chris Mazurkewich, EVP & COO, Alberta Health Services
Stuart Whitley, QC, Deputy Minister of Health & Social Services, Government of Yukon

Chris spoke first, shared some statistics about the scope and depth of AHS (Alberta Health Services). AHS is down the road that HSSBC is taking, and has insight to share for BC folks. A key comment is that the merger was done, and the details are being worked out post-change.

A primary metric that AHS uses to measure success is hip and knee elective primary replacements per annum. The integration of EMS is a current large initiative, and response times are publicly available to ensure transparency and availability. EMS has been a stand-alone entity, but this is changing. This allows the EMS responders to have greater support and options and provision deeper care quicker.

AHS believes that having a deeper and wider integration of clinical services across the province allows for quicker innovation and response to discovered administrative or clinical challenges.

AHS has asked clinicians and staff to identify game changers in health care, and some identified are standardized discharge methodologies and metrics, allowing communities and families to be better prepared for when patients are discharged back into the communities.

Wellness is a major push, with high profits and demand from private sector to license a successful regionalized program. AHS feels they are ready to move their primary care networks to the next level, but have identified that good governance is vital to that success. What that next level really looks like was not described.

Stuart shared an anecdote that illustrated that it is important to focus on need by examining where risk is.

Stuart asked us rhetorically how we innovate and transform health care in Canada. We are referenced to the innovations happening in EU Nordic countries. Extraordinary technological innovations are occurring daily, but the cost to accommodate and implement these are barriers to adoption. Transformation therefore must occur in the management and funding, as well as the current culture of health care. Negotiations with practitioners is the beginning place.

Acute disorders are stealing attention from the chronic issues which Canadians are increasing with high-risk health behaviours increasingly dramatically in school aged children. Interventions must start here, and we must look further upstream to be more preventative and intervene before conditions become acute, and warrant more expensive treatment.

Top 30 users of the Yukon health care system, on average, incur more than $150k each year. A key issue in their acute issues is prolonged alcoholism.

Many small, simple innovations focussed on the upstream aspects of the health care system will (and have been proven in the Yukon) reduce the costs and improve delivery of health care.

Graham Whitmarsh presented the innovation and change agenda diagram. The three pillars of the program are:
1. Effective health promotion & prevention
2. Integrated & targeted primary & community health care
3. High quality hospital services

A series of metrics were shared for each of these three pillars to identify what is working in the past year, and what isn't, and where to focus efforts this year. Over $250M in savings is expected from HSSBC next year.

Royal Columbian & St. Paul's improvements are planned and committed to.

ThinkHealthBC is where this strategy is shared with the public. We are provided a teaser, but if you are interested in learning more about the strategy, current results, and next steps, you should check out the site.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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