Leading the Way
by Maryanne Matthews
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre has been recognized for Leading Practices by the Health Standards Organization (HSO) for initiatives of the Regional Orthopaedic Program and the Medical Advisory Committee.
A Leading Practice is a practice carried out by a health and/or social service organization that has demonstrated a positive change, is people centred, safe and efficient.
The Regional Orthopaedic Program (ROP) received Leading Practice designation. The ROP, in partnership with the North West Local Health Integration Network, has developed a Musculoskeletal (MSK) Centre of Excellence. Rather than require patients to travel, the ROP brings services to patients.
The program has accomplished a number of successes, including:
- Improved access to care for MSK patients and streamlined referral process;
- Provided closer-to-home care for more patients in the region;
- Reduced costs to the system;
- Reduced wait times; and
- Improved health outcomes.
The ROP’s innovative approach to musculoskeletal care promotes better service to patients living in urban, rural and remote settings. The collaborative team at the ROP has successfully integrated various providers into a regional/centralized booking system which has traditionally been operated independently throughout the province.
The Hospital’s Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) was also recognized as a Leading Practice for the inclusion of a dedicated volunteer Patient Family Advisor (PFA) as a member.
Most hospitals do not include a PFA on high-level committees like the MAC, but at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, it’s standard.
Cathy Pilot, the PFA member of the MAC, ensures the patient perspective is applied to discussions, decisions, and the development of important processes like managing patient-physician relationships.
The relationship between a patient and physician is paramount to medical practice, and to patient safety. Developing a process to resolve any potential issues in this crucial relationship is one example of the significant impact of a PFA as a MAC member. The PFA brings forward the valuable patient and family perspective, which then guided discussions and resulted in a new tool to guide patients and physicians to make the best decisions when there is a relationship concern. The new process respects the physicians and their roles, as well as the concerns of the patients.
The HSO and its affiliate, Accreditation Canada, have been identifying and publishing Leading Practices for over 15 years as a knowledge sharing resource of innovative practices that have been identified through a rigorous evaluation process, and shared with the public, policy makers and organizations who are seeking ways to improve the quality of health services for all.
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre also holds Leading Practices for Patient and Family Centred Care, and for the use of Telemedicine Technology – both of which were awarded in 2011.
For more information about Leading Practices and the Health Standards Organization, please visit https://healthstandards.org/.
Dr. Syed Zaki Ahmed, Chief of Staff and Chair of the Medical Advisory Committee and Cathy Pilot, Patient Family Advisor