Our Northwestern Ontario winter wonderland is upon us. Along with the colder weather comes more time spent indoors, where it is easier to spread the flu virus. I am pleased to note that every member of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre Board of Directors has had a seasonal flu shot. I encourage every citizen in our community to do the same. Please visit your pharmacy, family physician or flu shot clinic so that you can protect yourself and your loved ones.
Although the calendar year is coming to a close, our fiscal year continues to March 31, 2017. Our Fiscal Advisory Committee, chaired by Hospital President & CEO Jean Bartkowiak, is planning for the 2017/18 fiscal year. Planning will be largely influenced by the results of the 2016 Operational Review. The Operational Review Team will present their recommendations to the Board and to the Senior Leadership Council for their analysis and follow up. It is expected that the 2016 Operational Review report and the resulting Hospital Improvement Plan will be made public in early January. I believe the review will support existing evidence that our Hospital operates efficiently and continues to put safe quality care at the forefront. Given the size and complexity of our Hospital; I also presume that operational improvements and budget saving opportunities can be identified.
The Resource Planning Committee, chaired by Grant Walsh met on November 15. Peter Myllymaa, EVP, Corporate Services and Operations, provided a briefing on the financial and operational targets for the 2017-18 budget planning cycle. The YTD results indicate an improvement in several key metrics, most notably overtime hours (which are 19% less than prior year), and sick time (which is 17% less than prior year). This has resulted in financial savings, and a YTD deficit of $2.3M compared to a budgeted deficit of $3.3M. The 2017-18 budget planning will continue to be based on financial and operational targets that strive to achieve best quartile performance.
The Governance Committee, chaired by Board Director Dick Manisto, was briefed on a proposed performance evaluation model for the President & CEO and Chief of Staff (CoS). Amanda Bjorn, VP, Human Resources, and Larry Dzijacky, Program Coordinator – Human Resources and Human Resource Management Programs, Confederation College, presented on a model that incorporates both the manner in which the CEO and CoS build organizational alignment towards our Hospital’s Strategic Directions and the manner in which they grow and develop themselves as individuals. The CEO has agreed to pilot the framework and process once it has been developed. Ms. Bjorn and I are currently collaborating to build this performance evaluation framework and process that could eventually be used organization-wide.
Board Director Anita Jean participated in a site visit on November 7 with Marie-Lison Fougère, Deputy Minister of Accessibility, Francophone Affairs and Seniors Affairs. A short tour of our Hospital provided an opportunity to highlight many initiatives that are supporting patients and families who are part of those populations. A delegation from the Yukon will conduct a similar visit of our Hospital in early December to learn about our French Language services.
The Quality Committee of the Board, chaired by Doug Shanks, is developing for the Hospital’s 2017/18 Quality Improvement Plan (QIP). An engagement session with the Leadership Team was held to ensure the QIP is aligned with the Strategic Plan 2020. In addition, the Quality Committee received from Bioethicist Michelle Allain an update on Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) legislation. Ms. Allain was asked by Committee members to consult with the MAID working group to determine whether our Hospital requires a policy regarding MAID. Finally, the Committee was briefed on the Canadian Institute for Health Information’s (CIHI) Hospital Harm Report. Cathy Covino, Senior Director, Quality & Risk Management, and Michael Del Nin, Manager, Decision Support, clarified the differences between the types of Hospital Harm as defined by CIHI and Critical Incidents, commonly used in the hospital sector to track harmful events.
I am continuously impressed by the level of commitment and expertise delivered by my colleagues on the Board of Directors, by the President and CEO and Leadership Team, and by the hard-working staff at our Hospital. I take this opportunity to thank them for their dedication, and wish them all the happiest of holidays.
As a final note, I extend my gratitude to the many generous people who volunteer and donate in support of patient care at our Hospital. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season.