Facility Engagement: Experiences point to positive change

October 10, 2018

Results of the provincial Facility Engagement Initiative are popping up across the province. Initiated as part of the Physician Master Agreement and administered by the Specialist Services Committee (SSC), it aims to strengthen communication and relationships between hospital-based physicians and health authorities so they can together solve problems, and improve patient care and physicians’ work environment. Experiences from this cooperative collaboration all point to positive and measurable change.

Enhanced working relationships aligns physicians and health authority partners 

Physicians at Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace are making strides to strengthen their working relationship with their Northern Health counterparts. Their recipe for successful engagement is clear: collaborate early, meet regularly, and consider opportunities for mutual benefit. 

Earlier this year, the physician society, health authority managers, and other partners came together to discuss the alignment of physician-initiated projects with the health authority’s strategic plans for the northwestern region. Physicians were appreciative of the process and effort to respect and incorporate their priorities in the health authority’s plans, which they discovered closely resonated with their goals. Read full article.

Strong teamwork across the hospital changes culture

Royal Columbian Hospital surgeon Dr. John Hwang has teamed up with administrators and frontline staff to build a culture of continuous improvement across the hospital. 

Following a successful quality improvement (QI) education effort for surgical providers that resulted in notable changes in quality measures, the “RCH QI League” extended a hospital-wide opportunity to all departments, physicians, and frontline staff to learn how to make continuous improvement part of their everyday job.  Now, at regular workshops and an annual QI Day, frontline providers learn how to identify small changes within their scope of work, put their ideas into action to improve patient care. Physicians are able to take time to attend the sessions and provide ongoing leadership and mentoring. Read full article

Regional collaboration improves patient access

A prime example of how Facility Engagement supports creative collaboration and sustainable solutions for patient care happened at the Elk Valley Hospital in Fernie - after their only general surgeon announced his retirement. In order to identify a solution that would save and sustain the OR in the community, physicians worked together with Interior Health’s regional and site leaders, nursing staff and surgeons from the neighbouring community of Cranbrook. They developed a regional solution to stabilize surgical services, which includes having visiting Cranbrook surgeons conduct consults and surgeries at the Elk Valley Hospital. The result? Patients in Fernie continue to get access to surgical services close to home. Read full article.

Early measurement 

An annual member survey regularly conducted by Doctors of BC that measures physicians’ level of engagement and interaction with health authorities recently released its latest results. The Facility Engagement Initiative, along with other Joint Collaborative Committee initiatives, likely had some influence in improved ratings in physician satisfaction and the slight increase in ratings around senior leaders’ communication and transparency. See full survey results here.

As of August 2018, SSC’s Facility Engagement is supporting more than 900 activities through 69 Medical Staff Associations (MSAs) bringing together administrators and physicians to work together and improve their relationship and the delivery of health care. Here’s what some physicians involved in Facility Engagement have to say about this initiative