Doctors and health authorities in BC faced many challenges with the arrival of COVID-19. At the start of the pandemic, one significant challenge was the need to have a source of truth and standardized approaches that are so essential to coordinated and efficient medical care. And it needed to happen fast.
Physicians, health authority leaders, and allied health providers at Victoria General Hospital and Royal Jubilee Hospital on southern Vancouver Island stepped up to the challenge. They worked together to create a COVID-19 Clinical Order in just ten days, which served as a common platform to ensure safe and co-ordinated patient care.
“This was a big success for the team to complete this order set from start to finish so quickly, especially in this unprecedented time of increased anxiety, social isolation and new workflows in anticipation of patients with this new and potentially life-threatening situation,” said hospitalist Dr Jean Maskey.
Achievements like this would have been unlikely to happen so quickly without the introduction four years ago of Facility Engagement, an initiative within the Physician Master Agreement that is strengthening relationships between physicians based in hospitals and health authority leaders and administrators. It begins to address a major concern hospital-based physicians have had for many years – they have felt left out of discussions leading to critical decisions, not knowing who to talk to about system and quality concerns or how their voices could be heard.
Facility Engagement provides supports and funding to enable doctors to contribute their knowledge and experience in discussions and decisions that impact their workplace and patient care.
Successes from around the province are featured in Engaging Physicians to Improve BC Health Care. In addition to the South Island story featured here, they include:
How a hospital-wide effort in Trail led to decline in surgical infection rates
How physician engagement helped to introduce healthy local and traditional food to the hospital in Haida Gwaii
How Vancouver doctors are working to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive physician workplace
While there is still much to be done and many challenges ahead, physicians and health authorities alike are reporting positive experiences, successes and optimism arising from Facility Engagement. A lot of small wins are helping to bring big changes to the hospitals in BC.