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Thursday, 09 June 2011 12:14

Health minister tours Swift’s hospital

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By Chris Jaster — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Saskatchewan Health Minister Don McMorris came to Swift Current to see how well one of the province’s newest hospitals runs. He didn’t leave disappointed.

McMorris came to Swift Current June 3 to talk to floor staff at the hospital to see how well the new Releasing Time to Care initiative is operating. He found the staff were happy with the improvements the program brought.
“The hospital here has been amazing,” said McMorris. “I was really wondering, coming into one of the newest facilities we have in the province in the new hospital, how effective the releasing time to care would be. When you talk to the staff about the improvements they have made, it has been a positive, positive experience.
“One (new change) that stands out is the patient-at-a-glance board in the rooms where all the health team, not just the doctor or nurse, know what’s going on with that patient at a glance. (Now they don’t) have to run to the room, back to the station and back to the room. It just saves so much more time for all the health-care providers, but also the patient receives better care.
“It’s just really impressive. I can’t emphasize how impressive the changes they’ve implemented in this region and within this facility have been.”
McMorris was also impressed with how the region has been able to decrease the number of falls that occur in the medical-surgical ward.
He also took notice of the location of the equipment in the various wards and how the nurses know where they are, decreasing the amount of time they spend searching.
Releasing time is an initiative designed to free up caregivers’ time so they can deliver more direct patient care. A Saskatchewan delegation first studied it in England in September 2008 before implementing it in some areas of the province in January 2009.
The Cypress Regional Hospital’s medical-surgical ward was one of the 19 test areas with its goal to decrease the number of falls. The initiative expanded to the hospital’s women’s and children’s health services unit in September 2010.
McMorris said he never had an image of what he hoped the Releasing Time to Care program would look like. He liked the response he received from the staff at the Cypress Regional Hospital. He believes programs in the future should be built from the ground-up.
“I can have an idea of what should happen but it’s the people on the floor, the people who are doing the day-to-day services, who make this work,” he said. “We can say this is a good program, but they have to buy into it, they have to make the changes and that’s why it’s so effective and sustainable. It’s not implemented on anybody, it comes from their ideas.
“I would say based on the things I’ve seen, here in Swift Current would rival or surpass anything I’ve seen anywhere else, be it in Great Britain or any other facility.”
McMorris also saw how the region has improved efficiencies at the E. I. Wood building within its filing system.
He left Swift Current impressed with the facilities and the work of the Cypress Health Region’s staff.
“It’s refreshing to see this,” said McMorris, who is trying to tour health facilities twice a week this summer. “Again, it comes from the health region, but through the people who are delivering the services themselves. The nurses, the special care aides, the LPNs, dietary, everyone works as a team to make this work and that’s what I’ve seen here.
“I’ve seen other facilities where releasing time to care is implemented and it’s showing some improvement, but until you get the whole team together, and that’s definitely what has happened here where the whole team is together and has input, that’s when it’s by far the most successful and that’s what we’ve seen.”

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