The past year has seen some high points and some challenges for the Sunrise Health Region.
One of the challenges came early in the year.
On Jan. 17, “staff at Invermay Health Centre noticed that the floor was sloping in the west corner of the west wing. Bracing was put into place, the long-term care residents were moved from the west wing to another part of the building, and the wing was sealed off. Experts in air quality testing and structural engineering were called with tests indicating the presence of mould. Equipment was installed to improve the air quality until the source of the problem was identified and corrected,” detailed material provided to Yorkton This Week by Sunrise CEO Suann Laurent.
The Ministry of Health announced that $2.8 million was committed to address the structural problems at Invermay Health Centre.
“While remediation work was completed, residents were temporarily relocated to facilities within Sunrise Health Region in Canora, Foam Lake and Yorkton. Transportation occurred over a three-day period (Jan 29-30-31) primarily via handi-bus with a Special Care Aide and Paramedic accompanying all bus transfers. Some residents were transported via ambulance. Sunrise Health Region employees and members of the senior leadership team were on-site at the facilities throughout the process to ensure that the transition was smooth for all.
“In October, 2013, remediation work was completed in the resident areas of the facility and residents were moved back to their home at the Invermay Health Centre. The health region staff, community partners, contractors and the Ministry of Health went above and beyond to ensure that the transition was as easy as possible for the residents and their families.”
On Dec 19, 2013 the health region hosted a ‘Welcome Home Tea’ for the residents and staff.
Then in March a beam cracked in the dining room ceiling of Canora Gateway Lodge.
“When the beam cracked, quick actions by the staff and management ensured the safety of all residents and staff. Since then, the team has worked together to provide ongoing quality of care with interim dining arrangements while the dining room is out of service. The Canora Gateway Lodge repairs were delayed due to lack of response to the initial project tender, work is now underway and is expected to be completed before the end of January,” noted the report.
Laurent said the response to the two incidents shows the strength of the local region.
“It’s challenging situations when you really see the strength of your team in the region,” she said.
Budgeting for the Region also remains a challenge.
In the last four years the health region achieved balanced budgets at year end. In 2012-13, the year ended with a general operating surplus of $453,521, detailed the report.
“In May, the Sunrise Regional Health Authority approved the plan for a balanced operating budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year, and is on target to achieve that balance. The budget consists of revenues totaling $212,818,800 balanced by total operating expenditures of $210,759,397 and $2,059,403 held for replacement reserves and repayment of mortgages and loans.
“For the 2013-14 budget, the region received a net provincial funding increase of $3.3 million or 1.8 per cent. Of the health region’s total operating revenue, 89 per cent is provincially funded. The remaining revenue will be obtained from Long- Term Care, and Home Care fees, third party charges, and other miscellaneous recoveries.”
Health professional recruitment is another challenge, one Laurent said Sunrise did a good job of in 2013, noting 10 physicians joined the region. Family Physicians joined the communities of Esterhazy, Yorkton, Canora and Melville and the region was also pleased to welcome a Regional Locum and specialists in Radiology and Internal Medicine.
“As of December, there are currently 32 general practitioners in the region and 22 specialists, and 37 visiting specialists and locums. Two family physicians currently enrolled in the Saskatchewan Immigrant Physician Practice Assessment expect to begin private practice in the region early in 2014,” stated Laurent’s report.
In term’s of improving general health with the Region Laurent said several initiatives were launched in 2013.
Effective July 1, 2013 Sunrise Health Region facilities and grounds became tobacco free.
“It was important for the health region to lead by example and impossible to reconcile tobacco use on health region property with knowledge that tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability and death in this country,” noted her report.
“Clients, visitors and staff are required to leave health region property to use tobacco products. In-patients are required to sign a waiver before leaving the property, should they choose to continue using tobacco products while in the care of a health facility; previous exceptions for long-term care residents continue to apply. Hospital inpatients have the opportunity to access tobacco cessation products during their stay in a Sunrise Health Region facility. Education and options are provided at the time of admission.”
In January, 2013 colorectal cancer screening became available in the region by providing residents with home-use tests. Colorectal cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths; the disease is over 90 per cent preventable and easily treated when found in the early stages. The program is now available province-wide.
The Baby Friendly Initiative Working Group, comprised of representatives from Sunrise Health Region and the Yorkton Tribal Council, supports and promotes breast feeding. As part of this initiative, life-size cutouts of mothers breast feeding their babies were placed throughout the region to increase awareness about breast feeding and its many benefits.
“Research has shown that many mothers stop breast feeding early because they don’t feel comfortable breast feeding in public; the life-size cutouts are just one tool to help normalize breast feeding in public areas,” detailed the report.
And, a Rapid Process Improvement Workshop held in 2013 “has streamlined processes and increased the capacity for referrals to the Diabetes Education Services. Coordinated out of the Public Health office in Yorkton, clients can access services via self referral, through community pharmacists and through their family physician. Diabetes education clinic days are open to diabetics throughout the health region and sessions are held in Yorkton, Foam Lake and Langenburg.”
There were also some major successes for the SHR in 2013.
“In October, 2013 our region together with the Ministry of Health was honoured to be recognized by Accreditation Canada as a National Leading Practice for use of daily visual management and Hoshin Kanri (strategy deployment) in the Saskatchewan Healthcare Management System,” said Laurent.
“We’re very proud of our integrated planning and alignment of strategic priorities. Sunrise Health Region has implemented the use of daily visual management walls, titled ‘Connecting Teams for Excellence’. These are located in public areas of every facility and department. At daily huddles, the team of health care providers and managers gather around their “Connecting Teams for Excellence” wall to discuss how to better meet the needs of their clients and to track progress related to safety, quality, cost, delivery and engagement targets. A shared understanding of our “must do can’t fail” initiatives in the health system help us continuously improve on last year’s Health System Provincial Plan, and to ultimately, better serve our patients.”
Also in April, at the Health Quality ‘Inspire’ Summit Sunrise Health Region chemotherapy team and Sunrise Health Region information technology team took home two of eight quality awards given out at the summit..