The Prairie North Health Region presented to the public its annual report for 2014-2015, which outlines priorities and achievements in bettering patient care and safety throughout the regions service area. PNHR uses four strategic pillars of planning to focus on, which include better health, better care, better value and better teams.
“We finished 2014-15 in relatively good shape and by all accounts we did fairly well,” chief executive officer David Fan said.
Under the pillar of “better health,” PNHR put a lot of effort in completing and developing the Primary Care Health Centre in Lloydminster as an innovation site, which began operations at the beginning of March 2015. Fans says this is a significant step forward in improving access to primary care physician services.
“For the longest time in Lloydminster, we truly struggled with not having enough family physicians in the community to provide that access, so with the primary care centre in place with seven full-time family physicians we’ve gone a long way in terms of improving access,” he said.
The health region also focused on improving seniors care in terms of providing better home care services, receiving extra funding from both Alberta and Saskatchewan to help advance these services in the community. Funding was received in the fall of 2014 and the home care program has been fully implemented, with Fan saying they are seeing improvement in terms of services to seniors.
See “Prairie North,” Page 13
Regarding the pillar of “better care” PNHR worked to reduce wait times for surgeries for elective cases from 18 months down to three months and in 2014 - 2015 they succeeded in the goal. Fan says in the region today if one books for elective surgery, one can expect to have it completed in that three month period.
“That is a very significant achievement in our region and we also have been working hard to complete along with our counterpart, Alberta Health Services, the new 60 bed Lloydminster Continuing Care centre,” Fan said. “We took possession of that facility sometime in March of this year and essentially started to admit residents into that new 60 bed facility at the beginning of June.”
In terms of “better value” the pillar is all about managing finances. PNHR finished the fiscal year with a surplus of $4.1 million, which fan considers a good outcome. Some of the capital investments throughout the year included renovations to the hospital, specifically maternity upgrades, which were completed in April and work on a third OR, which is still in progress.
Fan says a thank you is due to the Lloydminster Region Health Foundation for their support and help in raising funds for these capital projects.
“Lastly ‘better teams’ is very much about recruitment, retention of physicians and staff of all kinds and is about creating safe working environments. When we look at recruitment of physicians we’ve come a long way in recruiting the right number of family physicians and specialists into Lloydminster,” said Fan.
“Again, going back to my point of improving primary care access, today we have clearly more than enough family physicians who are serving that community.”