There are several achievements and developments in recent weeks that I have yet to acknowledge in this Blog.
For one, Mr. Derek McNally recently joined the organization as Vice President Patient Services. Derek has been seconded from Trillium Health Centre. In his new role, Derek will be the site lead for the Greater Niagara General Hospital, and will also act as the Executive Lead for our Emergency Services at Niagara Health System. We are very pleased to have Derek join our team and are confident in his abilities to improve our performance and patient care.
I am also pleased to announce that Ms. Brenda Flaherty , the Executive Vice President – Clinical Operations at Hamilton Health Sciences, will lead the expert team reviewing the alignment of clinical services across the NHS sites. Brenda and her team will be examining where services are located, and will make recommendations to me based on best practices and what models will yield the best possible outcomes for patients. The work of this team will greatly inform the options I will bring forward to our communities in the Spring.
We have also been very successful in working to overhaul the NHS’s patient complaints process in the last few weeks. The team has been charged with a process that is empathetic not legalistic, and which responds to complaints quickly and professionally. I am pleased to report that the new system has resulted in a faster turn-around time, the closure of many long-standing files, and a higher level of complainant satisfaction at the closure of files. I am grateful to the team who have completed this work, and encourage staff to first and foremost try to deal with complaints at the bedside, and with a caring manner. If staff do not feel they can resolve a complaint they should alert their manager who can then involve Patient Relations and other leadership as required. This approach, with timely follow-up, is critical to the patient experience we want to deliver at the Niagara Health System. If complainants do want to reach me the Supervisor’s email is available, but I want to ensure we have capacity to deal with complaints internally where possible.
Another important development is that NHS leadership have also discussed enhanced management training for leaders across NHS, and a formal mentorship program with other leaders in Ontario healthcare. I am excited to see this program advance and evolve, and believe it will be of great benefit to our patients, to our leaders, and to those they manage. The program is a critical first step to renewing our culture.
I’d like to close by again recognizing the many who have been in touch with me and met with me to-date. I am grateful to the many who have communicated with me and who are committed to the best possible care for Niagara Region’s 12 communities.