- What is changing?
As of fall 2019, 72 Medical Staff Associations (MSAs) have joined the Facility Engagement Initiative and partnered with their health authorities to build a new foundation for collaboration. A combination of new structures, remuneration, leadership, and administrative supports are enabling physicians to renew relationships among colleagues and with health authorities, in ways that were not possible in the past.
At least 3,600 physicians have participated 1400+ activities or projects, many in direct collaboration with their health authority regional leaders, administrators and frontline staff.
The latest UBC evaluation of the Facility Engagement initiative to March 31, 2019 found that medical staff and health authority leaders regard participation in the Facility Engagement Initiative as worthwhile.
With all of this activity - and a lot of hard work - the tide is starting to turn. A sense of optimism is fueling a growing culture of engagement across BC, with renewed teamwork and positive experiences reported by many of those involved.
Big themes: Foundation for change
“This is an exercise in relationships – setting a foundation that allows us to grow as an organization, as people, as a team, as partners in care.” – Dr. Harsh Hundal, Executive Medical Director Physician Engagement & Resource Planning, Interior Health
Physician-to-physician communication and relationships are improving as a key step for MSAs to build a strong foundation for engagement and a medical staff voice. Physicians are connecting and meeting across sites and regions – for the first time ever in some cases – to get to know and support each other, discuss priorities and work on projects that strengthen their hospital, patient care, and personal well-being.
Communication with health authorities is improving. At many sites, MSA working groups and physician members are regularly meeting and establishing collaborative processes with health authority administrators and leaders to discuss respective priorities, and to work on projects together.
Physician wellness has also surfaced as a priority, with MSAs across BC initiating activities that aim to reduce the risk of burnout and support physicians to provide patient care in a healthier way. Some MSAs are now starting to elevate these efforts to an organizational, regional and system level to look at potential improvements that can reduce the risk of burnout. (Doctors of BC is further working on this priority through the Physician Burdens engagement and policy development process.)
With the new 2019 Physician Master Agreement, Facility Engagement is also officially supporting medical staff engagement in the implementation of electronic health records, starting with Lower Mainland hospitals that are adopting the Cerner system.
There is more work to be done to achieve sustained change, and further evaluation of the Facility Engagement Initiative will to measure its ongoing impact.
Meanwhile, both physicians and health authority partners from many parts of the province report they are making headway to build trust and to make decisions together that impact their hospitals, programs, work culture and patient services. Stay tuned as this great work continues to unfold!
Read examples and successes > www.facilityengagement.ca/stories
Dr Michel Hjelkrem, an orthopedic surgeon at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital took what some might consider drastic steps to reduce surgical site infections – he stopped doing joint replacements. Then his four partners joined him. For the next two and half months, they embarked on a mission to collaborate with their health authority to improve surgical standards. And while it wasn’t always an easy road, it turned out to be one of the best decisions they made to lower infection rates well below the national average.