Healthcare teams describe innovative projects to MPs in Ottawa

OTTAWA, May 29, 2013 /CNW/ - Teams of Canadian healthcare improvement leaders, supported by the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI), along with patient and community representatives, fanned out across Ottawa this week to describe to Parliamentarians how they are improving the patient experience and reducing the costs of care in their respective constituencies across the country.

Hill Day, facilitated by CFHI, involved 16 teams from eight provinces meeting with almost 30 federal MPs and senators to share results and successes of improvement initiatives focusing on key healthcare issues facing Canadians. The projects, funded by CFHI's Patient Engagement Project (PEP) and Executive Training for Healthcare Improvement (EXTRA) programs, are an important part of CFHI's mission and mandate to improve the quality of care for patients while lowering costs of healthcare services.

The PEP initiative supports health leaders who are involving patients in decisions about service design and delivery of healthcare or increasing patients' capacity for engaging more meaningfully in decision-making.

One project, at Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), involved patients with schizophrenia working with staff to improve education and shift perspectives, particularly after clients are discharged, recovering and getting on with their lives. The project engaged ten former clients, who were trained them to share stories with staff about their life experiences within and outside of care. The approach worked and valuable lessons emerged from the experience for both staff and clients.

CFHI's elite EXTRA training program gives high-calibre interprofessional healthcare teams the skills and knowledge to become change agents in their organizations and regions. Teams work with prestigious mentors to further CFHI's goals to enhance patient outcomes, quality of care and cost effectiveness.

One EXTRA team addressed Manitoba's dialysis use - the highest in Canada. The Winnipeg Region Health Authority (WRHA) encourages the use of home dialysis as it provides patients with better outcomes and reduces costs. However, home dialysis was declining as a preferred option in the province. The EXTRA team, together with the Manitoba Renal Health Authority, produced dramatic results in the use of home dialysis: up 28 percent since 2007, saving the province $3.2 million.

"All across Canada, these hard-working individuals have been able to successfully incorporate the patient voice and research-based evidence into the decision-making process," said Maureen O'Neil, CFHI President. "They have effected meaningful change at the local level and these meetings are an opportunity to showcase the importance and success of their work."

Further discussions and tours of healthcare facilities are expected to take place this summer, when Parliamentarians are in their respective constituencies. This week's event follows on the success of CFHI's Hill Day in 2012, where, in some instances, meetings between PEP teams and MPs resulted in officials acting as grassroots champions for the projects.

Access the list of participating organizations, team contacts and project descriptions.

The Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to healthcare improvement and transformation for Canadians and is funded through an agreement with the Government of Canada. CFHI collaborates with governments, policy-makers, and health system leaders to convert evidence and innovative practices into actionable policies, programs, tools and leadership development.

SOURCE Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement

Image with caption: ""Hill day was a fantastic opportunity for our MPs to learn about the real results and improvements taking place in our local healthcare facilities -- projects now spreading across BC and nationally." - David Thompson, Vice President, Seniors Care and Clinical Support Services, Providence Health Care, BC (CNW Group/Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130529_C3153_PHOTO_EN_27236.jpg



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