Printer-friendly version   

 

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release
2012HLTH0030-000419

April 4, 2012

Ministry of Health

 

 

B.C. celebrates innovation in health care

 

VANCOUVER – Health Minister Michael de Jong used a forum with health-care students and educators to highlight the Province's efforts to introduce innovative new ways of delivering health-care services to better meet the needs of B.C. families now and in years to come.

 

Through the introduction of patient-focused funding, targeted investments in health promotion and primary care, and removing barriers that have prevented health professionals like pharmacists and nurses from fully utilizing their considerable experience in patient care, B.C. has led the country in creating innovations within the system and reimagining the system that was created decades ago.

 

British Columbians can learn more about these efforts at a new health-care website: www.thinkhealthbc.ca

 

To launch the online site and discuss the importance of innovation in health care, today Health Minister Michael de Jong and Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation Dr. Moira Stilwell connected with health-care students and stakeholders in an open discussion at Simon Fraser University’s Wosk Centre for Dialogue.

 

The Innovation and Change Agenda was developed based on years of investigation into health-system performance and feedback from British Columbians on what they want in their health-care system. It includes a number of strategies, within four categories: innovation and efficiency; health promotion and disease prevention; primary and community care; and acute hospital care. The Innovation and Change Agenda is available in English, Chinese, Punjabi, Korean and Tagalog.

 

To read the Innovation and Change Agenda and participate in the discussion, visit: www.ThinkHealthBC.ca

 

You can also follow along on Twitter: @ThinkHealthBC

 

 


 

 

Quotes:

 

Minister of Health Michael de Jong –

 

“Our health-care system touches the lives of every single British Columbian. Our government is committed to innovation, and with ThinkHealthBC we are opening up the health-care system to the public and sharing our strategy for the future. It’s about engaging British Columbians in a new way of thinking about our health-care system."

 

Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation Dr. Moira Stilwell –

 

“B.C. has been leading the country in the implementation of innovative new strategies to keep our health-care system sustainable, but there is still a lot of work to do. Innovation will continue to play a lead role in this government's approach to health-care delivery.”

 

 

Will Falk, executive fellow in residence, Health Policy and Public Sector Transformation, Mowat Centre –

 

“Governments across Canada – and in fact all across the developed world – are searching for ways to address the reform and changes needed to effectively manage our health-care systems. With ThinkHealthBC and the Innovation and Change Agenda, British Columbia is well positioned to tackle these challenges and come out on top.”

 

A backgrounder follows.

 

 

Contact:

 

Ryan Jabs

Media Relations Manager

Ministry of Health

250 952-1887 (media line)

 

 

 

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect

 


 

BACKGROUNDER

For Immediate Release
2012HLTH0030-000419

April 4, 2012

Ministry of Health

 

 

 

 

Innovation in health care

 

As part of the Innovation and Change Agenda, the Province is continuously looking at ways to improve the system to better serve patients and create sustainability. For example, by exploring the possibility of creating nurse practitioner-anesthetists, the Province could improve vital patient services in the long term by creating another group of professionals with the skill set to provide anesthesia services. Similar positions exist in jurisdictions worldwide, including the United States, where nurse anesthetists have been utilized for over 125 years.

 

Other examples of innovations already achieved or currently in progress include:

 

·         In November 2011, the Province introduced legislation that removes statutory barriers to allow nurse practitioners to provide specific services that are fully within their scope of practice.

·         Expanding the scope of practice for health-care professionals such as pharmacists. Specially trained pharmacists are now able to offer vaccinations.

·         Nurse practitioners are now helping to meet the growing need for primary health care, including management of chronic diseases. They perform the full range of nursing functions, as well as some functions similar to physicians such as diagnosing and managing common acute and chronic illnesses, prescribing, ordering diagnostic tests and referring to specialists.

·         The Province’s ongoing overhaul of its primary health-care system is being made stronger with a $137-million investment to strengthen service delivery, ensure patients are full participants in their care and provide every British Columbian who wants a family doctor with one by 2015.

·         Patient-focused funding has improved wait times and access to care for more than 100,000 B.C. patients and their families in the first year of the program.

·         “Lean” projects, which re-evaluate everyday hospital processes to make them more efficient and improve patient care.

o   In Vancouver Island Health Authority, acute care bed days have been reduced from 7.4 days to 3.9 days for patients designated to move from the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital to a residential-care facility with rehabilitation services.

·         Healthy Families BC is reducing chronic diseases and obesity levels by making the healthier choice the easier choice.

o   In just the first three months of B.C’s smoking cessation program, over 63,000 smokers have called 811 for free access to nicotine replacement therapies.

 

Contact:

 

Ryan Jabs

Media Relations Manager

Ministry of Health

250 952-1887 (media line)

 

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect