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This is where Dewar said a controversial program called Lean steps in.
Those challenging objectives are the discouraging part. The projected shortfall for the upcoming year will be about $17 million. The reason for that is a combination of increasing demand, increasing costs and a provincial budget that forces the health region to find efficiencies. It's not that they didn't get an increase in funds (health spending is up three per cent overall). But, as Dewar said, "no health budget has ever been where you want it." Still, he said the region is planning to have a balanced budget.
It's a case of two steps forward and two steps back as the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region (RQHR) looks ahead at their fiscal year and plans for a balanced budget.
hard work by our physicians and staff," he said. "(I'm) very pleased with their work, their efforts and commitment to just staying focused on quality and safety and making sure we're doing the right thing. And if we do that, we can achieve the fairly challenging objectives for the coming year as well."
"This may sound fairly simple, but we are going to continue what we did last year because it was successful for us," he said.
It was a presentation that was both encouraging and discouraging. The encouraging part was a significant reduction in the RQHR's deficit. Converse Navy Blue Shoes Though the health region was originally projected to be in the hole by about $15 million after the 2013 14 fiscal year it was able to cut it down to $2.5 million.
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success they had in paying down their deficit to Lean, which is a program born in the manufacturing sector that helps find efficiencies in work flows. But Lean isn't the only way the RQHR will try to save money. Right now, 3S Health is putting together business cases for taking on things like housekeeping, inventory and lab services.
"There are different options to how you provide these services. What they are doing in the process is trying to ensure whatever options we put forward are the best for the system," said Dewar. "That's not just based on cost and cost savings, but as much on quality. Because if quality deteriorates, I can guarantee you it will more than offset any cost savings that might be perceived."
Keith Dewar, president and CEO of the RQHR, thanked the entire staff of the health region for that.
He touched on three specific things that they can improve which he said have and will continue to help save money. Those are quality and safety, patient flow and access to primary care. The first involves simple things like hand hygiene. Dewar said they have somewhere between 40 to 50 per cent compliance when it comes to staff washing their hands. But if they boosted that all the way up to a hundred, he said it's impossible to tell how much money they would save.
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"Just think of the impact if we're not getting 100 per cent compliance with hand hygiene of the number of patients that might get sick and the cost of that. They'll either get very sick and we'll have to provide them with medication, or they'll stay in the hospital longer," he said. "So not only is care compromised, but they're there longer so we can't get other people in who might need that bed. As well, staff then gets sick."
Dewar attributed part of the Converse Ballet Lace Maroon
up clogging up the healthcare system. And that's what brought Dewar to the second point: patient flow. He said it's important to have patients waiting in ER for as little time as possible because it helps save the RQHR on paying overtime. And the faster they can get patients in and out, the more money they'll save.
"Lean is one of the fundamental tools we're using to also assist us in finding ways to do our work better," he said.
Health Region plans for balanced budget
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