Accelerating improvement in health care

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Improving Quality of Health Care

We work closely with Saskatchewan’s health regions and cancer agency, the Ministry of Health, and health providers to make care better and safer for patients in this province. HQC leads or provides support to a number of priority initiatives.


Setting Strategy

Hoshin Kanri is an approach to planning that involves identifying a common vision; setting short- and long-term goals; tracking progress toward those goals; and, changing course as required. In Saskatchewan, we are using hoshin to plan and deliver health care in a more coordinated way across the health regions, Saskatchewan Cancer Agency, ministry of health, and Health Quality Council (HQC).


Coordinating and Building Capability for Improvement

Lean is a patient-focused approach to managing and delivering care that continuously improves how we work. All of the organizations involved in managing and delivering health care in Saskatchewan – including health regions, the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency, Ministry of Health, and Health Quality Council – have agreed to use Lean as our common approach to providing the best possible care, most efficiently.


Measuring Quality of Care

Measurement is an important part of any effort to improve quality of health care: You need to know where you’re starting from and whether the changes you’re making are, in fact, improvements. We support the people who are working to make care better by presenting information on quality of care in ways that are useful for learning and improvement, and by acting as a resource for those who want to learn more about how to use this information.


Safety Alert/Stop the Line

Improving the safety in health care environments is a top priority in Saskatchewan. The Safety Alert/Stop the Line (SA/STL) strategy is a provincial initiative that intends to build a safety culture and make health care environments safer for patients, staff, and providers. The Safety Alert/Stop the Line initiative encompasses processes, policies, and behavioural expectations that support patients, staff, and physicians to be safety inspectors, to identify and fix potentially harmful mistakes in the moment, or to stop the line and call for additional help to restore safety.


Patient- and Family-Centred Care

The Institute for Patient- and Family-Centred Care describes Patient- and Family-Centred Care (PFCC) as “an approach to the planning, delivery, and evaluation of health care that is grounded in mutually beneficial partnerships among health care providers, patients, and families. It redefines the relationships in health care.” PFCC is a philosophy based in respect, dignity, collaboration, information sharing, and meaningful participation. The philosophy of PFCC and the adoption of best practices – such as engaging patients and families as advisors and including them in multi-disciplinary rounds at the bedside – must be woven throughout the health system in order for a culture of PFCC to be fully realized.


Health System Research

The Health Quality Council collaborates with health system partners and academics in Saskatchewan and beyond on research that can have a direct impact on patient care and patient outcomes. HQC’s researchers and research analysts are skilled in working with the administrative health databases that HQC has access to under a data-sharing agreement with the Ministry of Health.


Appropriateness of Care

Starting with early lessons learned during the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative, the Ministry of Health, with assistance from the Health Quality Council, developed a framework to guide evidence-informed design and implementation of health care standards that ensure fully appropriate services are delivered reliably to patients. HQC provides support to several initiatives under this framework, particularly in the design of measurement systems for continuous learning and improvement.


Emergency Department Waits and Patient Flow Initiative

The Emergency Department Waits and Patient Flow Initiative was created to aggressively address emergency department wait times, in conjunction with other health system efforts to provide sooner, safer, and smarter care for patients.

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