Fear and opportunity companions of change

August 31, 2017

e-link is an online, weekly newsletter for Regina and area employees, physicians and volunteers of the Saskatchewan Health Authority.

Fear and opportunity companions of change

Please Note: The Aug. 24th Transformation Talk is guest authored by Dr. David McCutcheon, Vice President, Physician and Integrated Health Services. Dr. McCutcheon gives his perspective on the changes ahead of us.

This week, I have the honour of authoring the transformation message and give my perspective on change. Moving to a single organization will provide many opportunities, but there will also be threats to the culture and focus of the new health authority.

The prime opportunity for the new organization is to use the change to deliver real improvements to patient and family-centred care. There will also be chances for front-line staff to be fully empowered professionals, as they strive to provide excellent care to our patients, residents and clients. Thus, causing the overall quality of care to rise and, in turn, we would be able to deliver better access and sustainability to the health care system.

With opportunities, there are also threats and fears that we should be aware of. There is the fear that the priorities we have been focusing on will be reversed and sustainability and the cost emphasis will drive the amalgamation. There is also the fear that the energy of senior leadership will be consumed by the process, resulting in a loss of support for front-line staff. In addition, an overly prescriptive approach could be taken resulting from a lack of listening. Lastly, the set of recommendations from the report titled Optimizing and Integrating Patient-Centred Care may not be fully implemented, with those tough decisions being set aside.

An article titled What Sets Successful CEOs Apart from the May/June 2017 issue of Harvard Business review suggests that we should expect our new leadership team to make decisions with speed and conviction; while effectively communicating and engaging all staff to positively impact change in a reliable and consistent way. Local leaders should also adapt to change and provide appropriate feedback for the new health authority.

With the Aug. 23rd announcement, we have taken a solid step forward toward becoming one organization. While we transform to the new health authority there will be many questions for our new CEO, and I look forward to working with him and our current RQHR Leadership Team as we move forward in effectively delivering the new agenda in an accountable way. As is often said, we have nothing to fear, but fear itself; with our collective effort, our front-line staff will deliver the high quality care our patients, residents and clients deserve.

Provincial Transition Team Update

This week is a bi-week for the Transition Team and there is no update to share. If you missed last week's update or want to review previous updates click here.

In addition, if you missed the Ministry of Health's announcement about the new Saskatchewan Health Authority CEO, click here to read the full news release.

Celebrating Success

This week I would like to highlight a new heart procedure that Dr. Jeffery Booker in collaboration with Dr. Payam Dehghani are providing to patients who live with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (Afib). Afib is a heart rhythm disorder that can cause heart failure, stroke or even death. This new procedure is expected to reduce the rate of stroke among this population by 60 per cent. Congratulations to Dr. Booker, Dr. Dehghani and the RQHR Cardiosciences program. Click here to read the full story.

Feedback and Questions

Weekly Transformation Talk messages are aligned with updates we receive from the Transition Team. They'll also appear regularly in e-link. From time to time, these messages may also come from a guest speaker.

Your feedback is always welcome, both on these messages and on the transformation itself. Please continue to send your comments and questions to communications@rqhealth.ca

Dr. David McCutcheon, MD MBA CHE FRCPI (hon) MICGP (hon)
Vice President, Physician and Integrated Health Services
Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region

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