Physicians and leaders enjoyed the opportunity to connect at a recent breakfast sponsored by the VPSA Facility Engagement Initiative.

Physicians connect, collaborate and care

Whether they work at a hospital, centre or in the community, VCH-Vancouver physicians share a need for stronger relationships across sites, disciplines and communities.

And that’s not all. Vancouver’s physicians also say they want to participate more in decision-making that impacts their workplace and patients.

VCH leaders support these priorities, and the Vancouver Physician Staff Association (VPSA) Facility Engagement Initiative has organized a number of events to bring physicians and leaders together.

A catalyst for collaboration

The VPSA Facility Engagement Initiative was established in the fall of 2016 to strengthen relationships, improve communication and collaboration between physicians, and create a more unified physician community.

“We apply a ‘Connect, Collaborate, Care’ approach to bring physicians together, and we’re now extending this same approach to start engaging with VCH leaders,” says Dr. Lyne Filiatrault, co-chair of the VPSA Facility Engagement Initiative.

So far, the initiative has funded 10 physician-led projects and multiple engagement events. Starting in January 2018, the initiative is sponsoring a Breakfast with Leaders series.

Connecting over croissants

Physicians and leaders highlight priorities for creating a more connected and collaborative work environment.

Establishing connections and understanding roles were on the menu at a breakfast meeting hosted by the VPSA Facility Engagement Initiative on December 4 at VGH. Mary Ackenhusen, VCH CEO and president, and Glen Copping, VCH CFO and vice president of systems development and performance, joined the more than 50 physicians, medical directors, operations directors and others in attendance.

Fun activities, combined with meaningful discussion, helped clarify roles, foster new relationships and build understanding of priorities and opportunities for working together more collaboratively and effectively.

Shelly Fleck, operations director, presented on the VGH OR Renewal Project, highlighting the value of physician collaboration. To date, physicians have participated in OR “dollhouse” design sessions, OR mock-ups and simulation scenarios, and numerous planning meetings. Regular and ongoing physician input will be essential to ensuring the new surgical suite will function as expected to support quality patient care.

Monthly breakfast series kicks off

Dr. Marshall Dahl shared priorities identified during group discussion with colleagues.

Building on the success of the December event, the VPSA launched its 2018 Breakfast with Leaders series on January 11. Featuring Mary Ackenhusen, the event focused on physicians’ reasons for choosing to work at VCH and their priorities for improving their work experience.

Dr. Jennifer Yao, medical site lead at the GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre, sees medicine as a “people industry” and flagged the need to better coordinate care across the continuum of services and health authorities.

“There was a time when health authorities didn’t exist. We need to find a better way to work together across these boundaries and connect with our counterparts to coordinate care,” she said. “We can’t keep treating patients like parcels and shipping them back and forth between services.”

A number of reasons were identified for why physicians find it difficult to transition patients from acute care settings to a more appropriate level of care. Another top concern is the lack of capacity in community primary care.  There was agreement that physicians and VCH leaders have a responsibility to support community colleagues and build services and expertise in the community to better ensure patients have timely access to the right care at the right time.

Meaningful engagement a priority for all

Physicians and VCH leaders are committed to keeping the communications channels open and working together to address priorities in the year ahead. The VPSA Breakfast with Leaders series, along with project activities and other engagement opportunities, are examples of this commitment to collaboration in action.

Learn more

To learn more and keep informed of upcoming events, visit: VPSA Facility Engagement Initiative website.

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For more information: Dr. Lyne Filiatrault, Co-chair, Vancouver Physician Staff Association.