Finding savings through small changes at the Serology Lab at Horizon’s SJRH
Patient & Family Centred Care in Action through the Active Offer
In the Serology Lab at Horizon’s Saint John Regional Hospital, a small change in product has made a big difference in savings. Over two months, Tammy Mahaney, a medical lab technologist in the Microbiology Department’s Serology Lab worked with Performance Optimization to switch to a new brand of reagent vials used in quality control testing. The Serology Lab performs, on average, 100 sexually transmitted infection (STI) tests every
day, which means they use a significant amount of reagents (a substance or mixture for use in chemical analysis or other reactions). In the past, there was too much volume of reagent in each vial used in quality control testing. “What I noticed is that we were throwing out a lot of reagent because it was expiring,” said Tammy, who has been working in the lab for 20 years. “It was due to the volume they were sending us and there was no possibility of getting smaller volumes to make it better.” The team was looking for an alternative material to use that could be purchased in smaller volumes per vial at a comparable cost and/or share material with other sites in Horizon. The second option wasn’t a viable one, as no other Horizon sites used the same quality control protocol. However, a company, Somagen, had the same testing parameters as the former company at a significantly lower cost. Each of the individual vial volumes were less, too, and all vials expire within two months after opening – a longer window than the former company. During the transition they made sure not to waste the old controls, using what they had until fully implementing the new reagents. The old process cost $10,920.06 a year; this new process will save $5,443.38 a year, bringing the annual costs to $5,476.68. Regular quality control measure were always in place, but recently, Accreditation Canada Pabineau, and Natoaganeg (Eel Ground) First Nations, and Horizon and Vitalité health networks. This is the first memorandum of understanding of its kind, and will be used as a standard for other groups of First Nations communities in the province. This MOU instills confidence in the communities that Horizon and Vitalité recognize their needs and are committed to
Horizon Health Network promotes a culture of patient & family centred care in all facilities, but how does Active Offer play a role in this philosophy? By providing the Active Offer we create a safe and respectful environment involving the patient and their support team in all decisions relating to their care. Often, patients rely on the support of family or friends to help make important decisions at critical times. Therefore, we must be able to communicate effectively with both the patient and their support team. Staff of the Perioperative Services Department at Horizon’s Oromocto Public Hospital know the difference clear communication can make in a patient’s care. They remember a day when a patient arrived for surgery, accompanied by their support person. The patient was bilingual, but the support person was unilingual Francophone. During the registration process the patient requested service in French to ensure their support person would understand and be able to support them during this experience. A bilingual employee was assigned to this patient. By providing service in the language both parties understood the pressure on the patient to translate between the support person and the care giver was alleviated. This could have been added stress to a patient who may have already been anxious in anticipation of surgery. Staff tell us their patients and their support person or team often appear relieved and more comfortable communicating their needs and concerns in their language of choice. The patient and their support team are ultimately better prepared going into their procedure, as well as better equipped for the post op care period. Let’s be honest: A hospital setting can be a daunting one for those receiving services, and often we forget they are not as comfortable as
A vial of the new reagent from Somagen.
and the Institute for Quality Management in Healthcare Announce Strategic Partnership (IQMH) made it mandatory for labs to also use an external company to run quality control tests to make sure there was no bias. This additional testing meant an additional, significant expense for the department, which prompted Tammy to look for solutions in the form of a Waste Walk project. This Waste Walk was one of three Tammy completed as part of her White Belt Certification, which was overseen by Claribel Sosa, project manager, Performance Optimization. Claribel said Tammy did a great job identifying waste in her department, and encourages teams across Horizon to look for similar ways waste can be identified, processes improved and money saved in their areas. “It was more work, but it’s worth it,” said Tammy. demonstrating cultural competence when providing care. Jean Daigle, VP Community, signed the partnership on behalf of Horizon, along with Vitalité President and CEO Gilles Lanteigne. The signing took place at Riverside Entertainment Center in Miramichi in late March, where health network representatives took place in a traditional smudging ceremony and First Nations dancers provided entertainment.
Nurse Manager Veronica Jamieson and the staff of Perioperative Services at Horizon’s Oromocto Public Hospital. Back row, from left: Jeannie Smith, Kathy MacDonald, Francine McLaughlin, Marilyn Owens, and Cheryl Kelly. Front row, from left: Elaine Pellerin, Rebeka McGlinchey, and Veronica Jamieson.
Better Prepared + Better Care = Better Outcomes
we, the employees, are being here on a regular basis, providing the services.
contingency plan, so employees will be BETTER PREPARED to provide BETTER CARE to ensure BETTER OUTCOMES. All staff at Horizon must be aware of the contingency plan in their department, and know where to find it quickly. The Official Languages team is prepared to provide support in developing your contingency plan. If you require assistance, please contact one of the members of the Official Languages Department listed below.
The patient is typically not here because they want to be, but because they need to be.
Tammy Mahaney, a medical lab technologist in the Microbiology Department’s Serology Lab at Horizon’s Saint John Regional Hospital with her White Belt Certification.
Veronica Jamieson is the Nurse Manager of Perioperative Services at Horizon’s Oromocto Public Hospital and the Endoscopy Suite at Horizon’s Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital. Veronica understands the importance of the Active Offer in the scenario above. Her departments are well-equipped with bilingual employees and a contingency plan for what to do should no bilingual employee be available at the time of need. Staff scheduling is a big part of ensuring bilingual service is available, but in our work place situations can change very quickly. We need to be prepared with a contingency plan.
Horizon, Vitalité sign MOU with First Nations communities
A new partnership between five First Nations communities and the province’s two regional health authorities will provide better addiction and mental health services in northern New Brunswick. A memorandum of understanding, the Mawlugutineg Mental Wellness Partnership, has been signed by representatives from Esgenoôpetitj (Burnt Church), Metepenagiag (Red Bank), Ugpi’Ganjig (Eel River Bar),
Managers are encouraged to work together with their employees to develop and test a
Do not hesitate to contact the Official Languages Advisor of your sector for any additional information. They are here to help.
Miramichi Pauline Durelle Pauline.Durelle@HorizonNB.ca (506) 623-6258 Moncton Jason MacKenzie Jason.MacKenzie@HorizonNB.ca (506) 870-2574
Saint John Gary Selway Gary.Selway@HorizonNB.ca (506) 648-6956
Active Offer Facilitator (Horizon-wide) Lorna Mansfield Lorna.Mansfield@HorizonNB.ca (506) 440-6496
Chiefs and representatives from First Nations in northern New Brunswick, including Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief Augustine and Horizon and Vitalité leadership signed memorandum of understanding in late March.
Miramichi Addiction and Mental Health staff and Horizon’s VP Community, JeanDaigle at theMOU signing.
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