NB website will provide info on
The New Brunswick Surgical Care Network website was launched in February
by Health and Wellness Minister Elvy Robichaud
(pictured at left).
“This website has been developed to provide a greater understanding of
surgical wait times,” Robichaud said. “The information it contains will
help New Brunswickers better appreciate the complexity of this issue,
and to make informed decisions about their own care.”
Information on the site can be found at
www.gnb.ca/0217/NBSCN-RSCNB/index-e.asp. It includes:
• types of surgery performed in New Brunswick, by hospital
• specialists who offer surgery in New Brunswick
• questions to ask your surgeon
• frequently asked questions and answers on wait-time management
• wait times for various types of surgeries, by hospital
“The development of this website is one of the steps on the journey to
improving surgical access for New Brunswickers, as promised in the
Provincial Health Plan, Healthy Futures,” Robichaud said.
“New Brunswickers deserve to receive health services in a timely manner,
and I assure them that the government has and will continue to work to
provide access to quality healthcare, including surgical access.”
The province’s surgical access management strategy will involve
implementation of a series of initiatives to improve access and reduce
waiting times. These include development of a computerized registry of
all patients awaiting surgery in New Brunswick, from the time they have
met with their surgeon and agreed to have surgery, until they booked
into the system.
“Having this data will provide the necessary tools for managing and
monitoring access to surgery on a provincial basis, as well as for each
hospital,” Robichaud said.
The provincial surgical patient registry will be operational in 2007.
“We will also establish a standardized patient assessment process in
each surgical specialty, using objective criteria,” Robichaud said.
“This will provide a consistent assessment process across the province,
and will be completed by the surgeon and the patient.”
The assessment process will be developed in co-operation with surgeons
in each specialty area, and will focus on issues such as pain intensity,
type and frequency of symptoms, and the impact of the condition on the
patient’s daily activities. The assessment tools will be tested and
validated by the surgeons, and will be ready for implementation once the
registry is operational.
Robichaud said the department will also establish target times for
surgery, based on the patient’s condition. This will be done in
co-operation with surgeons in each specialty area.
“These ratings will help determine the priority rating for surgery, and
will ensure that patients with the highest priority have the shortest
waiting time,” Robichaud said. “Target times within which surgery should
be done will be developed for each priority rating, and the goal will be
for all patients to receive care within generally accepted wait times.”
The surgical target times will be ready for implementation once the
provincial surgical patient registry is operational, in 2007.
Robichaud also announced two additional initiatives related to improving
surgical access. Access managers will be hired in each Regional Health
Authority in 2006 to address concerns and provide information to New
Brunswickers who are waiting for surgery. They will also work with the
region’s surgical team and senior management to improve surgical access.
“Finally, this fiscal year we will begin operational reviews at 17
surgical sites, with the goal to identify areas where we can improve
efficiencies,” Robichaud said. “The operational review will involve
looking at processes from pre-surgical screening through to the
post-operative period, and will provide comparable information for each
surgical site, which is not now available.”