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Fraser Health and VCH work together on innovation

VANCOUVER – British Columbia’s two largest health authorities, Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health, will partner in a $75-million Lower Mainland Innovation and Integration Fund to encourage new patient-focused funding models that will support patient access – a government initiative announced in the 2008 throne speech.
The health authorities announced they are soliciting creative and entrepreneurial proposals from physicians, staff and others that will improve efficiency and effectiveness; implement innovative ways of delivering quality care; improve access in Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health; and promote integration between the two health authorities.
“Our government is committed to providing the very best healthcare possible, and that means ensuring that our system is efficient and sustainable,” said Health Minister George Abbott. “This Lower Mainland Innovation and Integration Fund will encourage new approaches and closer ties between B.C.’s two largest health authorities that will support patient care needs and access, while making the best use of every taxpayer dollar.”
Abbott said the fund will encourage process improvements that will focus on activity levels by using existing people and resources more effectively to improve outcomes.
“This initiative will build on the creativity and innovation already underway in Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health, such as the Emergency Decongestion Pilot and iCare, that have shown progress in improving patient access,” said Ida Goodreau, president and CEO of Vancouver Coastal Health. “The innovation and integration fund is a commitment to finding new ways to make our system sustainable, and to improve the health and well-being of the communities we serve.”
The two health authorities co-operate in many ways on a daily basis and are working to further integrate programs to operate more effectively. For example, they recently announced that some managers would have responsibilities for programs across both health authorities.
“This collaborative initiative offers additional opportunities to enhance integration between our two health authorities,” said Dr. Nigel Murray, president and CEO of Fraser Health. “Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health are engaging staff to identify innovations that will improve the efficiency of the health care system and maintain our focus on patients.”
Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health have received $50 million for use in 2008/09 to fund proposals from within the two health authorities, with the remaining $25 million to become available in 2009/10.
The initial call for proposals was unveiled within the two health authorities in early May, with the first round of successful proposals expected to be announced in June 2008.
As British Columbia’s two largest health authorities, Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health provide community, hospital and residential care services to more than 60 percent of the province’s population, as well as many specialized services to the entire province.