box10.gif (1299 bytes)







Government & policy

Saskatchewan to launch review of health system

REGINA – The former head of Saskatoon’s Royal University Hospital, Tony Dagnone (pictured), has been appointed to lead Saskatchewan’s “Patient First” independent review, an assessment of the provincial healthcare system from the point of view of patients. Mr. Dagnone also served as a president and CEO of the London Health Sciences Centre, in London, Ont.

The Saskatchewan review will have two parts. The first component will focus on issues and challenges in the healthcare system from the perspective of patients (the “customers”), their family members, and advocates, based on their experiences with the system. Front-line health care providers will be asked to provide advice and insight on possible recommendations for change, to directly address the issues and concerns raised by patients and their families.

“We’ve done other health system reviews in Saskatchewan, but have never looked at the care through the patients’ eyes,” Health Minister Don McMorris said. “In fact, no other province in Canada had undertaken such a system-wide review. Yet, patient and family-centred approaches to healthcare are driving improvements in quality, efficiency, health outcomes and patient satisfaction in the most progressive healthcare facilities in the world.”

The second part of the independent review will examine administration in healthcare and identify efficiencies, constraints and opportunities for improvement in the regional health authorities, their affiliates and the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations. Areas of specific examination will be general administration (executive offices, board costs, planning and development), finance, human resources, system support (including information technology) and communications.

“I want assurance that the system is being appropriately administered and that healthcare time and dollars are being properly directed toward front-line care for patients and quality work environments for healthcare professionals,” McMorris said of the $1.5 million independent review.

Dagnone will work with independent consulting firm KPMG to assist with consultations, analyzing results and drafting recommendations for the patient experience review. He will work with Deloitte Inc. on the administrative review.

Details on opportunities to participate in the consultation process will be announced in the coming weeks. Dagnone plans to present the minister with his report by mid-2009.

“I am passionate about timely access, healthcare innovation, efficiency and patient satisfaction, and hope that I can contribute to the advancement of healthcare in my former home province,” Dagnone said, whose awards include the Order of Canada for community work and leadership in healthcare, the Queen’s Jubilee Medal and the Canadian College of Health Services Executives Chairman’s Award for Distinguished Service.