Embrace change to ensure ongoing improvement in care, CIUSSS staff urged
Leaders at Public Information Meeting cite numerous examples of enhanced care
Despite the many achievements of CIUSSS West-Central Montreal in 2021-2022, the need to make further improvements is essential, because maintaining the status quo is “a recipe for stagnation,” Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg, President and CEO of the network, said on November 2.
“We certainly deserve to take pride when a job is done well, but only if we realize that it doesn’t end there,” Dr. Rosenberg told members of the public and staff at the CIUSSS’s seventh annual Public Information Meeting at the JGH—the first in-person meeting since 2019, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our responsibility is to keep asking ourselves, ‘What more can we do?’” added Dr. Rosenberg, who delivered his remarks on video because he was unable to attend in person.
“Only by embracing innovation and refusing to be intimidated by the challenges of change can we be certain of properly responding to the evolving needs of healthcare users, not just today but tomorrow.”
Dr. Rosenberg also noted that while change often involves the introduction of revolutionary digital technology, “the essential components are compassion, one-to-one contact, understanding the feelings of users and listening to their concerns.”
Alan Maislin, President of the Board of Directors, echoed Dr. Rosenberg’s sentiments and pointed out that “change is happening right before our eyes,” citing such pace‑setting projects as the Command Centre, the Hospital@Home program and the Connected Health Record.
“The way we do business is also changing right before your eyes and it’s coming from this institution. It’s emanating from this CIUSSS, because of the vision our leaders have and the passion of everyone to implement these programs.”
Mr. Maislin acknowledged that he and the Board still face a number of challenges, such as ensuring that everyone is “compensated properly for the volumes of work we do here. We need to have an adequate budget to ensure that we have all the proper people in place to do the work.”
Nevertheless, he said, he is convinced that the CIUSSS is living up to its goal of delivering superior health care and social services. “The quality of the care that we provide is non-negotiable and we fight battles every day to ensure we provide the best possible care to the people we serve.”
The Public Information Meeting was also an opportunity to acknowledge the outstanding work of staff and to present the first-ever Awards of Excellence to teams and employees who have distinguished themselves over the past year.
Lucie Tremblay, Associate CEO, thanked all members of staff for the sacrifices they have made during the pandemic and for their ability to integrate new practices quickly to guarantee the continuity of care.
“For example,” Ms. Tremblay said. “Our Digital Health team worked quickly and effectively to make telehealth a practical way of digitally connecting our professionals with patients and clients at home. These individuals can now receive the support they need from the clinical teams who helped to design those very important new programs.
“Of course, there are many instances where there is no substitute for in-person care. But thanks to the Digital Health Team, we now have a viable alternative in situations where a visit to a hospital or other facility is unnecessary or is very inconvenient for the user.”
To ensure proper staffing throughout the CIUSSS, Human Resources hired 3,550 new employees in 2021, Ms. Tremblay said. And to be certain that personnel receive proper support for their personal concerns or problems, they have been able to turn to the COVID-19 Employee Hotline, which received 90,000 phone calls last year.
Also notable, Ms. Tremblay said, is the hiring of the CIUSSS’s first-ever Officer of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, so that “amid the multiple challenges, changes and fast pace of our current reality, our employees work in an environment that fosters diversity, equity and inclusion—where each person’s background and identity is respected and appreciated.”
Included in remarks from Dan Gabay, the CIUSSS’s Assistant Executive Director, were numerous examples of noteworthy accomplishments in 2021-2022. Here are just a few:
- OROT, the network’s Connected Health Innovation Hub, is involved in projects to improve communication between patients and clinicians, and to use new technology in long-term care facilities to provide essential stimulation to residents with advanced dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
- New digital technology has revolutionized the Pharmacy Department by enabling it to fill prescriptions and administer medications with unprecedented speed and accuracy.
- The Oncology team has launched a new app, Belong – Beating Cancer, to give users and their families access to reliable information from CIUSSS specialists, as well as a link to a supportive community of cancer survivors.
- An award-winning GAMF clinic is conducting assessments of people who do not have a family doctor, but are now referred to a physician, nurse or pharmacist in 24 to 72 hours.
- All infants at the JGH and in the Côte-des-Neiges Birthing Centre are being screened for possible hearing loss within 24 hours of birth.
Rounding out the agenda were presentations by Carrie Bogante, Director of Finance, and Jean-Philippe Payment, Service Quality and Complaints Commissioner.