The past year saw our health system rise to the challenge of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, with plans and priorities shifting to meet the needs of the pandemic response. Being nimble and agile to meet the changing needs and priorities was a theme of our work this year.
Supporting the SHA in COVID-19 response initiatives
We answered the call to support our colleagues in the Saskatchewan Health Authority as they responded to the pandemic. We provided support in care pathway design, administrative support for contact tracing and influenza immunization clinics, communications and social media, immunization clinic design and implementation, public experience surveying, and up-to-date research evidence to support decision making. We were ready to contribute our core skills of analytics, collaboration, and skill-building to support Saskatchewan’s pandemic response.
Health Quality Council’s strategic efforts
This year, we continued to make progress on our strategy to enhance First Nations and Métis health and to address the social determinants of health through a focus on mental health and wellness for children, youth, and their families. George Gordon First Nation invited us to assist them in developing and implementing a health and wellness survey of their members, data that will help them to better plan for and meet the needs of their community. We also supported the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations to examine suicide rates in First Nations and non-First Nations populations in Saskatchewan, using publicly available coroner’s data. We also built on our commitment to cultural responsiveness by participating in cultural humility and OCAP® training and celebrating the culture and traditions of our staff. In March 2021, we launched the Community Quality Improvement Collective to build capability for quality improvement in human services organizations. Teams from six organizations are learning how to improve the services they provide in the Collective.
Adapting to changes
We remained nimble throughout the year to adapt to the changing needs of our partners and program participants. In August, we hosted a panel discussion, “Quality Improvement in Health Care Panel: Patient and Provider Experiences with Virtual Care in Saskatchewan During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond” that offered the opportunity for us to learn from the experiences of patients and care providers who experienced virtual care during COVID-19.
We successfully transitioned programs such as the Clinical Quality Improvement Program and the Quality Improvement Learning Collaborative to online formats, with curriculum modifications to reflect the challenges and changing learning needs participants, all of whom are practicing clinicians, were facing. Early in the year, as many within the health sector were transitioning to remote work, some for the first time, we offered the Working Remotely Learning Series through our free webinar series QI Power Hour to provide them with tips and tools to remain effective working remotely.
Thank you to our staff and health system colleagues
Maintaining this level of agility during a time of uncertainty demonstrates resilience and a commitment to continuous improvement. I want to express my appreciation to our staff for continuing to come together each day to make health and health care better and safer for the people of Saskatchewan. I am proud of you as individuals for your resilience, your hard work, and your continued service to this organization and to this province.
We are also so very grateful to our health system colleagues for their tireless efforts to keep us all safe throughout these challenging times. Thank you.
Chief Executive Officer