MUSKOKA – Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare’s board is on a path toward long-term planning.
The board passed its 2012-13 goals at its May meeting. The seven goals focus board members on administrative efficiencies, quality care and best practices over the coming year. Many of the goals are groundwork for creating a long-term master plan.
The first board goal is to complete a pre-capital submission as part of the North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network and Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s capital planning process. Board chair Sven Miglin said the pre-capital submission is a preliminary step in developing a master plan for the Huntsville and Bracebridge hospital sites.
“A master plan is required if you want to do any significant redevelopment of your sites, and it literally takes years,” said Miglin. “It doesn’t mean that we’re going to be redeveloping next year – the redevelopment window can often be 10 years or longer. But the first step is a pre-capital submission and the beginning of a master plan.”
The first step for the pre-capital submission is identifying a program or service need that requires the support of new or renovated capital infrastructure, according the ministry.
Once a project is identified, hospitals start planning the groundwork for the project. That planning allows them to fill out a pre-capital submission form.
The pre-capital submission has two parts. The first includes a high level description of the role of the hospitals in the local health system and describes the initiative being proposed, including program rationale and evidence of alignment with local health system priorities. The second includes the development concept.
The submission will begin a master plan, which acts as a guide for long-term capital development. The board expects to complete its pre-capital submission this year.
“If you want to do any redevelopment, if you want to become involved in any strategic partnerships of any size, you need to have a master plan that demonstrates what you’re contemplating changing or redeveloping on your property is consistent with the long-term needs of the community,” said Miglin.
Miglin said the board is in the early stages of creating a long-term plan and therefore does not yet know what the pre-capital submission will look like.
A second goal for the year is the continued integration between the two hospital sites. Miglin said this does not mean concentrating services at either the Bracebridge or Huntsville site. Rather, it means ensuring best practices at both hospitals.
“If you’re doing a procedure a certain way at one site and you’re doing it differently at the other, one is probably better or best practice,” he said. “You want to ensure you’re doing it the same at both sites.”
He gave patient admission as an example of a procedure people would expect to be consistent between both sites. In many cases practices at the hospital sites are aligned but there is some work yet to be done, said Miglin.
Other goals include implementing an electronic medical record system, embedding a culture of quality and safety, developing a strategic human resources strategy, and focusing on improved efficiencies and fiscal health.
The board has 12 voting community members with applicable professional backgrounds and five ex-officio non-voting members that include the hospitals’ chief executive officer, chief of staff, medical staff president, medical staff vice-president, and the chief nursing officer.