Cypress Health Region Leading the Way in Reducing Surgical Wait Times
The Cypress Health Region is leading the way as the government of Saskatchewan continues their surgical initiative.
While the latest provincial numbers show that 80% of patients receive their surgery within three months of their referral from a surgeon, that number is 98% in our region.
“They’ve done very well,” said Acting Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative Branch Terry Blackmore. “Surgeons are pooling, there’s some pathways in place for patients to get the kind of care that they need.”
Part of that success has been finding efficiencies.
“They’ve done some work in terms of improving processes before the surgeries (and) between the surgeries,” Blackmore said. “They’ve been able to free up some time and reduce some of the waste that would have been existing before then. Cypress has made very good progress.”
According to the government’s numbers, the number of people waiting more than three months for surgery has dropped 59% from 15,345 in March 2010 to 6,264 at the end of August 2013.
“The regions are working very well with each other,” Blackmore said. “Trying to get surgery performed as close to home as possible. The regions are working well with the surgeons that provide those surgeries to do some of the pooling of referrals so the numbers of people waiting are more equally distributed among a group of practitioners. That is improving the access and shortening the wait times.”
The Saskatchewan health system is on track to provide 89,000 publicly-funded surgeries in the 2013-14 fiscal year. Patients have received 35,185 surgeries in the first five months of the fiscal year, up from 32,957 performed in the same period last year.
The number of patients waiting longer than three months for surgeries is largest in the Saskatoon and Regina-Qu’Appelle health regions. Those areas of the province may not be able to reach the goals of the initiative by its conclusion at the end of March 2014.
Information about the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative is available at www.sasksurgery.ca.
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