August 1, 2002

External Review of Services Aimed at Finding Better Methods of Health Care Delivery

An external review, commissioned by the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and the nine hospitals and health centres in Winnipeg, of all clinical and non-clinical operations has been completed and the final report has been received.

The review, conducted by the accounting firm Deloitte & Touche, involved collecting data through interviews, focus groups and detailed unit by unit comparisons. The review was done over three months with involvement of staff and other stakeholders.

"This is an extensive and detailed document," said Dr. Brian Postl, CEO, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. "The review itself contains well-substantiated unit by unit comparisons of similar units across the country. The comparisons show a number of things we can do to improve our efficiency."

"National indicators show we're less efficient than other jurisdictions in some key areas. We've known for the past few years that our data is high, but we needed to get regionalization in place before we could move forward with these other system efficiencies," stated Postl.

A steering committee (including membership from the WRHA and the nine facilities) directed Deloitte & Touche to identify internal operating efficiencies to ensure that:

  1. the system is effectively using available resources and,
  2. to identify and prioritize areas that require investment in increased access and availability of services.

Now that the final review is complete, the steering committee will work on a plan for implementation of recommendations that have been made in the report. This includes providing recommendations for changes in service delivery to the Government for review.

"As we go through the planning process, we may find there are parts of the review that we will not be implementing. It is entirely dependent on the planning process itself and the steering committee," said Postl.

"Most importantly, we will not be moving forward on any of these recommendations without engaging staff. This was not an exercise in job loss. We did not engage in this review to remove money from the system. It is our intent to reallocate funds for better service delivery," added Postl.

The steering committee will be engaging in a planning process that begins at the end of August and proceeds through to the end of October. Part of that planning process will be to define projects, prioritize them and determine what recommendations to move forward with.

"We expect to have more details to share about specific plans and timelines by late fall," said Postl.

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