WRHA plans for future demand on cardiac sciences

Winnipeg Health Region
Published Thursday, September 18, 2014

A team of consultants from the University of Ottawa Heart Institute will be in Winnipeg this fall to consult with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority's Cardiac Sciences Program to ensure the program's approach to quality improvement is consistent with best practice, and is positioned to meet future needs and demands on the program including an evaluation of the need for and feasibility of developing a heart transplant program in Winnipeg.

"After ten years of growth, we need to look forward to ensure we are well positioned today to meet future demands on the program so we can be confident the program will be able to meet the needs of patients over the next ten years," said Arlene Wilgosh, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

"This consultation will assist us in identifying any changes we need to make today to ensure we are able to meet the future needs of patients and Manitoba's population which we know is growing, getting older, and generally living longer.  This includes an examination of the approaches used within cardiac sciences to monitor and improve quality, and an assessment of the need and feasibility of developing a heart transplant program here in Winnipeg."

Wilgosh noted that accurately projecting future trends in cardiovascular medicine is challenging due to rapid pace of change and the introduction of new therapeutic treatments and procedures.  However, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority's Cardiac Sciences Program has been actively engaged in trying to quantify and prepare for future demand on the program.  This included the internal preparation of demand projections which were subsequently reviewed internally and also externally by Dr. Jack Tu, Canada Research Chair in Health Services Research and Senior Scientist with the Sunnybrook Research Institute.

Building on the Region's efforts to date, the team of clinical professionals from the Ottawa Heart Institute has been asked to consult with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and the Cardiac Sciences Program.

The University of Ottawa Heart Institute is Canada's largest and foremost cardiovascular health centre dedicated to understanding, treating, and preventing heart disease. They provide care to more than 80,000 patients a year, and serve local, national, and international communities.

The four member team will be led by Dr. Thierry Mesana, President and Chief Executive Officer of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and a professor of cardiac surgery.  Other members of the team will include a cardiologist, anesthesiologist, and chief nursing officer.

"As with any service we provide, it is important to plan for future needs and demands.  It is equally important to remain committed to continuous improvement.  This means innovating, changing, and adapting the system based on our growing base of collective knowledge of what works well and what doesn't so we can provide the best care possible to patients, clients, and residents," said Wilgosh.

"I am pleased to welcome the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, and look forward to what we can learn from them following their visit in the fall."

University Of Ottawa Heart Institute Consultation Terms Of Reference

  1. Examine and validate internal projections for an increased demand for cardiac services in Manitoba, and assess the capacity of the Cardiac Sciences Program to meet these demands.
  2. Examine the indications for cardiac surgery and case selection processes in Winnipeg and determine if they are consistent with best practices in other jurisdictions.
  3. Examine the scope of cardiac services offered in Winnipeg to ensure they meet the needs of Manitoba's population specifically with respect to highly complex cardiac surgery interventions.
  4. Examine the approaches used in Cardiac Sciences to monitor and improve quality/standards and determine if they are consistent with best practices in other jurisdictions.
  5. Examine the resources available to support cardiac services (surgical/procedural/non-surgical) in Winnipeg (slates, critical care beds, ward beds, etc.) and comment on the adequacy of these resources to deliver the current and projected volume of cardiac services.
  6. Examine the ability to recruit and retain academic clinical staff, and assess existing clinical staffing models and structures within the Cardiac Sciences Program.
  7. Examine the need for and feasibility of developing a heart transplant program in Winnipeg.

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