Annual general meeting—A year marked by performance improvement on several levels

Bathurst, June 25, 2014 – Vitalité Health Network held its annual general meeting for fiscal year 2013-2014 in Bathurst, on Wednesday, June 25, 2014. Performance and productivity improvement was clearly the main theme of achievements over the year.

In his annual report, the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Paul Couturier, stressed that concerning finances, the Network had to face a major challenge in 2013-2014 with the $9,651 million deficit recorded the previous year. “It was imperative to meet our financial targets to restore a balanced budget. I am pleased to report that our efforts have been successful,” he said. According to the Chairman, in spite of budget and operational challenges, the Network has always placed the quality of care and services to patients at the forefront. “There were no cuts in services to the population; in fact, a number of services were improved and new ones were added to continue meeting the patients’ needs.”

Performance improvement: focus on quality

In his report, Network President and Chief Executive Officer Rino Volpé stressed that continuous quality improvement was a constant concern in 2013-2014. “We are closely monitoring our results and of 25 quality indicators, 17 have improved compared to the previous year,” he said. The Network implemented a new survey on the experience of inpatients. “The results are analyzed monthly and the Network uses them to find ways to improve services provided.” The Network was granted a four-year accreditation status and developed a quality management accountability framework. On the provincial level, the results of the 2013 survey conducted by the New Brunswick Health Council on the patient care experience showed that the Network health facilities’ results exceeded the provincial average in 13 of the 14 indicators assessed. “This clearly shows the importance we place on the quality of our services,” stated the President and Chief Executive Officer. 

Performance improvement: focus on productivity

Over the course of the year, the Network conducted a benchmarking exercise against national standards and best practices to standardize processes and implement efficiencies to meet the organization's annual target, which was to improve its performance by at least 2 percent. Emphasis was placed on reducing the costs of administration and administrative support. The key results include:

  • A 1.6 percent improvement in productivity in the delivery of clinical services;
  • A 0.4 percent decrease in costs per capita.

Performance improvement: focus on operational cost control

The President and Chief Executive Officer presented the key results in regard to operational cost control.

  • Operating surplus of $10.2 million at the end of the 2013-2014 fiscal year;
  • Annualized savings of $18 million related to performance improvements;
  • Reduction of 285 full-time equivalents (FTEs) in human resources over an average of 6,795, administration and administrative support being the areas most affected; 
  • Overtime reduction of 18.6 percent, i.e. savings of approximately $2 million;
  • Sick leave reduction of 4.2 percent, i.e. savings of approximately $1.1 million;
  • 0.6 percent decrease in the Network’s total expenditures compared to 2012-2013, which were 1.9  percent lower than budgeted for 2013-2014.

Infrastructure and equipment renewal projects

Substantial strategic investments in infrastructure and equipment were made in 2013-2104. A number of projects were completed, including the one related to the Intensive Care and Step-Down Unit at the Chaleur Regional Hospital and the one related to the new digital radiography unit at the Edmundston Regional Hospital. There are still many projects under way and at various stages of planning, including the construction of the Restigouche Hospital Centre in Campbellton and of an Addiction Services centre in Edmundston, the new Surgical Suite and Integrated Breast Health Centre at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre, as well as the expansion of the Chaleur Regional Hospital in Bathurst. The Network is managing capital projects at various stages of completion worth nearly $500 million. 

New developments

Latest additions to the care and services provided by the Network include:

  • Rheumatology services at the Edmundston Regional Hospital;
  • A psychosis early intervention program in Campbellton and Moncton;
  • Improved bariatric surgery services in Bathurst and Moncton;
  • Implementation of a smoking cessation program in the regional hospitals.